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About Us

About the Port

The Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Development Authority was created in February 2007 to promote projects that will provide for the creation of jobs and employment opportunities and improve the economic welfare of the people residing in Lake County. The Port Authority is also authorized by state law to enhance, foster, aid, provide or promote transportation, economic development, housing, recreation, education, governmental operations, culture, research, and education.

In pursuit of this mission, the Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Development Authority is unique in the services it provides for the economic welfare of our community. Our services can assist would-be entrepreneurs to large corporations, small non-profits to large institutions and communities.

Advantages of Working with Port Authority

Ohio law makes port authorities very effective economic development tools. Port authorities have important development powers such as the ability to exercise eminent domain to acquire, lease, and improve property, and to issue tax exempt bonds. Because port authorities themselves are tax exempt, they can provide development services at a lower cost than private institutions.


David Anderson
Executive Director
[email protected]

Dave is a lifelong resident of Lake County and served as Mayor of the City of Willoughby from 1992 until his retirement in 2018.  He brings 26 years of experience in economic development, customer service and strategic and operational planning to the Authority.

As Executive Director, Dave is responsible for the implementation of the initiatives, policies and programs that are recommended by the Board of Directors.  He provides overall direction regarding the daily operation of the Port;  partners and builds relationships with regional stakeholders; and serves as a key point of contact for businesses and individuals wishing to advance economic and recreational opportunities in Lake County.


Timothy A. Cahill
Director of Public Finance and Controller
[email protected]

Tim is a native of Lake County and a graduate of Marquette University, with an MBA from Lake Erie College.

In his role as Director of Public Finance and Controller, Tim provides outreach to the community in the promotion of the Port Authority’s finance programs including bond financing, the Lake County Economic Development Loan Program, the CROP Loan Program, and the Port Authority’s energy efficiency financing programs.  He serves as controller and also is involved in the Port Authority’s business retention and expansion activities.

Tim brings to his position over 25 years of commercial lending and community development experience, and a network of relationships in Lake County.


Peter Zahirsky
Director of Coastal Development
[email protected]

Peter is the Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Development Authority’s Director of Coastal Development. In that role he is responsible for the implementation of the Lake County Coastal Development Plan, a comprehensive plan to increase public access to Lake Erie and encourage private sector investment based around that access. His previous economic development experience includes working as Executive Fellow for Economic Development for Cuyahoga County and as a member of the Business Development Team at the Greater Cleveland Partnership. Peter is a licensed attorney and a graduate of Cleveland State University’s Juris Doctor/Master of Public Administration dual-degree program, from which he also holds a certificate in Real Estate Development Finance.

Patty Fulop
Airport Manager
[email protected]

Patty is the Airport Manager for the Port Authority and oversees Lost Nation Airport. Patty has over 10 years’ experience as an airport manager and also currently serves as the secretary/treasurer of the Geauga County Airport Authority Board.  She has extensive experience as the fiscal officer and is responsible for all local, state and federal audits.  She is also experienced in matters of federal mandates and compliance issues.   One of her duties as airport manager is to write and manage grants on the federal, state and local level. Patty is a graduate of Cardinal High School in Middlefield, Ohio and a lifetime member of the Institute of Certified Travel Agents where in 1989 through education and years of service she earned her designation as a Certified Travel Consultant.


Debbie Connor
Assistant Controller
[email protected]

Debbie is the Port Authority’s Assistant Controller and manages the Port’s financial records, prepares invoices and pays bills. She is also in charge of payroll and other human resource functions. She handles banking needs and reconciles bank statements. She is also responsible for assisting the Controller with preparing budgets and board reports.