Meet Jim Trakas
A product of The Greatest Generation, Jim Trakas is a second-generation Greek American who has lived in Independence his whole life.
Jim’s father, Peter W. Trakas, fought in World War II with the 95th Infantry Division in General George Patton's 3rd Army and his mother Kathy L. Trakas worked at the Veterans Administration before they settled in Independence. His parents’ experiences profoundly affected Jim’s value system of hard work, education, and family.
He started working at age 9 delivering The Cleveland Press and later The Plain Dealer. He, then, worked his way through school as a custodian for Independence Public Schools.
Jim is a graduate of Independence High School and The Ohio State University.
Upon graduation, Jim worked at Allied Color Industries, Inc. making colorants for plastics. He began his career as a third shift factory worker and eventually became Corporate Materials Manager for the company, studying polymer chemistry at Akron.
Jim has a long history of leadership in our community. In 1991, he was elected to the first of four terms as a City Councilman in Independence. He also served four terms as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, and was a member of the House leadership team.
Throughout his tenure in public service, Jim has worked to make government more innovative and responsive. Among his achievements, Jim is the legislative father of Ohio’s Third Frontier high technology jobs initiative, which has helped bring cutting-edge research and good-paying jobs to Ohio. He also led efforts to make Ohio’s colleges and universities more efficient, with a focus on college affordability and saving tax dollars. Trakas is committed to continuing this work as our next State Representative.
Jim’s public service has earned him widespread praise and numerous awards. He earned the United Conservatives of Ohio Watchdog of the Treasury four times in four terms as State Representative and was named Conservative Legislator of the Year. He earned the American Nationalities Movement Leadership Award, as well as awards from the Center for Families and Children, Ohio Biomedical Research Association, and dozens of other groups who recognized Jim for outstanding leadership.
Jim is the founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of American Online Learning Center, an online intervention program that helps people with issues such as substance abuse and addiction.
Trakas is a Greek Orthodox Christian and is a member of St. Paul Greek Orthodox Church in North Royalton, while his wife attends the Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus in Slavic Village. Jim is on the Board of FOCUS Cleveland, St. Herman’s House of Hospitality Homeless Shelter and is President of the State Guard Association of Ohio. Trakas is currently a 1st Lieutenant and HHC Company Commander, 1Battalion, The Ohio Military Reserve; 4th Civil Support and Sustainment Brigade, a non-combat state defense force authorized by the Ohio Constitution, and did not serve in the Federal military. Jim has earned six military decorations including The Ohio Achievement Award and Commendation Medal.
Trakas is married to Anne Marie Kennedy, and lives in the Independence with his wife and four cats; Smokey, Winston, Chester, and Ollie.