The Board of Directors of the Ohio Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association (OPMCA) has named Jennifer Breech Rhoads as the new president and CEO of the organization, effective Sept. 21.
OPMCA is a statewide advocacy group of 500 independent businesses, which own and operate more than 4,000 gas stations and convenience stores in Ohio.
Rhoads, who has served as the association’s chief legal counsel since 1999, succeeds Roger Dreyer, who retired earlier this month, as she moves into her new role.
“Jennifer has been a dedicated and talented leader at OPMCA for 10 years,” said James Patneau, Jr., chairman of the board of directors and owner of Free Enterprises, Inc. “Her leadership skills and commitment are evident to all who meet her. She was the unanimous choice of the search committee.”
Before joining 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 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, Rhoads has been responsible for handling regulatory and legal issues for the industry and 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.”
Rhoads earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Saint Louis University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University. She is also a graduate of the Columbus Bar Association Leadership Academy. Rhoads serves on the executive committees of the Ohio Women’s Bar Association and the Columbus Children’s Theater. She was appointed to the Ohio Fire Commission representing the flammable liquids industry by former Gov. Taft in 2003, and was reappointed by Gov. Ted Strickland in 2009. She has two children and resides in Powell.