Party Officers

Elected Leadership

Mark Derrig - Chair
Mark has been a Democratic activist for many years. Throughout his career with AT&T, Mark has been a voice for his members on the job as their Chief Union Steward and in the political arena as the Legislative Chair for CWA Local 4302 for more than 20 years. Mark and his family have been involved with the Democratic Party in every way, helping to elect Democrats at every level of government. He is no stranger to the hard work and long hours required to make our Party a success, that's why in 2018 the SCDP honored Mark with the Labor Leader of the Year award.

Edna Borders - First Vice Chair
Edna is a lifelong Summit County resident. She is a graduate of Garfield High School and the University of Akron. She worked at the B. F. Goodrich Company for over 18 years in the Benefits Department, then the Human Resources Department for Summit County. Now her position is in the Law and Insurance Risk Management Department. She is the Wellness Coordinator and is also involved in the County's Community Outreach program. Edna is a past President of the Federated Democratic Women of Summit County, the First Vice President on the Executive Board of the Akron NAACP, and the past Board President of the East Akron Community House. She has been a member of Second Baptist Church for her entire life and has served as a Board member and in other capacities. She is also on the Concert Committee of Emmanuel Christian Academy School, which is affiliated with the House of the Lord. Edna has been involved with multiple successful political campaigns at the local, state, and federal level.

Omar Banks - Second Vice Chair
Omar banks was born in Chicago, IL, but has lived in Akron since the age of six. He works as an Assistant Director of Food Service for the John S. Knight Center, and also serves as the Union Steward there, and as a Business Agent with the International Alliance of Theatrical State Employees. He is very active in the community, volunteering with the Red Cross, and serving on several boards, including United Way of Akron, Summit County Children Services, and Tri-County Labor Council's Executive Board. He is also heavily involved in various church organizations, and assists in the youth department, Men's Fellowship, and sings in the choir at his church. Omar has worked and volunteered on numerous campaigns, and is dedicated to electing officials who stand for a platform that align with our democratic principles and values. He has three children with his high school sweetheart, Daleena.

Valerie McKitrick - Third Vice Chair
Valerie is a lifelong resident of Summit County and a graduate of Akron Garfield High School. She received two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree from the University of Akron. She retired from a 21-year teaching career in 2014. Val was elected to the Akron School Board in 2019. She is the president of the Summit County Progressive Democrats, the recording secretary for the Federated Democratic Women of Summit County, a silver life member of the NAACP, and a member of the League of Women Voters. She lives in Akron with her husband.

Morgan Ferrell - Treasurer
Morgan is a two-time graduate of the University of Akron. In 2020, Morgan earned her Master of Applied politics degree. While studying, Morgan gained extensive political research and data analysis skills. Upon graduation, she went on to become the Summit County organizer for the Biden campaign where she was a top organizer in Ohio and even the nation. Morgan then became the Organizing Director for Nina Turner in the Special Primary Election for the 11th Congressional District. Morgan brings her expertise in data analysis, organizing, and commitment to the Democratic party. She resides in Cuyahoga Falls with her two adorable cats - Sadie and Sophie.

Aja Mixon - Deputy Treasurer

Russ Balthis - Secretary
Russ started volunteering for the Democratic Party at the age of 17 and has not slowed down since. He has served as President of The Ohio State University College Democrats and the Summit County Young Democrats. From December 2006 to December 2008, Russ served as the Executive Director of the Summit County Democratic Party. In January 2009, Russ joined Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and served as his Chief of Legal Services. Then, Russ went to practice law with Benesch Friedlander Coplan & Aronoff LLP in the area of public finance and economic development. In January 2014, Mayor Don Walters appointed Russ Law Director for the City of Cuyahoga Falls. In early 2020, Russ stepped down as Law Director and was appointed to an at-Large seat on Cuyahoga Falls City Council. In addition to serving on City Council, Russ serves as a Senior Attorney with the law firm of Squire Patton Boggs in their Public Infrastructure and Finance Group. Russ was first elected Party Secretary in 2011 and through this role, looks forward to continuing to work with his fellow Democrats to strengthen our community.


Appointed Leadership

Bill Rich - Parliamentarian
Bill has served as the Summit County Democratic Party’s Parliamentarian under Chairs Jane Quine, Nancy Treichler, Russ Pry, Wayne Jones, Jeff Fusco, and currently Tom Bevan. Now serving as the Chairman of the Summit County Board of Elections, Bill has been involved in Democratic politics since the presidential election of 1972 in Rochester, NY, where he attended college. Bill moved to Akron in 1981 when he was appointed to the faculty of the University of Akron's School of Law. Shortly thereafter, he was elected to the County Central Committee. Over the years, Bill has served on the Party’s Steering Committee and its Constitution and Bylaws Committee. He is married to Roberta Aber, retired Executive Director of Planned Parenthood, who comes from a long line of yellow-dog Democrats.

Tom Bevan - Finance Chair

Tom is a founding partner of Bevan & Associates, LPA, a law firm specializing in the representation of working men and women across the State of Ohio. Tom has a special interest in representing past and present Summit County rubber workers, auto and aerospace workers, boilermakers, and tradesmen exposed to asbestos. He was the first attorney to win a jury trial in Summit County on behalf of a former rubber worker who died from asbestos-related cancer. He is a member of the Ohio Association of Justice, the American Association of Justice, and Public Justice Foundation. For the past 20 years, Tom has assisted Democratic candidates on many campaigns in various activities from fundraising to literature drops to poll greeting. Tom and his wife live in Boston Heights with their 3 children.

Brandon Plaza - Executive Director

Brandon is a two-time graduate of the University of Akron. He earned his Master of Applied Politics degree from the Bliss Institute of Applied Politics. He also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. Previously, Brandon worked for the Summit County Democratic Party as an Intern and Organizer during the 2022 midterms. He also worked as an Organizer in the Cleveland mayoral election. As an undergraduate, Brandon was an intern in the office of former Congresswoman Marcia Fudge. Brandon loves to travel, spend time with family, and cheer on the Cleveland Browns.