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William M. Denihan


For over 40 years, Bill Denihan has directed large government agencies at the state, county and local levels and is the recognized authority in turning around and stabilizing government in Ohio.

Currently, Bill serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County. In 2009, he directed the consolidation of both the Mental Health and Alcohol Boards. This is now the ADAMHS Board.

Bill considers himself a "public servant" and acts as a change agent of government who has made a difference serving as:
  • First Executive Director of Ohio's State Employee Relations Board (new bargaining collective for Ohio);
  • Acting Director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (built Inner Harbor and Euclid Beach as a State Park);
  • Director of Personnel, both for Ohio and Cuyahoga County;
  • Deputy Administrator and State Claims Director for the Bureau of Workers' Compensation (uncovered $10 million in Workers Comp fraud);
  • Chaired Nuclear Power Evacuation Plan for Ohio (after Chernobyl exploded in Russia);
  • Public Service Director for City of Cleveland (saved $14 million in first year);
  • Executive Director of the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services (reduced turnover rate from 33% to less than 3% in 18 months).

In law enforcement, he has served as the Director of Highway Safety for the State of Ohio, in charge of the Highway Patrol and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Enacted several DUI laws and removed politics for distribution of Drivers License and License Plate system.

He also served as the Cleveland Public Safety Director responsible for Police, Fire and EMS; and as Acting Chief of Police of Cleveland on two occasions. He stabilized the safety forces while making dramatic changes in reducing crime.

At the request of Catholic Bishop Anthony Pilla, Bill was appointed Chair of the Commission that reviewed and recommended changes to the Cleveland Diocese policy that handled allegations of sexual abuse against children by the clergy.

Bill is a native Clevelander and is personally invested in the City. He founded and was the first President of Cudell Improvement, Inc., a neighborhood development corporation located on Cleveland's Westside celebrating 40 years in business in 2014.

Bill was a candidate for Mayor of Cleveland in 2001, lost and retired. The Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board asked him to consider the position of Executive Director in December 2001. He started in July 2001 and organized the consolidation of the Mental Health and Alcohol & Drug Boards in July 2009 and has served as its CEO since.