Six years ago the residents of southwestern Cuyahoga County assigned me the important duty of serving our community in the Ohio House of Representatives. As I prepare to conclude this season of service, I wish to offer my sincere gratitude for this opportunity to be your voice in the Legislature.
I went to Columbus with the mission of placing our state back on a path toward prosperity. Together, we have done a great deal to achieve that objective. By enacting three balanced budgets, reducing taxes, and streamlining regulations, we have worked diligently to restore efficient, effective, and accountable government that is responsive to the more than 11.5 million residents of our great State.
Many of our choices have been difficult. The legislative process – and public policymaking more broadly – involves the allocation of scarce resources for seemingly infinite needs. During a period of economic recovery, we have endeavored to tackle some of Ohio’s most pervasive problems, such as funding for public schools and health care for the indigent, while simultaneously addressing more recent challenges like the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic that has swept our state. There is no question that these are tough issues. They will continue to require us – whether as legislators or citizens – to work together in the days ahead to develop real solutions.
As I prepare to depart the Statehouse, I thank you for choosing over the course of the past 72 months to engage in your own civic duty by communicating with our office. Ours is a representative republic. Although you have hired me to make important decisions on your behalf, please know how consistently I have relied upon the thoughtful input you and many other constituents have offered to help arrive at those policy conclusions when casting votes in committee or on the House floor. Self-government can only truly work when citizens interact regularly and vocally with those they send to represent them. I appreciate your taking the time to do so.
It has been one of the highest honors of my life to serve in the Ohio General Assembly. Thank you, again, for allowing me to represent you. Please keep in touch. I look forward to future opportunities to be of assistance to you and your family.
MICHAEL D. DOVILLA
7th Ohio House District
The Honorable Michael D. Dovilla
Mike Dovilla is the former Majority Whip of the Ohio House of Representatives, a U.S. Navy veteran and reserve officer, small business owner, and nonprofit leader. Mike’s passion is serving others by applying the principles of hard work, loyalty, and common sense to all of his endeavors.
Mike serves as Principal of The Dovilla Group, a strategic consulting firm founded in 2006 to engage in government relations, public policy advocacy, and leadership development. The firm offers policy expertise in education, energy and natural resources, and national defense, as well as resources for communications and nonprofit management.
From 2011 to 2016, Mike represented more than 116,000 residents of southwestern Cuyahoga County in the Legislature. Applying a work ethic that lead him to more than 55,000 doors during three hard-fought campaigns in one of the most competitive legislative districts in Ohio, Mike quickly earned the trust of his constituents and colleagues as a principled yet pragmatic legislator. His peers elected him during his third term to serve as Majority Whip, capping a rapid rise through the ranks of legislative leadership that included stints as Chairman of the Public Utilities and Oversight Committees as well as Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee during his freshman term. Among his legislative accomplishments, Mike authored 15 state laws designed to spur economic development, strengthen education, protect senior citizens, support veterans, and improve government transparency and accountability.
Earlier in his public service career, Mike served as an appointee of President George W. Bush at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, a principal advisor to former U.S. Senator George V. Voinovich, and a Presidential Management Fellow at the U.S. Department of State. He has also taught political science courses as an adjunct faculty member at Baldwin Wallace University.
Mike is a lieutenant commander in the Reserve Component of the U.S. Navy and currently serves as executive officer of a Fort Worth-based unit supporting U.S. Pacific Fleet. He entered uniformed service as a Direct Commission Officer in 2002 and earned his qualification as an Information Warfare Officer. In 2007-2008, Mike completed a 12-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. As Deputy Officer-in-Charge, he led a 25-person, Baghdad-based intelligence headquarters staff for Combined Joint Task Force Troy, the counter-improvised explosive device brigade in Iraq. His past reserve assignments have been with U.S. European Command, U.S. Forces Japan, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and Chief of Naval Operations. Mike’s military decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal (two awards), Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and various campaign and unit awards.
Mike holds a Master of Public Administration from The American University and Bachelor of Arts from Baldwin Wallace University. He is a lifelong student of leadership, U.S. and Ohio history, and American government and has completed additional coursework at the U.S. Naval War College.
A committed volunteer, Mike serves as National President of the Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity, a College Now Greater Cleveland mentor, and a member of the Kiwanis Club of Berea. In 2009, he was named an American Marshall Memorial Fellow by the German Marshall Fund of the United States. He is a member of The City Club of Cleveland, the Baldwin Wallace University Alumni Council, and numerous veterans service organizations. Made a Master Mason in 2002, he is an officer at Rocky River Lodge No. 703 and has been invested as an Honorary Legionnaire by DeMolay International.
Mike is a baseball enthusiast and diehard Indians fan since the Cleveland Municipal Stadium days. A voracious reader, he also enjoys cooking, travel, and spending time outdoors with his yellow Labrador retriever, Halsey. Mike resides in his hometown of Berea.
