OPAE Director Dies Unexpectedlyposted 7/6/21 -- Dave Rinebolt, founding executive director of Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy, died unexpectedly July 1.
Rinebolt, who was again serving as OPAE's executive director after a working at the Department of Energy for three years, was 64. In the past year and a half, he fought harder than ever to make sure low-income Ohioans were not forgotten in pandemic relief.
"Even among a group of special people, Dave stood out," said LCCAA President and CEO Jackie Boehnlein. "It was his kindness and humor, I think. He helped so many people, including many here in Lorain County."
Dave joined OPAE as its initial Director in 1998, realizing that energy assistance programs and funding required its own advocacy on behalf of community action organizations. In his second run as OPAE’s executive director, Dave led the organization through one of the worst periods of our time – the COVID pandemic. He fought hard to make sure underserved Ohioans would not be ignored, lobbying the legislature to put moratoriums on utility bills and rent. Coming out of the pandemic, Dave and the team were again successful in convincing the legislature to roll over unspent energy assistance dollars from 2020 into 2021, an important win that will bring much relief to underserved communities.
A celebration of life for Dave will be held Friday, July 9 from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Findlay Elks Lodge, 900 W. Melrose Ave., Findlay.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be made to OPAE - Dave Rinebolt Memorial Fellowship, PO Box 1793, Findlay, OH 45839-1793, to support continuing education for attorneys in his field, or to Hancock County ADAMHS, 438 Carnahan Ave., Findlay, OH 45840, to support mental health initiatives in Hancock County.