Chamber COO named to military affairs task force


YOUNGSTOWN — The new chief operating officer of the Youngstown-Warren Regional Chamber, James Dignan, has been appointed to the newly created Ohio House BRAC & Military Affairs Task Force.

The task force will study and analyze current Ohio Department of Defense and NASA assets, resources and missions in anticipation of potential Base Realignment and Closure actions and other major mission realignment opportunities, the chamber announced in a news release Wednesday.

In the next couple of months, task force members will visit several military and NASA installations across the state, including the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna, to garner input about their missions, capabilities, contributions and future opportunities, as well as their economic impact to surrounding communities and concerns regarding a future BRAC.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, recommended Dignan for the task force.

“It is an honor to be nominated to represent our region on Ohio’s BRAC and Military Affairs Task Force. I look forward to working with this incredible team, assembled to develop recommendations for the state of Ohio and our local defense communities on how to best position the state to acquire new missions and retain our current missions,” Dignan stated in the news release.

Dignan, who served in the military for nearly 30 years, was commander of the 910th Airlift Wing at the local military installation from March 2013 to October 2016. He was also instrumental in the creation of the chamber’s Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission, launched in 2015 to highlight the military value of the local air station and other installations in eastern Ohio. Earlier this year, Dignan was named to replace longtime chamber president / CEO Tom Humphries when Humphries retires at the end of the year. Dignan began transitioning into that position as the chamber’s COO in June.