REP. MIKE DOVILLA
Northeast Ohio’s Legislative Leader
During six years in the Legislature State Representative Mike Dovilla has delivered for us with a record of results, earning the trust of his constituents and colleagues as a principled yet pragmatic legislator. His peers elected Mike during his third term to serve as Majority Whip, capping a rapid rise through the ranks of leadership that included stints as Chairman of the Committees on Public Utilities and Policy and Legislative Oversight. Among his accomplishments, Mike has authored legislation designed to spur economic development, strengthen education, protect senior citizens, support veterans, and improve government transparency and accountability.
Creating Jobs and Economic Development
- Created the Ohio Cybersecurity, Education and Economic Development Council to help drive job creation among young people in the growing information technology field and to improve alignment of state agencies in protecting Ohioans’ private information. 129-H.B. 331
- Enacted enhanced tax deductions for capital investments to support Ohio businesses seeking to remain in Ohio and expand their operations, leading to more job creation and economic development. 129-H.B. 365
- Established the Development Services Agency and TourismOhio to streamline state government’s approach to economic development and emphasize travel and tourism, Ohio’s fourth largest industry, which employs more than 500,000 people. 129-H.B. 489
- Expanded the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit to improve the state’s competitiveness with 38 other states that attract major motion picture productions, resulting in job creation and increased economic impact at a wide variety of businesses. 129-H.B. 521
- Made Ohio a friendlier state for new/returning residents with our common sense “Welcome to Ohio” law that eliminates the requirement for the driving test for new or returning Ohio residents who hold a valid driver’s license from another state. 130-H.B. 62 (enacted in biennial transportation budget)
- Supported Ohio’s manufacturers by designating October as Ohio Manufacturing Month to continue highlighting the importance of the state’s second largest industry. 130-H.B. 77
- Established an Ohio economic gardening pilot program, an innovative approach to economic development that is providing key investments for Ohio-based tier 2 companies seeking assistance with growth strategies. 130-H.B. 259 (enacted in S.B. 243)
- Advocated for Ohio agriculture, the state’s largest economic sector by creating the Ohio State Beekeepers Association license plate on behalf of the Buckeye State’s nearly 4,400 registered beekeepers and their 37,000 honeybee colonies that help pollinate plant life for much of the food we consume. 130-H.B. 474
- Supported American and Ohio manufacturing, construction, and maritime jobs by authoring resolutions encouraging the federal government to approve construction of the TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline, citing China as a currency manipulator, and urging the federal government to support plans to upgrade the Soo Locks at Sault St. Marie. 129-H.R. 305, 129-H.R. 384, 131-H.R 263
Promoting Effective Education
- Authored a fiscal transparency provision to require public school districts to report annually on the percentage of expenditures used to support instruction in the classroom versus administrative overhead – an effort to provide greater clarity to taxpayers on how their dollars are spent on public education. Enacted in H.B. 153, biennial operating budget for FY 2012-2013
- Fought successfully to support suburban public schools with budget provisions to hold harmless districts singled out for substantial reductions in state support or tangible personal property tax payments. 130-H.B. 59, 131-H.B. 64, 131-H.B. 208
- Reformed Ohio’s charter schools in a comprehensive manner for the first time in a dozen years, dramatically improving oversight, increasing transparency, and demanding accountability for this educational option. 131-H.B. 2
Protecting Our Seniors
- Created Ohio Elder Abuse Awareness Day to increase public awareness of the innocent victims of elder abuse, exploitation, self-abuse, or neglect. 129-H.B. 215
- Authored the Ohio Elder Justice Act to comprehensively revise the laws regarding Adult Protective Services for the first time in over 20 years. The legislation unanimously passed the House and substantial provisions were included in the operating budget for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017. 131-H.B. 24
Advocating for Veterans
- Improved voting for deployed military members by streamlining the processes for Ohio’s military personnel and overseas residents to register to vote and cast an absentee ballot while overseas. As a disenfranchised voter while deployed to Iraq in 2007, Rep. Dovilla is passionate about protecting the rights of those who defend our rights in the U.S. Armed Forces. This was his first bill enacted as a legislator. 129-H.B. 224
- Expanded Ohio National Guard & War Orphan Scholarships to allow private funding and expand eligibility to children of deceased or severely wounded service members who participated in an operation in which the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal was awarded. 129-H.B. 280
- Supported Ohio’s veterans by reforming and modernizing the Ohio Department of Veterans Services, expanding options available to veterans who seek college degrees or occupational licenses, and creating a uniform process for awarding college credits to veterans for military training. 129-H.B. 490, 130-H.B. 488
- Enhanced protection for Ohio’s military families by increasing penalties for identity theft when the victim is a member of the Armed Forces or a spouse. 130-H.B. 471 (enacted in H.B. 488)
- Honoring military children by recognizing the “BratPin,” a device worn to honor those who grew up as dependents of military service members. The pin pays tribute to the commitment and sacrifice required of military families as their loved ones serve our Nation. 131-H.C.R. 26
Reforming State Government
- Conceived the “Open Ohio” financial transparency initiative to require the Ohio Treasurer of State to maintain an online database of state agencies’ expenditures. The Treasurer has taken the initiative to implement our legislation with ohiocheckbook.com. 131-H.B. 46
- Introduced anti-corruption provisions to help restore public trust in government by stripping the public pensions of felons convicted of the state-level crimes of extortion and perjury and equivalent federal crimes. The legislation passed the House. 131-H.B. 284
Representing Our District
Supporting Economic Development
- Advocating for Local Businesses
A small business owner, Rep. Dovilla is a vocal advocate for the district’s business community. He has assisted local companies in their efforts to expand their operations, and navigate bureaucratic state agencies.
