In September of 2017 Mike Cope was appointed President of the Ohio Coal Association. OCA is a trade organization that advocates publicly and legislatively on behalf of the Coal Industry in Ohio. Since then Mr. Cope has been the voice of the Ohio Coal Association advocating for Coal in the media and frequently testifying before both houses of the Ohio General Assembly.
Mr. Cope has a broad background in Government having served in local, county and state government. In 2013 he capped his public career serving as Assistant Director of Business and Human Resources for the Ohio Department of Transportation under then Director Jerry Wray. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), employs 4800 people, has the second largest interstate system in the United States with $2.8 Billion annual budget. Mr. Cope’s responsibilities included Finance, Facilities and Equipment Management, Personnel, and Information Technology.
Mike assumed his duties on January 11, 2011. ODOT the team was faced with a $1.8 B deficit in projects promised with no new funding on the horizon. At the time ODOT employed 5612 people with an operating budget of over $800M. Mike and Director Wray’s team set out to refocus the resources of ODOT with an immediate goal of saving and redirecting $200M annually from operating funds to capital funds. The team was successful however long-term funding and needs continued to look uncertain. Within one year the headcount of ODOT had been reduced to under 5000 with no layoffs and the operating budget had been reduced to around $600M!
Mr. Cope began his political career way back in 1973, when he was elected to the Harrison Hills Board of Education at age 18, the youngest elected official in Ohio. He followed his election to the school board by being elected Harrison County Treasurer in 1980 and re-elected in 1984. In 1986, he was nominated by the Republican Party and unsuccessfully sought a seat from the 98th District in the Ohio General Assembly. In 1989, he moved to Hilliard while working for the City of Columbus as Administrator for the Department of Human Services in the housing rehabilitation department. In the early 90’s, he went to work for then Governor Voinovich at the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Mr. Cope currently owns his own consulting company, Key Consulting. Key Consulting works with government and the private sector regarding transportation, energy and telecommunications.
Mr. Cope’s formal education includes two degrees. His undergraduate degree is in Business Administration from Ohio University in 1977. His Master’s degree is in Political Science/Public Administration from Ohio University in 1997. He and his wife Darlene have three children. The couple resides in Grove City, Ohio.