DeWine to appoint new ODA and OEPA Directors

Dorothy Pelanda (left) and Laurie Stevenson

COLUMBUS — Republican Dorothy Pelanda of Marysville, a former member of the Ohio House of Representatives, has been nominated by Governor-elect Mike DeWine to serve as the next director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

The announcement was made this morning, Jan. 10, at a Statehouse briefing.

Pelanda represented District 86, which includes Union and Marion counties, first appointed in July 2011 to fill an uncompleted term. She served as majority floor leader, majority whip and assistant majority whip.

Pelanda ran for secretary of state in the early season running up to the 2018 primary election, but ended her bid in October 2017.

Prior to running for public office, she practiced law in central Ohio. She is a graduate of Marysville High School, Miami University, and the University of Akron School of Law.

Pelanda is married to Sam Gerhardstein and they have three adult children.

Also at the briefing, Laurie Stevenson, deputy director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, was nominated to lead the Ohio EPA. She has served with the state agency for 20 years, and holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental health from Bowling Green State University and a master’s degree in public health from The Ohio State University.

Information taken from the article in the Farm & Dairy Journal (;

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