Naffah, Ryan Appointed to Ohio Arts Organizations

Dec 21, 2015
The Regional Chamber is pleased to recognize the appointments of Dr. Farid Naffah to the Ohio Arts Council and Eric Ryan to the Ohio Citizens for the Arts Board of Directors. The appointments mark the first time that Valley residents have been part of either group for at least several decades, if not ever.
The Regional Chamber is pleased to recognize the appointments of Dr. Farid Naffah to the Ohio Arts Council and Eric Ryan to the Ohio Citizens for the Arts Board of Directors. The appointments mark the first time that Valley residents have been part of either group for at least several decades, if not ever.
“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 & 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.”  
Ohio Arts Council/Dr. Naffah
The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences throughout Ohio. Created in 1965, the council is committed to the economic, educational and cultural development of the state. This is a commitment shared by Dr. Naffah, who was appointed to the Council by Governor Kasich.
The Warren gastroenterologist has a deep appreciation for the arts. At his home in Bazetta Township, Dr. Naffah has created the Cadobaz Entertainment Pavilion, an amphitheater surrounded by 97 wooded acres with a stage in front of a six-acre lake. Cadobaz stands for “Culture, Arts and Dining of Bazetta.”
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. Each year, the event features a performer and artists, including such names as Uruguayan actress and Helen Hayes award winner Dahd Sfeir and dancer Mark Ballas, from ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” 
The avid art collector and pianist is a graduate of Columbia University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed a three-year residency in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic, followed by a three-year fellowship in gastroenterology at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. While at Johns Hopkins, he also earned a master’s degree in computer science. 
In 1988, Dr. Naffah was appointed to the staff of the Cleveland Clinic, where he practiced gastroenterology for four years. He moved to Warren in 1992. 
Ohio Citizens for the Arts/Eric Ryan
The Ohio Citizens for the Arts works to ensure funding for the arts throughout Ohio. Its board of directors comprises residents from the state who have strong interest in supporting the arts. That board chose to appoint to the organization Eric Ryan, president and founder of JAC Management and Eric Ryan Productions, for the expertise he will bring.
Ryan is responsible for the turnaround of the Covelli Centre in Youngstown. In the fall of 2007 the City of Youngstown hired JAC to operate its $48 million, 6,000 seat arena on an interim basis.  After an extensive and national request for proposal process, the city permanently hired JAC in 2008. Just one year later, the facility boasted an astounding turnaround of more than a $1 million surplus, and the Covelli Centre has continued to flourish financially, with countless major concerts like Elton John, Kid Rock, Bob Dylan, Carrie Underwood and Rod Stewart.
Just last fall, JAC took over operations of Warren’s Packard Music Hall. Like the arena, the 2,000-seat-city-owned theater charged Ryan with the task of creating and implementing a plan to improve revenue streams and operational budgets. With a clear vision for the historic theater, he began booking a broad range of intimate performances, such as Huey Lewis and the News, Counting Crows, Blue Man Group and Joe Walsh, and the theater has already boasted a number of sold-out performances.
 
Ryan, a member of the Regional Chamber’s Board of Directors, is the secretary of the Better Business Bureau’s Board of Directors and serves on its executive committee. He is also a member of the Potential Development Program’s Board of Directors; trustee for the Struthers School Foundation for Educational Excellence; volunteer for youth programs for Struthers boys basketball; recipient of the 40 Under 40 award; and a top five among the Business Journal’s “Most Intriguing People” of 2010. This year, he received the Regional Chamber’s prestigious Salute to Business/Entrepreneur of the Year award.