Board of Directors
The Port is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors appointed in equal numbers by the City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Appointees represent a broad mix of business expertise and civic leadership.
BOARD CHAIR: Charles J. Luken
Senior Counsel, Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP
Charlie Luken is Senior Counsel at Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP, a full-service corporate law firm with an office in Cincinnati. He joined Calfee’s Government Relations and Legislation group in 2006, after holding the mayoral office of the City of Cincinnati twice – from 1983 to 1991 and then again from 1999 to December 2005. In addition to his experience as Mayor, he also served as a congressman in the U.S. House of Representatives for one term and practiced law in the private sector for 24 years.
VICE CHAIR: Manuel M. Chavez III
President, Bombe Limited; Partner, FastPark
Manuel Chavez III is president of Bombe Limited and a partner at FastPark, a family-owned nationwide real estate and airport transportation provider. Mr. Chavez has 18 years of principal investing and operating experience focused on transportation, infrastructure, parking related real estate companies and transitional real assets. To date, he has directed the acquisition and development of more than 23 million square feet of central business district and transportation hub infrastructure and industrial real estate. Mr. Chavez also serves on the Boards of Trustees of The Music Hall Revitalization Company; the Cincinnati Art Museum; and the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee (CRBC). He is a member of the Young Presidents Organization and an executive member of the Cincinnati State Foundation Board of Directors. He was a founding member of the Friends of Children Society for the Pro Kids organization.
Dr. Pradeep K. Bekal, MD, FACG
Ohio Gastroenterology & Liver Institute
Dr. Pradeep K. Bekal, MD, FACG, is a Board-Certified Gastroenterologist who practices at Ohio Gastroenterology & Liver Institute, where he has been a member of its Governing Board for eight years. The accomplished physician is well-known within the local medical community and within the national GI community for his proficiency with advanced endoscopic procedures, such as ERCP and endoscopic ultrasound. He is Director of Endoscopy at The Christ Hospital, and teaches both medical students and Christ Hospital residents. Dr. Bekal is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Asian Indian Alliance, and President of the American Association of Gastroenterologists of Indian Origin. He graduated from Madras Medical College in Chennai, India, and completed his Residency in Internal Medicine at New York Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn, New York.
Sister Sally Duffy, SC
Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati
Sister Sally Duffy, SC is a well-known champion for those Greater Cincinnatians who live in poverty. She is the retired Executive Director of SC Ministry Foundation, a grant and policy organization dedicated to serving the region’s most vulnerable residents. At SC Ministry, she was responsible for its daily operations as well as its strategic direction around grant-making. In the past 20 years, SC Ministry has supported nearly 1,000 non-profit organizations locally, nationally and internationally, with more than $160MM in grants that align with promoting just conditions to ensure that everyone can choose to maximize their potential. She is involved in the Cincinnati Childhood Poverty Collaborative, the United Way of Greater Cincinnati Public Policy Committee and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber's Diverse by Design initiative; and serves on the board of Ohio Justice & Policy Center, a criminal-justice advocacy organization.
Rance G. Duke
Retired, Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc.
Rance Duke retired in 2015 from the Western & Southern Financial Group, where he started as a supervisor in the Treasury Department and rose to Vice President, Head of Investment Grade Credit at its subsidiary Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc. He is the former Chair, Board of Trustees for Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum, and is a current Trustee. Rance is a member on the boards of trustees for Bethesda Inc., Bethesda Foundation, and Cincinnati Art Museum. He previously served on the YMCA Board and was a member of the Community Advisory Board for Hospice of Cincinnati. He gained recognition as Vice Chair of the United Way and Community Chest Board of Directors. Rance was in the first class of the African American Leadership Development Program with the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati. He has over 37 years of treasury and investment experience at W & S.
Robert W. Fisher
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Washing Systems LLC
Bobby Fisher is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Washing Systems LLC, a leading provider of specialty chemicals and related products to the industrial uniform and linen rental markets. Fisher has also served in executive roles for the Texo Corporation, and Premier Manufacturing Support Services. Fisher serves as board member and treasurer of West Chester Holdings LLC, and is a founding member of the Cincinnati Regional Business Committee. Most recently, Fisher was named co-chair of the Build Our Bridge Now Coalition.
Damon D. Jones
Vice President of Global Communications, The Procter & Gamble Co.
Damon D. Jones leads global family care and P&G Ventures communications. Prior, he served as director of global company communications. His 2018 promotion aligns with Procter & Gamble’s initiative to combine its brand and company communications teams into a single, integrated global organization. Damon was appointed to the Board in 2016. He earned a bachelor of arts degree from Xavier University.
Mario J. San Marco
Economic Development and Real Estate Consultant
Mario San Marco recently retired as president of Eagle Realty Group, a member of Western & Southern Financial Group. With more than 40 years of diversified real estate experience, he guided Eagle Realty Group through numerous development projects across the United States, most notably the Queen City Square complex in downtown Cincinnati. He is active on numerous regional boards of directors responsible for economic growth and community well-being.
Patricia Mann Smitson
Patricia Mann Smitson retired in February 2018 from American Red Cross Greater Cincinnati Dayton Region, where she served as Regional CEO of the disaster relief and health education and services organization. Under Ms. Smitson’s leadership, the organization expanded to serve a larger geographic region and was recognized nationally for its diversity and inclusion programs. Prior to joining the Red Cross in 2012, Ms. Smitson was an attorney at Thompson Hine. She joined the law firm in 1993 and was named Partner in Charge of the Cincinnati office in 2001, serving in that role for over nine years. Smitson is often recognized for her leadership and community service efforts, including YWCA Career Women of Achievement, Thompson Hine’s Diversity Champion Award, University of Cincinnati College of Law Distinguished Alumni Award, and Cincinnati Human Relations Commission Cultures and Connections Diversity Award. She serves as Chair of The Port’s Finance Committee.
Shane M. Wright
Chief Financial Officer, GE Aviation
Shane Wright is the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for GE Aviation. During his GE career, Wright has held leadership roles of increasing responsibility, including Finance Manager, Asia Pacific for Transportation; Finance Manager, Asia, Europe and Africa for Energy; Financial Planning and Analysis Manager for Oil and Gas; CFO, Property and Casualty for Insurance Solutions and CFO for Transportation. Immediately prior to his current position, Wright served as CFO for GE Healthcare International. Shane serves as a member of The Port’s Finance Committee.