Commissioner Bios

A photo of Alan Bannister

Alan Bannister

Ohio political professional, former Ohio statewide political director for Joe Biden

For nearly 25 years, Alan has worked in government and politics in Ohio and Kentucky. Alan has deep roots, connections, and years of experience in Northwest Ohio politics and Toledo government, as well as statewide experience.

Alan has served as a Director, Manager, and Executive Assistant for five Toledo mayors, where he worked on civic engagement, small business, and smart cities initiatives, and was responsible for the city’s office of diversity and inclusion, the Board of Community Relations, and the Toledo Youth Commission.

In Governor Ted Strickland’s administration, Alan was Northwest Ohio Regional Director and managed projects for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

He was the Ohio Political Director for President Biden’s presidential campaign in 2020 and Secretary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016. He was also part of the Ohio political teams for President Obama’s presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012. Alan has been a regional political coordinator based in Toledo for every Ohio gubernatorial campaign since 2006.

A photo of Amina Barhumi

Amina Barhumi

Outreach Director at CAIR Ohio

Amina Barhumi is the Outreach Director responsible for organizing, engaging, and educating the Ohio Muslim community about voting, advocacy, and civil rights.

Amina has called Columbus home for over 11 years, along with her husband and 4 children. She has worked in various non-profits, focusing on efforts that support the empowerment and civic engagement of Muslims-Americans. More generally, her interests lie in developing and strengthening Muslim organizations and their corresponding communities.

Amina has earned her degree in Business Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and she is currently an MPA Candidate at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at the University of Syracuse.

A photo of Jeremy Blake

Jeremy Blake

Newark City Council member, Equality Ohio board member

Newark Councilmember Jeremy Blake has spent more than twenty-five years in service to others as a volunteer in the community, serving on various community boards and committees, Ohio Senate staff member, Newark City School Board President and a community organizer.

Since 2014, Jeremy Blake has been a member of Newark City Council from the 2nd Ward. Councilmember Blake has served as chair of the Finance Committee and chair of the Economic Development Committee. His current city council leadership posts are city council Chaplain, chair of the Rules Committee and Minority Leader.

Jeremy is currently volunteering at the state level as a board member of Equality Ohio. Jeremy is a member of the Licking County Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Downtown Newark Association, a lifetime member of the NAACP and a proud Newark Kiwanian. Additionally, Jeremy enjoys serving on the boards of The Main Place and Behavioral Healthcare Partners.

A photo of Jeniece Brock

Jeniece Brock

(OCRC Vice Chair) - Health Scientist, Policy & Advocacy Director for the Ohio Organizing

Jeniece L. Brock was born and raised in Akron, Ohio and is currently the Policy and Advocacy Director at the Ohio Organizing Collaborative. She previously served as the Director Deputy Director of the Ohio House Democratic Caucus, overseeing 97 legislative races. Jeniece is an advocate for the design and enactment of policies that improve and protect the well-being of underserved communities, and previously worked for Minority Behavioral Health Group to address health disparities in Summit County. She earned a Masters’ Degree in Health Sciences with an emphasis on Urban Health and Healthcare Administration from Cleveland State University.

In 2015, Jeniece was the first African-American woman elected as President of the Summit County Young Democrats where she served two terms. She received the 2019 Young Democrats of the Year Award from the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus in recognition of her leadership, activism, and management of local and state campaigns.

Jeniece serves as the Chair of the Campaigns Committee for the Young Democrats of America, Vice President of Membership for the Ohio Young Black Democrats, Secretary for the Ohio Young Democrats, and Campaigns Committee member for the Summit County Progressive Democrats.

Jeniece actively works with public servants, faith leaders, local residents, and nonprofits to develop programs that benefit all members of the community.

A photo of Dr. Ellen Greene Bush

Dr. Ellen Greene Bush

Community Member

Dr. Ellen Greene Bush lives on Catawba Island in Port Clinton on Ohio’s wonderful natural resource, Lake Erie. The health of our water, and the 2014 water crisis in Northwest Ohio, was the compelling reason for her jumping into volunteer work after retirement. She is a member of the League of Women’s Voters, a supporter of the Ohio Environmental Council and the Matriots, and a leader of American Promise Ohio. She has a PhD in Clinical Psychology from Bowling Green State University and a MS in Nursing from The Ohio State University.

A photo of Akii Butler

Akii Butler

Student Organizer at Ohio Student Association

Akii Butler was born in Virginia Beach, VA, and raised in Youngstown, Ohio. He is a graduate of Kent State University where he received his degree in journalism. Currently, he works as a Student Organizer for the Ohio Student Association where he puts his skills to work on multiple campaigns, as well as help students reach their full potential when it comes to organizing.

A photo of Dr. Richard Gunther

Dr. Richard Gunther

Professor Emeritus, Ohio State University

Richard Gunther is professor emeritus of political science at Ohio State University. In addition to over 100 scholarly articles, monographs and book chapters, Gunther is author or editor of 15 books, most of them dealing with political parties, electoral behavior, and transitions to democratic rule. He is the international co-coordinator of the Comparative National Elections Project which, to date, has undertaken 60 national election surveys in 33 countries. He is recipient of Ohio State University’s awards for Distinguished University Service and Distinguished Scholar.

