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Governor DeWine Reappoints Susan Allan Block, Juan Cespedes, and William B. White to OAC Board

On Sept. 17, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine reappointed Susan Allan Block of Toledo, Juan Cespedes of Columbus, and William B. White of Marietta to the Ohio Arts Council (OAC) board for terms ending July 1, 2024.

“Susan, Juan, and Bill have worked tirelessly to promote innovation and investment in Ohio’s creative sector. Their efforts have helped us to achieve a record-setting level of grantmaking, resulting in improved access to the arts in all 88 counties, particularly among counties in Southeast Ohio, Northwest Ohio, and diverse communities in between,” said OAC Executive Director Donna S. Collins. “I am thrilled that they have been asked to extend their commitment to public service. We are so fortunate to have a board full of leaders in the arts.”


Originally from Massachusetts, Ms. Block earned a Bachelor of Science from Wagner College and studied art history at Hunter College. After 25 years in New York City working in pharmaceutical sales, wholesale fashion, and as an assistant to C-Suite executives in banking, insurance, finance, and real estate, she followed her dream to Paris, where she studied and worked in the culinary arts for two years. From 2014-2017, Ms. Block owned and operated Vendome Pastry, located in Toledo. She serves on the board of directors for Block Communications Inc., a privately owned and operated national media and telecommunications company, as a founding member of the Ohio Advisory Group which supports the National Museum for Women in the Arts (NMWA), and as a member of the National Advisory Board to NMWA. She is a former trustee for Lourdes University, the Toledo Zoo, Toledo Children’s Hospital Foundation, and YMCA/JCC of Greater Toledo, where she served on the executive committee. Ms. Block maintains a close working relationship with the Toledo Area Humane Society and with H.O.O.V.E.S. - Healing Of Our Veterans Equine Service, which treats veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction.


Mr. Cespedes is a consultant with The Oxley Group, where he works in business development and government relations. With a background in financial services, he represents a diverse group of clients by promoting their interests to both state and federal government. After receiving a degree in finance from the Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business, Mr. Cespedes worked as an investment officer with the Ohio Treasurer of State's office. He also currently sits on the Capitol Square Review & Advisory Board and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.


A native of Marietta and a graduate of Marietta College with a degree in economics, Mr. White served four years in the United States Marine Corps and is a Vietnam veteran with the 1st Marine Division. In 1985, Mr. White co-founded Offenberger & White, Inc., a Marietta-based marketing consulting firm that works with national and international clients in design, development, application, and marketing of applied technologies employed by the biomedical, life science, and industrial laboratory community. In 2007 Mr. White was appointed a charter member of the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Foundation for Music Education and served as president until February 2016. He is a member of the Board of Directors, Vanguard Paints and Finishes, Inc., and the Ely Chapman Education Foundation. A practicing musician, Mr. White plays keyboards and performs with several area acoustic and rock bands. He also enjoys playing the air calliope in local parades and festivals.

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


Article by Justin Nigro, Operations and Public Affairs Director

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