- Hosting Small Business Roundtables
In concert with local chambers of commerce, Rep. Dovilla has regularly convened small business roundtables to hear directly from Ohio’s job creators about actions state government can take to make Ohio more business-friendly.
- Organizing The Jobs Summit
In 2012 Rep. Dovilla partnered with Strongsville Mayor Perciak to convene The Jobs Summit, a gathering of leaders from small businesses, construction and building trades, public safety, public education, and local government – opening a dialogue on ways in which all sectors of the economy can work together to make Ohio more competitive and create jobs.
Listening to and Communicating with Constituents
- Holding Office Hours & Town Hall Meetings
Rep. Dovilla has held 48 sets of office hours in the communities of his legislative district. These opportunities for “one-on-one, no appointment needed” meetings with constituents have brought state government directly to the people.
- Fighting for Turnpike Noise Mitigation
As a non-voting member of the Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission since 2011, Rep. Dovilla fought for and secured the Turnpike Mitigation Program, a $5 million annual appropriation to help local communities pay for noise abatement, storm water mitigation, and road repairs needed as a result of the Turnpike’s proximity to our homes and businesses.
- Engaging in Open Communication
Rep. Dovilla has exchanged over 18,000 letters, notes, emails and phone calls with constituents. He regularly presents commendations to worthy citizens and businesses, welcomes new home buyers with letters, and recognizes individuals for their accomplishments with personal notes.
- Advocating for Transparent Government
Rep. Dovilla sends a monthly electronic newsletter to thousands of constituents, informing district residents about his activities at the Statehouse and throughout the district and seeking their input on issues that are important to them.
Engaging Citizens of All Ages
- Establishing the Elementary School “Legislator for A Day” Reading Program
This partnership with Cuyahoga County Public Library branches and elementary schools in our district encourages youngsters to read and learn about Ohio history and government. During the program’s six years, over 1,200 students grades 1-6 have read more than 6,000 books, and hundreds of kids and their families have visited the Ohio Statehouse for a day with Rep. Dovilla.
- Partnering with Baldwin Wallace University Students
Rep. Dovilla is a regular guest lecturer in multiple departments of the university and an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Political Science, where he teaches a course on Ohio’s political history. His district office also offers internships to BW students seeking substantive experience on a wide array of public policy subjects.
- Reaching Out to Senior Citizens
Rep. Dovilla exhibits great respect and care for older Ohioans in his legislative work and constituent services. He is a regular visitor to assisted living centers and other senior citizen communities throughout the district, making presentations on his work in Columbus, attending art shows and other programs, and holding town hall style meetings with constituents.
- Hosting Guest Pastors at the Ohio Statehouse
Rep. Dovilla has welcomed Rev. Ken Spink, Rev. Kristine Nielsen, and Rev. Dr. Patrick Hunt to open a session of the House with prayer, providing an opportunity for the district’s faith community to connect with leaders in state government.
Leading in the Legislature
Appointed to Serve in Key Positions
- House Majority Whip, 131st General Assembly
- Chairman, House Public Utilities Committee, 131st General Assembly
- Chairman, House Policy and Legislative Oversight Committee, 130th General Assembly
- Member, House Finance and Appropriations Committee, 130th & 131st General Assemblies
- Vice Chairman, House Education Committee, 129th General Assembly
- Vice Chairman, House Ways and Means Committee, 129th General Assembly
- Chairman, House Majority Caucus Policy Committee, 129th General Assembly
- Member, Joint Committee on Gaming & Wagering, 130th General Assembly
- Member, Legislative Service Commission, 131st General Assembly
- Commissioner (ex officio), Ohio Turnpike & Infrastructure Commission, 129th, 130th & 131st General Assemblies
- Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Lake Erie Caucus, 130th & 131st General Assemblies
- Founder and Co-Chairman, Suburban Caucus, 129th General Assembly
Earning Accolades for Leadership & Service
Selected Awards & Recognition
- Benjamin Rose Institute Katz Advocacy Award, Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging, 2015
- Small Business Advocate Award, Council of Smaller Enterprises, 2014
- Robert E. Hughes Memorial Award, Ohio Association of Election Officials, 2014
- Distinguished Governmental Service Award, Ohio Association of Career Colleges & Schools, 2014
- Susan E. Hand Friend of the Industry Award, Ohio Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus, 2013
- Outstanding Leadership Award, Consortium Against Adult Abuse (C3A), 2012
- Watchdog of the Treasury Award, United Conservatives of Ohio, 2012