Christiane W. Schmenk

Chris Schmenk has vast public sector experience. From economic development issues, public improvement projects, public-private partnerships and financing issues, she serves as general counsel and special counsel to community improvement corporations, port authorities, counties, municipal corporations and other political subdivisions. Likewise, she has been appointed outside counsel to business clients regarding Ohio’s economic development laws, programs and resources, including federal, state and local loan and grant programs, the use of tax increment financing, and the creation and operation of special improvement districts, joint economic development districts, enterprise zone tax exemptions and community reinvestment areas.

Chris currently serves as a Union County Commissioner, a role that complements her work in economic development and government relations. From 2011-2013, she served as Director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. In this position she restructured the department after the launch of JobsOhio and was a member of Governor Kasich's cabinet. Before becoming director, she was chief legal counsel for the department and assisted in the formation and launch of JobsOhio. From 2008 to 2011, she was the elected mayor of Marysville, Ohio.

Chris’s additional experience includes her position as in-house legal counsel for Wendy's International and as Vice President for External Affairs for The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. While at Scotts, she worked on complex legal matters including mergers and acquisitions, local and state permitting, governmental licensing and labeling, environmental health and safety issues, and employment matters. She also headed Scotts’ Government Affairs team.


  • International manufacturing facility in central Ohio

    Retained by an Italian-based company to provide all legal services in the construction and development of a 1.4 million-square-foot manufacturing facility in central Ohio. One of the main aspects of the site selection involved the environmental conditions of the site and environmental permitting issues in the project’s development. In this engagement, the firm assisted with various real estate, environmental and tax matters, including the negotiation of a variety of easements. The PUCO has approved energy efficiency rebates for the company’s combined heat and power systems which will result in significant cost savings and operational benefits.

Professional & Community Activities

  • Governor’s Executive Workforce Board, June 10, 2019-present
  • Union County Commissioner, January 1, 2019-present
  • Vice Chair, Foundation for Appalachian Ohio Board of Trustees
  • Member, The Hope Center Marysville Board of Trustees, 2012-present
  • Board Member, Women’s Small Business Accelerator, Inc., 2013-2016
  • Member, Ohio Northern University Board of Trustees, 2012-2017
  • President, Union County Chamber of Commerce, 2004, 2006
  • Member, Memorial Hospital of Union County Board of Trustees, 2005-2007

Presentations & Published Works

  • Presenter, "2019 Legislative Update- Potential Impacts to Economic Development," I-70/75 17th Annual Economic Development Summit, May 2019
  • Presenter, "Encouraging Cooperative Development Initiatives through JEDDs," Ohio Municipal League webinar, January 2017
  • Speaker, "Downtown Redevelopment Districts and Innovation Districts: A New Economic Development Tool,” City of Logan/Hocking County Forum on Downtown Revitalization, January 2017
  • Speaker, "What Type of Tools are in the Economic Development Toolbox for Our Community?" Champaign Economic Partnership's Economic Development Incentives Toolbox Training Workshop, January 2017

Awards & Recognition

  • Ranked, AV Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Named, Ohio Republican Woman of the Year, 2012


  • The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law (J.D., 1984)
  • Ohio Northern University (B.A., 1981)