Executive DirectorA second generation Greek American, Jim Trakas was born in St. Luke's Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio on May 5, 1965 and has lived in Independence his whole life.
Jim graduated from Independence High School in 1983 and The Ohio State University in 1987. He started working at age 9 delivering The Cleveland Press and later The Plain Dealer, and worked his way through school as a custodian for The Independence Public Schools.
Upon graduation, Jim worked at Allied Color Industries, Inc. making colorants for plastics. In 1991, Jim was elected to his first of two terms as a City Councilman in Independence. In 1996, he was elected Chairman of The Republican Party of Cuyahoga County, a position he held for 9 years. In 1998, Jim was elected to his first of four terms as a Member of The Ohio House of Representatives from south eastern Cuyahoga County. He served as House Majority Whip for two terms. Jim is the Legislative Father of Ohio’s “Third Frontier” jobs program.
Since January 24, 2011, Trakas has been Executive Director of The Ohio State Board of Cosmetology. In his tenure, Trakas has worked to contain costs without negatively impacting the Agency’s mission, has promulgated revisions to Ohio Revised Code, Inspection Policy, has taken testing internally to save over a quarter million dollars annually, and has lead efforts to modernize Board practices with technology, and prioritized procuring products and services from Ohio or U.S.A. made industries. Trakas serves on The Governor’s Task Force on Human Trafficking and has made combating that scourge an Agency priority.
Trakas lives in Independence with his wife Anne Kennedy Trakas, whom he married October 14, 2006 and their cats Slinky and Winston. They are active in their parishes, St. Paul Greek Orthodox Church and The Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus in Cleveland. They love history, current events, and antiques.