January 5, 2009 (Columbus, Ohio) – After an extensive search and hiring process, the GAMA board proudly introduces John Ward as the association’s new Executive Director.
“John is the strong, insightful, and experienced leader that both GAMA and our industry need,” said Rick Loomis, president of the GAMA board. “This is a critical time. That’s why the board approached the search process with so much patience and diligence. We’re very pleased with this outcome. ”
“I’m excited about the opportunities ahead,” Ward said, “and ready to work with every level of our industry to overcome the challenges we all face.”
Ward replaces Anthony Gallela, who worked with GAMA for the last seven years. Gallela joined GAMA as the Events and Volunteer Coordinator, and then rose to Operations Director before being promoted to Executive Director in 2004. Gallela announced his departure from GAMA in September to become the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Bucephalus Games.
Ward brings a variety of strengths and experience to his new role as Executive Director of GAMA, particularly in financial management, operations, and governance.
He holds a Master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis in fiscal and policy management. His bachelor’s degree is in criminology, with both degrees from Ohio University.
Professionally, Ward has extensive experience in the military and in state government. Ward is a retired Army officer with over 23 years of combined service in the military police and engineer corps. His military experience has provided him opportunities to deploy to Europe, Central America, Korea, and the Persian Gulf for the first Gulf War.
Ward also has over 20 years of government service in the criminal justice field, most recently in the juvenile system as the state of Ohio’s Bureau Chief of Parole and then Bureau Chief of Community Facilities. In this last role, he supervised 12 small correctional facilities and managed revenue generation for Ohio’s juvenile corrections agency, as well as working with 12 governing boards in a variety of endeavors. He enhanced volunteer programs, developed data and outcome measures, and was able to assist them in operationalizing both economic and procedural efficiencies. He still serves on a national level working and consulting in the criminal justice arena.
Ward is also a small business owner, running his own martial arts studio for more than 16 years. His part-time business/hobby gives him first-hand knowledge of the challenges facing small businesses.
In his personal life, Ward is blessed with a loving and supportive wife Angela, their young son Johnathon, and his teenage daughter Nikki, who is with them part-time. They live in the Columbus, Ohio metro area.
Contact information (effective January 6, 2009):
Office 614-255-4500 x102