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Bill Hilt, M.Ed., President

Bill Hilt is currently a teacher with Perrysburg Public Schools where he has been employed for eighteen years. Throughout his career he has focused on bringing global issues into the classroom.

In 2009 Mr. Hilt became the director of the Perrysburg Global Initiative. He has participated in and coordinated various programs over the years with educators and policy makers from around the world.

As member of the Ohio Department of Education’s Global Institute Planning Committee and a civic education consultant for the Gateway Partnership of CIVITAS International, Mr. Hilt has built a vast network of professionals interested in world affairs. His work with the partnership has enabled him to travel to Ukraine, Morocco and Indonesia. Mr. Hilt was the Ohio representative to the World Congress on Civic Education in 2010. This event included two hundred representatives from fifty-two countries and thirty states.

Bill’s hands-on approach has led to his hosting many international educators, students, and families, giving him a distinct perspective that he hopes to encourage throughout the local community. His vision has been an important factor in the creation of the World Affairs Council of Northwest Ohio.

Valerie Virag, Vice President

Valerie Virag is currently a Regional Director sub-contracted by American Cultural Exchange Service of Bellevue, Washington since 2005. Ms. Virag has worked with international exchange students as an outbound trainer and orientation leader for the past 15 years. Recently, with the inception of the State Department outbound USA student scholarship program, she helped conduct the outbound orientations in Washington DC for the American students traveling to China and Turkey.

Valerie’s students have performed at many schools and coordinated National International Education week activities-singing, dancing and educating the American students on a variety of countries and traditions.

Valerie’s ACES students serve as the flag carriers in the University of Toledo “Martin Luther King Parade of Nations” opening ceremony. She has participated in the Perrysburg Global Summit since 2009 with her international students and served on the planning committee in 2010.

Ms. Virag has traveled to Germany, Canada, Mexico, the Philippine Islands, the Bahamas, and Jamaica to visit schools and international families. Her family has hosted over 12 international high school and college students as a way to grow culturally and share their USA traditions.

Valerie was the founder and CEO of the National Healthcare and Housing Admissions and Marketing Association which she led for ten years. She served two terms on the Oregon James Wes Hancock Board of Directors and held the Vice President position.

As the elected vice-president for the World Affairs Council of Northwest Ohio, her goal is to help make WAC- NWO a leading Global Region in the USA!

Cindy J. Brock, Secretary

Cindy J. BrockCindy J. Brock is a Licensed Independent Social Worker from Toledo, OH. She holds a Master of Social Work from Eastern Michigan University.

Aside from international travel, she enjoys reading, making mosaics, and volunteering in her community. She is an Area Representative for foreign exchange students.

Cindy is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, having served in South Africa 2012-2014.

Richard Crepage, Treasurer

Richard Crepage Dr. Richard Crepage is a lifetime Northeast Ohio resident having grown up in McDonald.

He earned his A.B. in Mathematics, MS in Educational Administration, and his Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from Youngstown State University.

Rich is a retired educator after a 35 year career with 22 years as a math teacher, assistant HS principal and Middle School Principal in the Warren City Schools and 13 years as Director of Personnel, Local Superintendent at Pymatuning Valley Local, and Superintendent of the Ashtabula County Educational Service Center.

Following retirement, he began volunteering for the Cleveland Council on World Affairs. After a year “in retirement” he became Director of Education, then Administrative Director, and finally Senior Director of Outreach and Education—the position he held until leaving the organization in August, 2012. He serves as the Secretary and a National Board Member of the World Affairs Councils of America. His community involvement includes Advisory Board member of the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence, Global Cleveland Connections Committee, the Resource Council of the Center for Engaged Ethics at Hiram College. Rich is a Vice President of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation, member of the City Club of Cleveland, serving as a member of the Program Committee, the Cleveland Rotary, and a Board Member of the American Cancer Society’s Northern Ohio Region where he serves as Chair of the Health Initiatives Committee.

In addition, he is a Past President of the Board of the Youngstown State University Alumni Society.

He is very proud to serve as the Treasurer of the World Affairs Council of Northwest Ohio.

Rama Kannan, Membership Chair

Rama Kannan Ms. Rama Kannan is an award-winning faculty member and mentor at Owens Community College, Toledo. She has distinguished herself as a visionary educator who believes in the development of her students not only as scholars but also as educators.

She has served as a fine ambassador through her work with local and international students who consider her a mentor, friend, and advocate. She created the Institute of Management Accountants Chapter at Owens Community College, and through her dedicated efforts a large number of students have opportunities to engage with practitioners in their field and to be placed in positions of their choice. She serves as a Faculty Advisor to the Global Connections Club at the Owens Community College and works closely with international students, enhancing their awareness and understanding of national and international issues and events.

Ms. Kannan was selected to be part of the prestigious Owens Leadership Academy, Class of 2012. At the academy, she embarked on a yearlong adventure of personal and professional growth. As a leadership project, Ms. Kannan and her team organized ‘Diversity Day’ at Owens Community College. This initiative was very well received by campus and city communities and served as a precedent for many more campus wide cultural diversity events. Ever striving to expand her own understanding of diversity, she was an active participant in the State of the State Conference on Equity, Opportunity, and Diversity in Lima, Ohio.

Ms. Kannan has been a core member of the Owens International Education Week planning committee and plays an instrumental role in organizing International Education Week events. As part of the week-long program, she delivered a presentation on the “Economy of India,” educating audiences about the rising economic power of India and the complex historical and cultural aspects of India

Currently serving as Assistant Professor in the School of Business and Program Coordinator for the Accounting Program at Owens Community College, and as Adjunct Faculty at Lourdes University, Ms. Kannan received her Bachelor of Accountancy degree at Bharathidasan University in Trichy, India and her Master of Accountancy degree at Bowling Green State University, Ohio. She is an honorary inductee of Kappa Beta Delta, an International Honor Society.

Ms. Kannan can be reached at rkannan.wacnwo@gmail.com