Gunther has been active in redistricting reform efforts since 2005. He is co-author of the amendments to the Ohio Constitution (approved by over 71% of Ohio’s voters in November 2015) which will constrain or end partisan gerrymandering of the Ohio General Assembly, and one of the larger team that negotiated the reform of Congressional redistricting that was ratified by 75% of the voters in 2018.

A photo of Gregory Moore

Gregory Moore

(OCRC Co-Chair) - President & CEO of Promise for Democracy

Gregory T. Moore is one of the nation’s leading voting rights leaders and advocates who has a long and distinguished history of political empowerment and issue advocacy, serving in a number of leadership positions throughout his many years of grassroots organizing and program development at the local, state and national level. He is Currently the President and CEO of the Promise of Democracy Foundation, a Cleveland, Ohio based 501 C 3 organization committed to expanding voting rights and continuing his work of breaking down barriers to full participation in American Democracy.

Moore served 17 years as the Executive Director, Administrative, and Operational Manager of the NAACP National Voter Fund, (NVF) the 501 (C) (4) arm of the NAACP, from 2001 through 2018. During his tenure through the 2018 elections Moore was responsible for the overall coordination of national programs designed to promote voting rights, election reform and issues critical to the NAACP and its branches, while also increasing voter education and participation among African Americans and communities of color throughout the US. Since 2002 NVF’s efforts have registered over 500,000 voters nationwide.

Mr. Moore received his Bachelor of Science Degree from the Ohio University, College of Communications, in June, 1983, with a major in Organizational Communications and a minor in Political Science. After over 30 years of advocacy work, he has returned to school and will complete his Master of Public Administration (MPA) at the George Voinovich School of Public Administration at Ohio University in 2021.

A photo of Dr. Lis Regula

Dr. Lis Regula

Lecturer, University of Dayton

Dr. Regula is a lecturer in biology at the University of Dayton, where he teaches Human Anatomy and other undergraduate classes. Since earning his doctorate from Kent State University in 2013, he has taught at a wide range of courses at both public and private colleges, while continuing his involvement in community service. Dr. Regula’s research and advocacy revolve around intersections- whether that’s the intersection of members of an ecological community, or intersections of the natural and built environment, or intersecting identities in the fight for social justice. He has been building a life in Columbus since August of 2019 with his son, cat, and memory of his late husband, MJ Eckhouse.

A photo of Katy Shanahan

Katy Shanahan

All On The Line Ohio State Director

Katy Shanahan currently serves as the Ohio State Director for All On The Line, a grassroots advocacy campaign that is part of a national effort to end gerrymandering. She is an attorney who has worked in progressive electoral politics for over a decade with the mission of ensuring that all voters have equitable access to the ballot box and to fair representation. She received both her Juris Doctor and Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from The Ohio State University and is barred to practice law in the state of Ohio and Washington, DC.

A photo of Barbara A. Sykes

Barbara A. Sykes

President & CEO of Ohio Legislative Black Caucus Foundation

Barbara is Past State Director of Ohio AARP, Past President & CEO of Ohio United Way. A former 3-term State Representative, former Deputy Auditor in Summit County, and is the first African-American woman to have served on Akron’s City Council.

Barbara has been recognized for her community service through various awards such as the C. William Keck, M.D., M.P.H. Community Medicine Award, presented by Akron Community Health Resources, Inc., and has been named as Legislator of the Year by the Ohio Association of Children Hospitals, Second Harvest for Hunger and Voices for Children of Greater Cleveland.

Barbara earned both her undergraduate degree in social work and her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Akron. She and her husband, Vernon Sykes, have two daughters, Stancy and Emilia; and two grandchildren, Hugh, and Hope.

A photo of Chris Tavenor

Chris Tavenor

Staff Attorney, OEC Law Center

Chris is the OEC Law Center’s Staff Attorney, supporting the legal and policy teams in their efforts to ensure clean air, clean water, and clean energy for Ohio. He co-leads the OEC’s Emerging Leaders program, focusing on connecting young professionals in Central Ohio to the environmental movement and regional efforts to combat climate change. He also coordinates significant portions of the OEC’s democracy program and has planned the OEC’s annual Ohio Public Interest Environmental Law Conference since 2018. Chris studied Philosophy and English at the Ohio State University and graduated from OSU’s Moritz College of Law in May 2017. He is also a science fiction and fantasy author, publishing works under the name “C. D. Tavenor.”

A photo of André Washington

André Washington

President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) Ohio Chapter

André Washington started his labor career at the University of Michigan Medical Center, AFSCME Local 1583 where he worked for 13 years before being hired as an organizer for AFSCME Council 25 in Detroit, Michigan. He helped organize the Detroit Medical Center’s hospitals.

In 2000, André was hired by the Ohio Association of Public School Employees as a Field Representative in the Toledo area where he negotiated for 17 locals. In 2012, André received a promotion to OAPSE Field Representative/Special Projects Coordinator in Columbus, Ohio, representing over 3,100 employees of the Columbus City School District, where his primary focus is on labor arbitration and being the Chief Negotiator.

André also attended Wayne State University for the labor study two-year program. André Washington has been a member of many community and labor organizations during his labor career. He is a graduate of the George Meany National Labor College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Labor Studies. He is a lifetime member of the NAACP, where he served as a member of the National NAACP Resolutions Committee and currently serves as the NAACP Ohio State Conference Treasurer. André is an active member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), the League of Women Voters, pride@work, Ohio State Voice Table, the Central Ohio Labor Council, Labor Council for Latino American Advancement, and the Ohio Unity Coalition.