Board of Directors
Welcome the OLBA
Board of Directors!
Gus Frangos was the primary drafter of Ohio’s House Bill 294 and S.B. 353 establishing enhanced-capacity County Land Banks, and expedited administrative tax foreclosure policy. Mr. Frangos now serves as the President and General Counsel of the Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation.
Mr. Frangos served as the 13th Ward Cleveland City Councilman and as a Magistrate Judge in the Cleveland Municipal Court where he worked diligently in crafting legislation and developing programming to benefit the constituents he served.
Mr. Frangos graduated with honors from Cleveland Marshall College of Law in 1982 whereupon he served as an associate attorney at the law firm of Ulmer & Berne from 1982 to 1986 concentrating in business law and litigation.
Carol Knapp is the Executive Director of the Huron County Land Bank, a newly formed land bank in Northeast Ohio. As a newly-formed land bank in a small, rural county, it is her desire to represent the smaller land banks on the OLBA Board. She hopes that the OBLA will be successful in obtaining funding sources for all land banks in the coming year and advocating on behalf of all land banks.
Carol has also been in the economic development profession since 2001 where she administered Moving Ohio Forward Demolition Program for Huron County and she brings this experience into her new role as the Executive Director of the HCLRC.
Ric Wasserman is the Treasurer of Athens County. After a lengthy career in business he was elected Treasurer in 2018 and has made leading his nascent county Land Bank a top priority. His belief in the potential of Land Banks to change communities for the better drives his work in the Appalachian communities surrounding the more prosperous city of Athens.
In just over two years the Athens County Land Bank has acquired over 150 properties, demolishing some and disposing of others to rehabbers creating renewal in the county’s small communities.
Ric is a 1987 graduate of Ohio University with a BS in Communications.
Eddy Eckart is the Executive Director of the Ashtabula County Land Bank, and has held that position since September 2018. Eddy’s background is in Economic Development consulting, government advocacy, and real estate. Since taking his role at the Ashtabula LRC, Eddy has worked to develop new programming like home rehabilitation efforts, residential property surveys, and strategic land assembly partnerships with communities. Eddy is also active in the Ashtabula community, serving as Vice President of the Ashtabula County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Board of Trustees and also on the Harpersfield Township Zoning Board. Eddy holds a B.A. in English from Kenyon College and an M.B.A. from Case Western Reserve University.
David Mann is the President & CEO of the Lucas County Land Bank, a quasi-governmental non-profit organization based in Toledo, Ohio whose twin goals are to strengthen neighborhoods and preserve property values in a revitalizing legacy city. In this role, David manages a staff of 11 accomplished professionals and an annual budget of more than $7 million. David has been actively involved in housing, redevelopment, public policy, and land banking issues for over a decade. A recipient of numerous awards including Toledo’s 20 Under 40, David also serves as Policy Advisor to Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz and is an attorney of counsel with Marshall & Melhorn, LLC. David graduated from the University of Toledo College of Law, with highest honors, in 2012.
Patrick Bravo is the Executive Director of the Summit County Land Bank, located in Akron, Ohio, and has served in that role since 2014.
Active in the community, Patrick is also President of the Akron Public Schools Board of Education, Chair of the Board of Trustees for Child Guidance and Family Solutions, and a member of the Salvation Army advisory board. Patrick has previously served on the Board of Trustees for ReWorks (formerly, the Summit/Akron Solid Waste Management Authority) and the Summit/Medina Business Alliance, as well as numerous other committees and activities within the community. He is a member of Torchbearers, a graduate of Leadership Akron’s Community Leadership Institute, and a graduate of Class 32 of Leadership Akron.
Patrick holds a Bachelor’s degree from Kent State University, a Master’s in Public Administration & Urban Studies and law degree from the University of Akron, and has completed the coursework for a Ph.D. in Public Administration & Urban Affairs from the University of Akron.
Thomas P. Schneider is the Director of Operations for the Lawrence County Land Reutilization Corporation. Tom is a U.S. Navy veteran, studied Paralegal and Criminal Justice at Marshall University and has twelve years of residential and commercial real estate experience with the law firms Edwards, Klein, Anderson and Shope Co. LPA (2004-06) and Klein and Hall LPA (2006-14). Tom then transitioned from private to the public sector, first working for Lawrence County’s Department of Jobs and Family Services (2014-16) and assumed the position of Director of Operations for the Lawrence County Land Reutilization Corporation in August 2016.
