News & Events

Interim Executive Director Announcement

June 5, 2020
A Message from Laurie Aquilina, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Leadership Columbus

On behalf of the Leadership Columbus Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce that Program Director Robbie Banks has been appointed as the interim executive director of Leadership Columbus, effective July 1. As announced on May 21, Laurie Stein Marsh will retire June 30 after a remarkable 30-year tenure of leading Leadership Columbus.

Columbus native and Leadership Columbus Program Director Robbie Banks will serve as interim executive director while the Board of Trustees conduct a search for a replacement. Robbie has served as program director at Leadership Columbus for two years. Robbie does a fantastic job managing and directing programs that fulfill the Leadership Columbus mission, and she embraces a 21st century vision for community leadership development while embedding opportunities for participants to work on their leadership skills.

The Board of Trustees and I are confident Robbie will take this opportunity to build off of the strong foundation of this organization and keep the robust momentum going. She has done a great job pivoting in this pandemic and navigating the Signature Program Class of 2020 through impactful programming in both innovative and virtual ways.

In her former roles, Robbie has led efforts directed at young professionals to attract and retain talent while she worked at the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. She was a point person for community issues related to young professionals and administrator for the Create Columbus Commission.

Robbie also worked in the hospitality industry as the director of visitor experience for Experience Columbus, the destination management organization for the Greater Columbus region. She launched and led the Experience Dedicated® Destination program, which works across hospitality industry sectors to enhance the city’s visitor experience.

Robbie was also responsible for the Greater Columbus Tourism Ambassador Program, part of a national certification program for front-line workers and volunteers. In five years, under Banks’ direction, the destination’s program grew to become the largest Certified Tourism Ambassador™ program in the U.S. and Bermuda.

Robbie will lead the Signature Program Class of 2020 closing retreat and graduation on July 16 and onboard the new Class of 2021, which starts in September.

The Board of Trustees will hire a search firm to determine a pool of potential candidates for the executive director. The board hopes to make a permanent appointment by year’s end.

Please join me in thanking and supporting Robbie as she takes on this additional responsibility. Her hard work and passion for Columbus and our organization is greatly appreciated and will keep us on mission to develop our community’s trustees.

Laurie Aquilina
Chair of the Board of Trustees
Leadership Columbus