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Staff

Kate Bauer, Executive Director

Kate Bauer (she/her) is the Executive Director of Leadership Columbus, where she is dedicated to cultivating leadership excellence and fostering community engagement within Central Ohio. She oversees the strategic direction of the organization, aiming to empower both emerging and established leaders through comprehensive training and development programs. Kate is a people-led, conscious leader committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

Before joining Leadership Columbus, Kate crafted and executed impactful philanthropic strategies at CoverMyMeds and Columbia Gas of Ohio. She developed community partnerships with local non-profit organizations, fostered employee engagement, and managed philanthropic grants. Kate has also held leadership development roles at NiSource and Big Lots Stores, Inc. where she supported teams by facilitating leadership programs, creating leadership development initiatives, and mentoring emerging leaders.

An active member of the community, Kate previously served as President of the board of directors for Dress for Success Columbus. She currently serves on the board of trustees for the Wexner Center for the Arts. Kate holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from The Ohio State University and a certification in Corporate Citizenship Management from Boston College. She is a 2017 alumna of Leadership Columbus.

Kate resides in Grandview with her two sons, where she continues to be an engaged community member.

Kathy Chipps, Development Director

Kathy Chipps (she/her) is a seasoned professional with a passion for driving positive change in her community. As the Development Director at Leadership Columbus, she combines her extensive experience in fundraising and strategic planning with a genuine commitment to fostering leadership excellence. With a background rooted in philanthropy, Kathy has successfully spearheaded numerous fundraising campaigns, forging lasting connections with key stakeholders and contributors. Her dynamic approach to development has played a pivotal role in advancing the mission of Leadership Columbus, empowering emerging leaders and shaping the future of the region.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Kathy is a multifaceted individual with a diverse set of interests. An avid culinary enthusiast, she channels her creativity into the art of cooking and entertaining. Her flair for crafting memorable dining experiences reflects not only a love for good food but a keen understanding of the importance of building connections around the table.

Kathy’s wanderlust extends beyond the boardroom, as she finds joy in planning and embarking on travel adventures. Whether immersing herself in the vibrant cultures of distant lands or discovering hidden gems closer to home, Kathy’s passion for travel is a testament to her adventurous spirit and open-minded approach to life.

A die-hard fan of Buckeye football, Kathy’s Fall weekends often revolve around the exhilarating energy of the game. Her unwavering support for the team not only showcases her commitment to local pride but also serves as a reminder of the importance of community bonds in fostering a sense of belonging.

Kathy Chipps embodies the spirit of Leadership Columbus through her multifaceted approach to both professional and personal endeavors. With a passion for bringing people together, and a love for exploration, she continues to make a lasting impact on the community she serves.

Collin Ries, Program & Marketing Manager

Collin Ries (he/him) serves as the Program & Marketing Manager for Leadership Columbus. He is the staff lead on the Leadership Columbus Signature Program and Nonprofit Board Governance Training, as well as providing programming and administrative support for the Leadership Columbus team. He also manages the organization’s marketing and social media presence.

Prior to joining the Leadership Columbus Team, Collin served as the Graduate Assistant for the Nonprofit Administration Program at John Carroll University (JCU), working to advance the program’s mission to “develop unapologetic social justice leaders.” He has also worked and interned in various capacities at the CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, Ohio Environmental Council and The Ohio State University.

A Columbus native, Collin holds a Master’s in Nonprofit Administration from John Carroll University and a Bachelor’s in Evolution and Ecology from The Ohio State University, as well as Certificate of Nonprofit Board Consulting from BoardSource. Collin was named a 2020 Nonprofit Leader of Tomorrow by the Nonprofit Administration Program at JCU. In his free time, he enjoys birdwatching in Columbus’s Metro Park system and continuing to explore all that Columbus has to offer.

Laddan Shoar, Central Ohio Leadership Academy Program Manager

Laddan Shoar (she/her) is the Program Manager for the Central Ohio Leadership Academy (COLA) for Leadership Columbus. She has a background in both corporate and non-profit sectors, with 18 years of financial services experience. She is passionate about organizing various community events, fundraising, and outreach opportunities with an emphasis on resource distribution and leveraging networks in order to serve community members of all ages and backgrounds. 
Laddan is committed to community connection and social justice, as they pertain to the health and sustainability of society and collective quality of life. She is an enthusiastic collaborator in advancing equity and opportunities for all.  

An avid Rotarian and board member serving three community organizations, she also serves on a local DEI Task Force. She is a transformational and emotional intelligence leadership mentor/coach, with a focus on heart-centered leadership. 

She is most excited about Leadership Columbus’s adoption of the COLA program and developing the leadership skills of young leaders in Central Ohio, to inspire them to lead with purpose and make a positive impact in their communities through collaboration and teamwork.  

Laddan enjoys the arts, traveling, gardening, community service, and spending quality time with family and friends.

 

Austin Gray, Summer Fellow

Austin Gray (he/him) is serving as the 2024 Summer Fellow for Leadership Columbus. Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, more specifically Clintonville, Austin has a  passion for helping his community. Throughout high school, Austin volunteered with Worthington and Westerville Special Olympics teams as well as the Columbus Italian Festival in the fall. Austin is a student at The Ohio State University pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Logistics Management from the Fisher College of Business. At Ohio State, he is involved with the group Camp Kesem, a non-profit organization that supports children whose parents are affected by cancer.


Austin is an avid supporter of anything Columbus or Ohio State. You will find him at Ohio State Football games during the fall, Ohio State Basketball games during the season, as well as Columbus Blue Jackets games and Columbus Crew matches throughout the year. In his free time, he enjoys cycling on the Olentangy Trail, playing basketball across campus, watching his favorite movies and shows, and golfing with his friends.