New Members Named to Kent State Tuscarawas Board of Trustees and Foundation

Three community members have been named to the Tuscarawas County University Branch District Board of Trustees and the Tuscarawas County University Foundation at Kent State University at Tuscarawas.

Darlene Finzer of Stonecreek was appointed to the Tuscarawas County University Branch District Board of Trustees, which governs the campus. Finzer is a principal and the director of benefit plan audit services at Rea & Associates in New Philadelphia. She replaces Zoe Ann Kelly of Dover who retired from the board after 31 years of service.

Nicole Zesiger of Dover and Michael Davis of New Philadelphia were selected to fill positions on the Tuscarawas County University Foundation, which provides scholarships and student loans, and supports academic programs and campus projects.

“We are truly honored to have Darlene, Nicole and Mike join these important boards,” says Bradley A. Bielski, Ph.D., dean and chief administrative officer of Kent State Tuscarawas. “They each have had successful careers and bring recognized innovative leadership to the Board of Trustees and the Foundation. Nicole and Mike will be filling two new seats on the foundation. We recently expanded the foundation from 12 to 14 individuals to include additional community leaders who can contribute valued expertise.”

Finzer earned an associate and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Kent State. Since joining Rea & Associates in 1991, Finzer has been recognized as the inaugural Accountant of the Month by Accounting Today, the inaugural recipient of Rea & Associates’ Chet Stocker Award for Service to the Profession and was unanimously appointed as the director of the Ohio Society of CPAs Executive Board. In recognition of her professional accomplishments, Finzer received the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award from Kent State Tuscarawas. 

Along with a number of professional affiliations, Finzer is very active in the community as a member of the Kent State Tuscarawas Accounting Advisory Committee, a board member of the Full Life Center and a member of the planning committee for the local Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Also serving on the Tuscarawas County University Branch District Board of Trustees are: Chairman Frank Rose, attorney and partner with Fitzpatrick, Zimmerman and Rose; Vice Chairman James J. Pringle Jr., attorney with Kyler, Pringle, Lundholm & Durmann, LPA; Fiscal Officer Sally O’Donnell, senior vice president for First Federal Community Bank; Richard Farrell, columnist for The Bargain Hunter and retired editor of The Times Reporter; Blair Hillyer, CEO and chairman of the board for the First National Bank of Dennison and FNB Inc.; and Roger Lile, retired Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Judge.

Zesiger is the president of the First National Bank of Dennison. She has been in banking for 21 years. She earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from Ball State University, a master’s in business administration from Malone College and is an alumna of the Graduate School of Banking in Madison, Wisconsin.

Active in the community, Zesiger is a co-chair of the United Way Board of Directors. Previously, she served as chairman of the board for the Tuscarawas County Chamber of Commerce, and was a member of the Next Generation Advisory Board for the Ohio Banker’s League. She is a 2007 graduate of Leadership Tuscarawas.

Michael Davis of New Philadelphia is the chief executive officer and president of four Harley-Davidson dealerships throughout Northeast Ohio. He built and opened his first dealership, Adventure Harley-Davidson, in 2003, followed by the purchase of Mad River Harley-Davidson located in Sandusky in 2010, Rubber City Harley-Davidson in Akron in 2012 and Rock-N-Roll City Harley-Davidson in Cleveland in 2014.

Prior to building his Harley-Davidson dealerships, Davis held upper management positions with Atlantic Coast Airlines, Business Express Airlines and US Airways.

Since moving to the community in 2003, Davis has invested in the community and provided leadership to the Community Improvement Corporation of Tuscarawas County and Tuscarawas Chamber of Commerce, to name a few of his associations. Recently, Davis was named a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 in the Northeast Ohio Region. The award recognizes entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to business and communities. 

Davis attended Marshall University in West Virginia. 

Davis holds the office of secretary for the foundation. Also serving on the Foundation Board of Directors are: President Doug Ross, president of Romig Insurance Agency Inc.; Vice President Roger Lile, retired Tuscarawas County Common Pleas judge; Michael Cochran, assistant county prosecutor; Robert Espenschied, retired senior vice president for Credit Administration, First National Bank of Dennison; Kevin Gray, president, CEO and chairman of the board of Lauren International Inc.; Brian Hanner, account manager at ComDoc Inc.; Joseph D. Sekely, architect; Barbara Singhaus, certified public account and nonprofit consultant; and Michael Taylor, retired mayor for the city of New Philadelphia. O’Donnell and Rose are also members of the Foundation Board.    

“Recently, Doug Ross, president of the Foundation Board, appointed Molly Doughten and Zoe Ann Kelly to honorary emeritus status,” Bielski added. “Molly is one of the Tuscarawas Campus’ founders. She served on the Foundation Board for 22 years, from 1994 to 2016, serving as president and vice president. At the time of her resignation, she was serving as secretary. Zoe Ann was a member of the Foundation Board for 37 years, from 1979 to 2016, and a member of the Board of Trustees for 31 years, from 1985 to 2016. We are truly honored that both have accepted this important designation.”

For more information about Kent State Tuscarawas, visit

POSTED: Thursday, August 18, 2016 03:35 PM
UPDATED: Thursday, December 08, 2022 07:04 PM

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