May 21, 2020
A Message from Laurie Aquilina, Chair of the Board of Trustees
It is with mixed feelings that I share with you Laurie Stein Marsh, Executive Director of Leadership Columbus, has announced she will retire in June after a 30-year tenure of tremendous accomplishment that has transformed this organization. In great part, through her efforts, Leadership Columbus has been ranked the fifth most highly ranked community leadership program in the country.
Throughout Laurie’s three decades as Executive Director, she has transformed countless lives, both personally and professionally. I know this both as a board member and as a graduate of Leadership Columbus.
Most importantly, Laurie has been the lead builder of our strong foundation that will carry Leadership Columbus far into the future. She designed an experiential, state-of-the-art curriculum designed to reflect current and critical issues confronting Columbus. As a result, graduates of Leadership Columbus leave with a strong sense of civic responsibility and a desire to become stewards who “hold our community in trust.”
Laurie recently received certification as a nonprofit board governance trainer from nationally recognized BoardSource, the gold standard for nonprofit board leadership. Consequently, Leadership Columbus will be incorporating these best practices into the educational program for participants, alumni and the community as a whole. This is a meaningful and lasting legacy. Laurie not only was instrumental in building Leadership Columbus but she also has continued to enhance our program with state-of-the-art best practices–thereby ensuring we will be producing strong leaders for decades to come.
Laurie was a 2011 recipient of the prestigious Women of Achievement Award from YWCA Columbus. She was one of four women inducted into the academy in recognition of her “above and beyond” contributions to the community. In 2013, she received The Art of Recovery Award from Southeast Mental Health Center and was recently presented with the “Legacy Leadership Award” from United Way’s Young Leadership Group at their 25th Anniversary Celebration. Laurie has walked the talk of community trusteeship through her service as a board member on the ADAMH Board, The Community Shelter Board, The Thurber House and most recently, Board Chair of Columbus Humane.
Her contributions extend far beyond this city. As a board member of the Association of Leadership Programs (formerly the National Association of Leadership Professionals), Laurie introduced best practices to community trusteeship training programs throughout the country.
Laurie’s passion, commitment and humanity have helped to define servant leadership for Columbus. Her legacy will be long evident in the ongoing success of our Leadership Columbus graduates whose civic contributions will continue to make our city a thriving and compassionate community in which to live, work and raise a family.
In this next chapter of Laurie’s life, she will continue to enjoy spending time with her husband Ty Marsh, and she will remain active in causes that improve our community’s quality of life.
We will share our interim plans with you in the near future.
Please join me in extending our deep gratitude to Laurie for her many contributions to Leadership Columbus. Her work will be long remembered, and she will be missed.
Chair of the Board of Trustees