Summer 2013 Follow the Leader Newsletter

Executive Director’s Report:

To the Leadership Columbus family ….including alumni, stakeholders, friends, community leaders, and especially our newest graduates, The Class of 2013, welcome to the summer edition of Follow the Leader!

Graduation – June 6, 2013!

Even the rain on graduation was viewed as liquid sunshine as our 53-member class proudly  received their diplomas, signaling an end to their experience in our Signature Program, but heralding the beginning of new paths to trusteeship and leadership in our extraordinary community!

The class was treated to group project presentations that were implemented for various nonprofits throughout our community- all designed to enhance and enrich the work of the various nonprofits while concurrently developing our class leaders’ leadership skills and passion for their topics.

Forty is the New Forty!  

Graduation concluded with a huge surprise for Leadership Columbus!  The Class of 2013, raised $4300 from its members to help establish a legacy fund for the ongoing support and sponsorship of Leadership Columbus programs and events.

This extraordinary generosity is most timely as we are embarking a new chapter in our history.  Not only are we implementing an exciting new strategic plan that the L.C. board and staff  has diligently and  enthusiastically developed  and prepared for implementation, we are getting ready to PARTY!

2014 is Leadership Columbus’ 40th anniversary, and the legacy gift we received will begin our campaign to encourage all alumni to pay it forward for our program and ensure the future of Columbus’ pre-eminent community leadership program.

The Most Memorable Class, Ever! (the class of 2013…and there IS a story behind this) has set the bar and we hope all alumni will remember what the L.C. experience meant to them and meet the challenge to support us as we unveil our case for support and the reasons that  Leadership Columbus is an investment your community.  You will be ensuring a community rich in leaders and stewards who will guide us to an even brighter future – Columbus is the star of Ohio – and we have our community leaders and to thank for our incredible successes.   There is still much to do, so there are still leaders to cultivate.  Thank you for being part of the community trusteeship legacy and we are anxious to celebrate our 40th with you!

Congratulations to the Class of 2013!

On the June 6th, Leadership Columbus celebrated its 39th graduation. The Class of 2013 was made up of 53 diverse community leaders representing a multitude of organizations including local companies, non-profits and public and private sector employers. Congratulations on your accomplishments and welcome to the LC alumni family! To see the class roster, click here.

Class Photo_small

Best Party, Ever! 2013 Recap

Our 5th Annual Best Party, Ever! took place April 4th at Shadowbox Live.

The 2013 Hall of Fame Award went to Christine Angel, Class of 1995. In January 2012, Ms. Angel was appointed to serve as Mayor Michael B. Coleman’s Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of External Affairs & Services. She brings an extensive knowledge and experience in local government, government relations and community affairs to the office.

Nationwide was the recipient of the 2013 Corporate Angel Award. Since Leadership Columbus’s start in 1974, Nationwide has been on our side, nurturing our growth and providing resources, talent and leadership to our critical mission of creating community leaders.

The Walk the Talk Group Project Award for this year was awarded to Spring Forward: Building Community through Gardening. SPRING FORWARD! was a family-friendly evening of fun, food and art held on May 11, 2012 to raise funds for, and awareness of, Franklinton Gardens, an urban agricultural initiative in one of Columbus’s most historic neighborhoods. The event raised over $12,000 for Franklin Gardens and featured a food truck court, coordinated through Dinin’ Hall, Columbus’s innovative food truck hub.

Thank you to all attendees and sponsors for an evening filled with entertainment, networking and reconnecting. We would also like to give a special thanks to our planning committee:

  • Chair – Suzy Swanson (’98), Swanson & Associates
  • Steven Fields (’12), Huntington Bank
  • Robin Grant (’09), Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
  • Laurie Beth Sweeney (’10), CCAD
  • Todd Tuney (’10), City Year Columbus
  • Frank Wilson (’09), AEP

Make sure to check out our Facebook page to see more photos!
AA SC1442 - Laurie S. Marsh - Leadership Columbus - Shadowbox Event - 04-04-2013-0612

LC Adds to Board

Leadership Columbus is pleased to welcome three new members to its Board of Directors:

  • Michael Buzek (’12), Vice President of Customer Experience, Grange Insurance
  • Robin Grant (’09), Associate, Vorys, Sater, Seymour & Pease
  • Brian Krichbaum (’12), Manager of Testing, Limited Brands/Victoria’s Secret
  • Deanna Stewart, Senior Vice President, Institutional Advancement, United Way of Central Ohio

Class of 2013 Reflects on Group Project Experiences:

With the spirit of being known as the “most memorable class,” the Class of 2013 gave a helping hand to eight Columbus non-profits as part of the group project component of the Signature Program.

