Ex-Chamber CEO to lead national recycling agency

YOUNGSTOWN – James Dignan, ex-president and CEO of the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber, has been named president of a nonprofit waste recycling organization.

The Center for Environmentally Responsible Materials, headquartered in Washington, D.C., also has offices in Youngstown, where it plans to build a research and development facility.

The corporation is “dedicated to providing scientific and economical technology solutions to the crisis in recycling of plastics and other wastes,” a release Wednesday announcing Dignan’s appointment states.

Dignan will manage the organization’s activities and collaboration with state and local governments, Youngstown State University and other corporations and organizations. He will report to the organization’s CEO Paul N. Cicio.

Dignan “brings a depth of experience, leadership and relationships having worked with both the public and private sectors,” said Cicio. “It is no accident that CERMR plans to build its R&D facility in Youngstown. Ohio is home to the largest plastic industry cluster in America and is recognized as a leader in the industry worldwide.”

Before leading the chamber, Dignan was deputy director of global force management and mobilization at the Pentagon, and as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force commanded the 910th Airlift Wing at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna.

“I am excited to join CERMR to help develop an economical yet environmentally responsible materials recycling solution right here in the Mahoning Valley,” Dignan said. “CERMR’s proposed partnership with YSU will help establish the university and our region as a global technology leader in materials recycling processes and in key research and development efforts with vast potential.”

The organization is working with public and private groups to fund construction of the research and development facility on recycling waste plastic, electronic scrap, tires, medical and municipal waste.

The chamber’s board in November voted not to renew Dignan’s contract, which expired at the end of December. He had worked for the economic development organization for two years. To replace Dignan, the chamber brought back his predecessor, Thomas Humphries.



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