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Meet the OAC's Newest Board Members

Governor John R. Kasich has appointed Mayor Thomas Johnson of Somerset, Caprice Bragg of North Olmsted, and Dr. Farid Naffah of Cortland to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) Board. Mayor Johnson and Ms. Bragg’s terms end on July 1, 2020, and Dr. Naffah’s term ends on July 1, 2018.

“The diverse experiences of these three individuals will serve Ohioans well,” said OAC Board Chair Jeffrey A. Rich. “Mayor Johnson’s time in elected office and the financial world, Ms. Bragg’s knowledge of nonprofit development and law, and Dr. Naffah’s work as a philanthropist will help our board continue to strengthen the arts in Ohio.”

We're excited to welcome our three new board members, and bet their bios will get you excited as well. Welcome to the OAC! 

Mayor Thomas Johnson
After retiring from a career international banking, Mayor Johnson returned to his roots and has helped to drive investment to Perry County and Ohio’s Appalachian region. Since Mayor Johnson’s election in 2009, Somerset has received more than $7 million in public and private grants, impacting civic infrastructure, economic development, arts and culture programming, and historic and nature preservation. He also served on Governor Kasich’s 2014 Arts and Culture Capital Bill Committee, which recommended $3.4 million in funding for 18 Appalachian arts projects. 

Mayor Johnson also currently serves as Chairman of the Board for Hocking College and was recently appointed to the Association of Ohio Commodores.

Caprice Bragg
Ms. Bragg is the vice president of development and external relations for Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Previously, she served as the executive director of external relations at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business and held several roles as a long-time employee of the Cleveland Foundation. Ms. Bragg has practiced law at Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff and at KeyCorp, and has been an employee benefits and human resources consultant with Ernst & Young. She is active on the boards of the Nord Family Foundation and In Counsel with Women, and has served on the boards of Lake Ridge Academy, the Estate Planning Council of Cleveland, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Western Reserve Links, and AdNet. An Akron native, Ms. Bragg graduated with honors from Oberlin College and earned her Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law. 

Dr. Farid Naffah
Dr. Naffah is a gastroenterologist in private practice at Avamar Gastroenterology, Inc., in Warren. Born in Beirut, Lebanon, he graduated from Columbia University as a Phi Beta Kappa member and remained in New York City to earn his M.D. from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He then completed a residency at the Mayo Clinic and a fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. While at Johns Hopkins, he earned a master’s degree with honors in computer science from the university’s School of Engineering. Dr. Naffah joined the staff of the Cleveland Clinic in 1988 before entering private practice. He has published several articles and book chapters, lectured in the United States and abroad, and appeared in The Best Doctors in America, in addition to his contributions as a local arts philanthropist.

All appointments remain subject to the advice and consent of the Ohio Senate.

The OAC Board is composed of 15 voting members appointed by the governor, and four non-voting members – two each from the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives. The Council Board is responsible for final approval of funding requests. The Board meets four times during a calendar year and all meetings are open to the public.

The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency that funds and supports quality arts experiences to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally, and economically. Connect with the OAC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website at


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