Mike has served in a variety of planning, economic development, and real estate development projects and leadership roles during his career. These projects and roles included the redevelopment and management of a nuclear weapons superfund site, developing and operating an incubator, sale and development of a golf course residential community. Today he manages the Montgomery County Land Bank, whose mission is to address distressed real estate. He serves on the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) Ohio and Dayton boards, and Greater Ohio Policy Center Revitalization Committee.
Philip Denning serves as Executive Vice President for The Port. He leads the Neighborhood Revitalization team, including housing development across a spectrum of affordability, the development of business districts to include community entrepreneurs, as well as the work done throughout the County to bring vacant, blighted properties back into productive use. Prior to joining The Port, Philip led the City of Cincinnati’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) where he facilitated strategic development and services to improve the lives of residents, increase business investment, and bring new vibrancy to Cincinnati neighborhoods. Philip directed negotiations for nearly $2 billion of private investment, restructured Department operations, and incentivized the creation of thousands of new market rate and affordable housing units. Philip is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati’s School of Design, Art, Architecture & Planning. He currently serves as a Board Member of the Cincinnati Development Fund.
Shawn is a native of Warren, Ohio and has worked at Trumbull Neighborhood Partnership as the Trumbull County Land Bank Director since the organization’s infancy. The Trumbull County Land Bank was established in 2010, and has seen tremendous growth since its inception, building robust programming to address the vacancy and blight that has plagued Trumbull County communities. The Trumbull County Land Bank has been successful in developing and implementing programming that is accountable and accessible to our residents.
The TCLRC has addressed thousands of vacant, abandoned properties since its inception, the TCLRC has performed over 700 demolitions and 300 housing renovations, transferred 1200 side lots and completed nearly 100 vacant land reuse projects.
Debora is executive director of Mahoning County Land Bank (MCLB), the fourth county land reutilization corporation to be incorporated in Ohio. She is a lifelong resident of northeast Ohio, a graduate of Youngstown State University, and a former reporter with The Vindicator, the daily
newspaper in Youngstown. She was a founding member of the board of directors of Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation from 2009 to 2015.
MCLB has a staff of five full-time and four part-time employees. The organization has managed more than $16 million of residential demolition activities with reimbursement awards from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and Ohio Housing Finance Agency. It also played a key role in land assembly for the developer of a self-chilling beverage can, who is now building a factory in Youngstown, his hometown.
Before MCLB, Debora was executive director of a regional council of governments that also was tasked with vacant land revitalization and operated on a limited budget. “Our work was challenging, but we were able to gain traction and make some positive changes,” she said. She offers to share her experiences with newly-formed land banks to help them succeed and to advocate for land banks of all sizes as a representative of OLBA.
Amy grew up outside of Mansfield, Ohio, the daughter of a demolition contractor. She spent 25 years as a graphic artist (whose job was outsourced to India). Being forced to make a mid-life career change, Amy attended North Central State College where she obtained her Associate in Applied Business and Paralegal Studies. After nearly a year working as an (unpaid) intern for the Mansfield’s Law Director, she was hired by Donnie Mitchell (Mansfield Community Development Manager) to administer the Moving Ohio Forward grant. As the grant was winding down she was lucky enough to catch the eye of Richland County Treasurer Bart Hamilton. Her vast skill set has allowed her to assist in the development, day to day operations and management of Richland County Land Reutilization Corporation.
Curtiss is currently serving as President/CEO of COCIC, The Franklin County Land Bank. For the past five years Curtiss served as COCIC’s Vice President.
Curtiss is a highly respected economic development/development practitioner with over thirty years of experience. His professional work history in the private, public and quasi-public sectors has given him insights into the many issues facing communities and development organizations as they consider their planning, development and economic development agendas.
He has served on the Board of Directors of national, statewide, regional and local organizations. He has a BA from Ohio State University. He has received his certification as a Housing Development Finance Professional (HDFP) from the National Development Council.