Mayor's Administrative Staff
Mayor's Office Management Team
Abby Arnold, deputy chief of staff
Ms. Arnold will serve in a co-management team with the chief of staff, directly overseeing the departments of public service, public utilities, and information and communication technology. Ms. Arnold was appointed by Mayor D. Michael Collins in June, 2014 as the commissioner of utilities administration in the public utilities department. Prior to that appointment, Ms. Arnold served as the chief of staff and director of real estate in the Lucas County Auditor’s office. Ms. Arnold received a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Cincinnati in 2003, and a Master of Public Administration from Kent State University in 2016. Ms. Arnold played a key role in the implementation of the nationally-recognized Engage Toledo program.
Karen Poore, deputy chief of staff
Ms. Poore will serve in a co-management team with the chief of staff, directly overseeing the departments of neighborhoods, economic development, and human resources and the planning commission. Ms. Poore is a 24-year public service veteran with key management and communications expertise. Ms. Poore previously served as the chief deputy treasurer for the Lucas County Treasurer’s office, managing complex tax accounting, treasury, and delinquent collection systems in support of the $500 million county budget with a staff of 23 employees. Ms. Poore also previously worked for Toledo City Council and the Lucas County Board of Elections.
Gretchen DeBacker, legislative director
Ms. DeBacker will work with the mayor and policy advisors to spearhead the effort to enact the policy goals of the administration. She will research, coordinate, and facilitate the implementation of new policies and programs. Ms. DeBacker is an attorney who has been in private practice for 14 years. For many years, she has served in leadership positions with the various organizations who are working to help the Toledo community. Ms. DeBacker is well known for her work on non-profit boards, developing mentorship programs, and serving as a volunteer for a wide variety of arts and community organizations.
Ignazio Messina, communications director
Mr. Messina will coordinate the city's internal and external communications, social media strategy, and work with the media. He is a native of New York but has lived in Toledo the past 15 years. Mr. Messina received a bachelors of science in journalism from St. John's University and was hired by The Blade in 1998. In 2000, he moved back to New York and worked as a senior editor covering programming for Cablevision Magazine and as a freelance journalist. In 2003, he rejoined The Blade and was assigned to cover education and later city hall. He lives in West Toledo and has a nine-year-old daughter.
Angela Lucas, executive assistant to the mayor
Ms. Lucas will coordinate the office of the mayor, assist him at meetings, and manage his daily schedule. Ms. Lucas is a graduate of Waite High School, a licensed practical nurse, and has most recently worked as a marketing consultant in her own boutique agency. Previous to starting her consulting business, she was a program director for a local non-profit. A strong community advocate, Ms. Lucas is a past member of the Cherry Street Mission board of directors and currently serves on the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women board. Ms. Lucas and her husband, Will, are both natives of Toledo and have three children.
Michael Beazley, senior policy advisor
Mr. Beazley will advise the mayor on a variety of forward-thinking proposals, policies and management strategies, including regional water, criminal justice reform, and governmental cooperation. Mr. Beazley has served in leadership positions in government and public policy for more than 35 years. He has served as director and chairman of the Lucas County Board of Elections, Clerk of Toledo City Council, Lucas County administrator, and Oregon city administrator. He has also served in board leadership positions in many nonprofit organizations.
David Mann, policy advisor
Mr. Mann will advise the mayor on forward-thinking proposals, policies and management strategies, with an emphasis on economic and community development. Mr. Mann has 13 years of experience supporting broad public policy initiatives, particularly in the areas of housing, real estate, economic development, and public infrastructure. He is president and chief executive officer of the Lucas County Land Bank, a quasi-public organization he helped to build in 2010 that has been repeatedly recognized as one of the best-performing land banks in the country. A native of Dayton, Ohio, he is a graduate of the University of Toledo College of Law, summa cum laude and a Toledo 20 Under 40 recipient.
Directors & Commissioners
Along with the mayor's office hires, Mr. Kapszukiewicz announced key directors and commissioners who will direct the day-to-day business of city government under his helm.
Dale Emch, an attorney with more than a decade of experience in a wide range of civil and criminal matters, will become director of law. Adam Loukx, the former director, and Eileen Granata will be retained in attorney roles within the department.
Ken Fischer, an electrician with 44 years of business and labor experience, will be hired as commissioner of building inspection and will help guide discussions with Lucas County about a potential merger of the departments.
Alan Bannister, a former manager of special projects with the department of diversity & inclusion, will be promoted to director and will oversee efforts to improve outreach to minority and women-owned business enterprises. Calvin Brown, current director of diversity & inclusion, will be retained in the department of human resources as manager of the city's employee benefits programs.
Bonita Bonds, acting director of neighborhoods, and David Scherting, director of information communication and technology, will remain in their current roles while a national search begins for permanent directors of both critical departments. In addition, Cynthia Geronimo, commissioner of code enforcement, will become acting commissioner of utility administration in the department of public utilities and a search process will begin for both commissioner positions.
A search process will also begin in early January for the commissioners of parks, recreation, and forestry, transportation, and fleet and facilities. Until qualified candidates are hired, the positions will remain unfilled.
In the department of finance, all commissioners will be retained while a search for a permanent finance director continues. The incoming finance director will be empowered by Mayor Kapszukiewicz to make long-term decisions regarding personnel in the department once hired.
Directors retained in their existing roles include Paul Rassmusson, director of public service, Ed Moore, director of public utilities, George Kral, chief of police, Luis Santiago, chief of fire and rescue, and Bill Burkett, who will serve as acting director of economic and business development until a permanent director is hired.
A national search process continues for several key positions, including chief of staff and safety director, finance director, and economic and business development director. Individuals with the necessary credentials continue to be sought through active job postings and a network of individuals and governmental organizations.