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Gov. John Kasich Taps Retail Brand Owner Les Wexner to Improve Ohio’s Image

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 6:51 PM

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Gov. Kasich answers questions after his year-in-review speech. (Photo: Statehouse News Bureau)

The state’s top Republican leaders say Ohio is taking great strides to improve its business climate but the rest of the country may be having a problem receiving that message. As Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports, the governor is turning to a big time business mind for help.

Gov. John Kasich says Ohio has an image problem.

“Because sometimes when people live in California, I don’t want the spouse getting worked up that they might be moving to somewhere in Ohio because they don’t have an ocean,” Kasich said.

He admitted this during his annual review of accomplishments made by state government leaders. This year that came in the form of a speech to the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

As the governor explained to members of the chamber, fixing that image problem and getting someone to visit the Buckeye State can go a long way.

“When people get on an airplane and they move to Ohio, they never leave,” he said.

That’s why the governor is recruiting the help of a major hitter in the business world: Les Wexner. Wexner started The Limited and expanded his company to include stores such as Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works.

Kasich says looking to Wexner for help is like a quarterback getting advice from Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning.

“So I don’t know whether we’re going to have a Victoria’s Secret-type marketing plan for Ohio, but it isn’t a bad thought, is it, huh?” Kasich said. “Talk about cool and exciting. We’ll see.”

After his announcement, Kasich was asked to provide more information about Wexner’s involvement with the state’s marketing effort. The governor said the details have yet to be ironed out.

This comes about three months after it was announced that JobsOhio would hire a PR firm to help improve its own image.

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Economy, Government/Politics

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