One group (pictured below) worked with the Central Ohio Youth for Christ’s City Life Center, an afterschool youth center located in Franklinton that concentrates on at-risk teens in the area. The LC team organized a job and career exposure project to the Center’s youth, which include a Q&A interactive session and job shadowing opportunities with Leadership Columbus professionals.


Christina Wilson, training and development manager at the Center for Family Safety and Healing, was one of the six group members who worked with the City Life Center. This project was particularly significant for Wilson, she said, as it gave her the opportunity to serve Columbus’s west side – not only the location of the Center but also her childhood neighborhood.

“Offering mentorship to a young person from the program was important to me because I wanted to be a reflection of someone who understands where they come from and understands the quandary felt many times when personal urges drive you to do something different from everyone else,” Wilson said. “I wanted to show that there is life beyond the west ide and it’s waiting for them despite all the negativity that surrounds them.”

Another group partnered with the new Cristo Rey High School on a project titled “Apples for Students.” Beginning its inaugural year this fall, Cristo Rey will provide a co-educational, Catholic, college-preparatory education to promising students with limited economic and educational classes. Through various fundraising efforts, the LC team raised over $10,000 to equip every incoming freshman student with a fully loaded iPad filled with textbooks and apps to assist with their academics.

Chad Wulf, senior consultant/human capital management capability lead at Navigator Management Partners LLC, was one of eight LC participants who worked with the high school. Wulf’s experience on this project was very motivating, he said, as he was able to work towards the group’s goal of wanting to narrow the technology divide between traditional underserved public school students and their counterparts in better economic conditions.

“The Cristo Rey project team has had a fun and educational experience working together for an excellent cause,” Wulf said. “Our team from the beginning worked very well together and everyone had key skills and talents to bring to the table. Our sponsors were wonderful and very helpful all along the way… What more could you ask for from a team than one with a diverse set of talents, all engaged, all working together, all focused on a common goal with an engaged sponsor.”

To learn more about these organizations and the others, check out their websites:

  1. American Red Cross
  2. Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation (COCIC)
  3. Capital Area Humane Society
  4. Central Ohio Youth for Christ
  5. Cristo Rey High School
  6. Flying Horse Farms
  7. Mid-Ohio Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
  8. Ruling Our eXperience (ROX)

Professional Updates:

People on the Move:

  • Robbie Banks (’07) has joined Experience Columbus as Senior Visitor Experience Manager.
  • Aaron Brogdon (’12) was named partner at Squire Sanders.
  • Heather Forry (’12) and Tracie Ransom (’09) were promoted to partners at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP.
  • Michael Goldbeck (’09) joined Goodwill Columbus as Vice President of Finance and Administration
  • Melissa Hoeffel (’11) and Jonathan Secrest (’13) were named partners at Roetzel & Andress LPA.
  • Lee Ann Schwope (’13) was one of the 2014 Twelve Women You Should Know Honorees by Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD).
  • Maureen Thomas (’13) is now the Chief Administrative Officer at Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland.
  • Jeff Wahl (’13) was promoted to principal at Squire Sanders.

Alumni Board Appointments:

  • Stephen Brooks (’04) of Insight Bank joined the bank’s board of directors.
  • Chuck Gehring (’86) was appointed by Gov. Kasich to the Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators.
  • Lucy Godman (’09) has been appointed to Flying Horse Farms as Vice President of Advancement.
  • Karen Hanks (’01) now sits on the board of Buckeye Ranch Foundation.
  • Mary Jo Hudson (’00) was appointed to the Columbus Education Commission board.
  • Christy Hune (’02) joined the board of directors at Homeport.
  • Paul Naumoff (’04) is a new board member of LifeCare Alliance.
  • Dan Overmyer (’08) is now a board member for Conway Center for Family Business.
  • Greg Overmyer (’96) joined the board of National Church Residences.
  • Faith Williams (’99) joined the board of Furniture Bank of Central Ohio.
  • David Youse (’04) was named secretary of the American Institute of Architects – Columbus chapter.