Rhoads has served as the association's chief legal counsel since 1999. Her appointment was effective Sept. 21, 2009.
"Jennifer has been a dedicated and talented leader at OPMCA for 10 years," said James Patneau Jr., chairman and owner of Free Enterprises Inc. "Her leadership skills and commitment are evident to [image-nocss] all who meet her. She was the unanimous choice of the search committee."
Prior to the OPMCA, Rhoads served as an assistant attorney general under Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery. She is the first woman to be named as president and CEO of the retail organization in its 90-year history.
"We have great confidence in Jennifer's leadership," said Mark Lyden, president of truenorth and former OPMCA board chairman. "Her talent and personal qualities, as well as her experience and knowledge of the industry will allow for a seamless transition. Her vision will set the stage for a strong future."
As general counsel of OPMCA, she has been responsible for handling regulatory and legal issues for the industry. Rhoads has worked closely with state agencies, lawmakers and other regulators on behalf of the association's membership.
In her new role as president and CEO, Rhoads will provide leadership and direction in the development and implementation of policies, oversee all functions including advocacy, legal, operations, finances membership, communications and serve as the chief association administrator.
"We are operating in a complex industry during a difficult economy," said, Nancy Kister, OPMCA board member and head of O&P Oil & Gas Inc. "We have the utmost confidence in Jennifer's ability to educate and bring together key stakeholders to advance our mission so we can continue to provide affordable energy to consumers in Ohio."
The OPMCA is a statewide advocacy group of 500 independent businesses that own and operate more than 4,000 gas stations and convenience stores in the state. Its members provide more than 50,000 jobs to people working in retail service stations, convenience stores, truckstops and commercial fueling facilities in Ohio.
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