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Adult Member Spotlight

Meet an Exceptional Member from One of Our Programs

Leadership Toledo’s many accomplishments are only possible through the dedication and hard work of its members. Once each quarter, we spotlight an individual member so you can get to know them a little better – their life outside Leadership Toledo, their goals, their thoughts, and what they’ve learned from their service and participation.

Ian McClellan

Ian McClellan

Rudolph Libbe Inc., Marketing Manager

How are you Involved with Leadership Toledo – how long have you been involved?

My first exposure to Leadership Toledo was in 1997, when I was selected from my sophomore class at Springfield High School to attend Youth Leadership Toledo’s inaugural year. I remember being really nervous about what the program was going to be like – meeting kids from other schools – and trying to stand out in a crowd of kids just like me. By the end of the program year, I had made some amazing friends (several I still talk to regularly, 20 years later) and discovered a lot about myself and my city. I always knew that when I got older, I wanted to participate in Leadership Toledo, it was only a matter of time. In 2016, I was very lucky to have that opportunity when I was hired by Rudolph Libbe Inc. and they immediately saw the benefits of having me go through LT. I had high expectations of what the adult experience would be like, after waiting almost 20 years to go through – and I was so impressed with the program year, I can’t stop telling people about it. I won the ‘Bull By the Horns’ Award, Mr. Congeniality, and Class Marshall for my class – which I am very proud of! After going through my program year, I was really excited to be invited to join the Board of Leadership Toledo in 2017 – where I also sit on the Alumni Committee.

 

What was the group project that you worked on?

I was part of a group that served Polly Fox Academy, a school serving pregnant and parenting teens in Toledo. PFA had seen declining enrollment and wanted to have a team from Leadership Toledo review their current outreach programs and marketing, and help design a Marketing/Communications plan for the school moving forward. My group and I conducted a full SWOT analysis on their marketing programs and created a communications plan for them, including social media planning, website overhaul and an email-marketing system.

 

What has been your favorite project or moment?

Meeting and getting to know my classmates (in both my YLT and LT years) is my favorite part. I am networker at my core and truly enjoy meeting and developing relationships with people. It always surprises me what a big/little city Toledo is – that there are so many connections that we all have – and there are so many people we have yet to meet! I love that LT brings people together from different industries, demographics, age groups, backgrounds, etc… and creates a glue to bind us together toward a common good. Some of my favorite times are getting together with my classmates from both program years and continuing to impact the city.

 

What surprised you the most about Leadership Toledo?

I think what surprised me most was how little I knew about Toledo/NW Ohio’s history. I was born and raised in Holland, Ohio, and aside from 4 years attending Ohio University in lovely Athens (Go Cats!); I have spent my entire life here. On our regional tour – I was glued to the window of the tour bus like I was in Rome or Paris for the first time. There are nooks and crannies in this city that were altogether unknown to me – that I simply drove past on my way to something else. LT reintroduced me to the city I have spent my life in. And not just geographical landmarks – organizations, individuals, history, opportunities – that exist here that I had no idea about!

 

What did you take away from your participation?

I think the most important thing that I took away from both my YLT & LT experience is the network of like-minded people. Knowing that when I have opportunities to serve, a professional opinion or just an ear to bend on an idea, I know that I have 40 people who will drop what they are doing to help. Just behind that network of people, I think I most cherish the new knowledge of my city and my region, and the awareness of the organizations and opportunities that exist here for me to involve myself with.

 

What would you tell others who are considering going through the program?

Absolute no-brainer, you need to take part if you love Toledo and want to feel as connected as you can be to your city. But I would put one qualifier on WHEN someone should do it. Do it when you are ready to be immersed in the program and take full advantage of all the richness that you can take from it. You can only go through once, so do it when you are ready to commit to learning all you can and involving yourself in as deep a way as possible. There are so many opportunities to impact your program group and there is so much depth of experience in the year, you really need to be ready to give it your full attention. 

 

What do you see as the biggest challenges for our area? Do you have any insight addressing those challenges?

I think the biggest challenge for Toledo/NW Ohio is coordinating and activating a willing yet scattered group of people who are ready to volunteer and create positive change. The non-profit infrastructure and the opportunities to serve are here – but in my opinion – there is a lot of work that needs done on informing and mobilizing these people! As part of the Alumni committee for LT, one of my goals is to find a way to reconnect and purpose our hundreds of program graduates for this purpose! It’s not the whole answer, but it’s a start – and where someone is willing to start, people are willing to help!

If you have questions about Leadership Toledo or our programs, contact us!

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