Chamber: Valley Residents Named to Ohio Arts Boards

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber this morning announced the appointments of Dr. Farid Naffah to a pair of statewide arts organizations.

Gov. John Kasich named Naffah, a Warren gastroenterologist, to the board of Ohio Arts Council, a state agency that funds and supports the arts throughout Ohio. Eric Ryan, president of JAC Management Group and executive director of the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, was named to the board of Ohio Citizens for the Arts, which works to ensure funding for the arts throughout the state.

The appointments mark the first time that residents of the Mahoning Valley have been part of either group for at least several decades, according to a Regional Chamber news release announcing the appointments.

“We are appreciative that Dr. Naffah and Mr. Ryan are willing to devote their time and proud that their appreciation for and support of the arts is being recognized with these prestigious appointments,” said Guy Coviello, vice president of government affairs and economic development at the Regional Chamber.

“The Valley is fortunate to have such well-respected ambassadors representing us on a statewide level. Our robust arts and culture industry is important for economic development. We look forward to working with Dr. Naffah and Mr. Ryan and their respective arts organizations in further strengthening arts and culture locally,” he continued.

An avid art collector and pianist Naffah has created the Cadobaz Entertainment Pavilion at his home in Bazetta Township. The amphitheater is surrounded by 97 wooded acres with a stage in front of a six-acre lake.

Since 2008, Cadobaz has been the setting for “An Evening Under the Stars,” an arts and entertainment event to raise funds for Naffah’s Avamar Foundation, which provides the elderly with financial assistance to cover prescription costs.

Ryan is widely credited responsible for the turnaround of the Covelli Centre. The city of Youngstown hired JAC in fall 2007 to operate its $48 million, 6,000-seat arena on an interim basis and permanently hired JAC in 2008. The Covelli Centre has staged major concerts featuring Elton John, Kid Rock, Bob Dylan, Carrie Underwood and Rod Stewart.

Last fall, JAC took over operations of Warren’s Packard Music Hall. Since then, the hall has featured acts including Huey Lewis and the News, Counting Crows, Blue Man Group and Joe Walsh.

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