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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.

Adult Member Spotlight

NaTasha D. Baker, M.O.L.

Lucas County Job and Family Services – Program Administrator

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

I am a 2015 Leadership Toledo Graduate, as well at the winner of the Ms. Congeniality Award for 2015. J I became a member of the LT Board of Trustees Fall of 2015, where I served on the Governance Committee, as well as the Restaurant Week Toledo Committee. In 2016-2017, I served on the Alumni and Restaurant Week Toledo Committees. Currently in my third term, 2017-2018, I am the Co-Chair for Alumni Committee and still serving on the Restaurant Week Toledo committee. I attend the Board of Trustee meetings monthly.

What was the group project that you worked on?

The group project that I worked on was ‘Girls on the Run.’ This program’s mission is to inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident while using curriculum which integrates running. The focus of our project was to raise visibility in the schools and local community about this program.

What has been your favorite project or moment?

Networking with the various community organizations and getting to know my classmates that I now call my LT family. There are people in this program that I would not have otherwise come in contact with had it not been for this experience. I have now built personal and professional relationships with these leaders and different agencies. We now have the opportunity to utilize each other’s skills and abilities to give back to the community on different concerns and issues that arise. I am thankful that my employer allowed me to take advantage of this educational opportunity.

What surprised you the most about Leadership Toledo?

The thing that surprised me most about Leadership Toledo is that this wonderful program has existed for quite a while and yet I had no idea about it until 2014. Having gone through this experience, it has opened my eyes to the various programs that fall under the umbrella such as YIPEE, Youth Leadership Toledo (YLT), and Students In Action (SIA). In my opinion, we, as alumni and current students, have to talk about this program more in the community and in different arenas. We cannot limit ourselves to the same audience if we want this program to grow, reach more people and have more diversity.

What did you take away from your participation?

One of the things I took away from this experience is that I have a new outlook and respect for my hometown city Toledo. I am amazed at how much information I gained and learned about the city in which I was born and raised. This city has so much to offer people if we just took the time to learn about it. And had it not been for this program, I may not have taken the time to do so. The various organizations we visited during the program has helped to enhance and increase my desire to Lead, Connect, Grow and Serve. I am so very grateful.

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

I would tell others who are considering going through the program to enjoy every moment of the experience. I would tell potential LT candidates to really use this time to learn about themselves and develop their leadership skills both personally and professionally. My advice would be to use this experience to learn about all that Toledo has to offer and the rich history that we have locally. I would also recommend participants to stay active and engaged during the process and not just got through the motions of showing up for attendance purposes. Challenge yourself to connect and learn about your classmates and grow as a family outside of the ‘classroom.’ Use this program as a tool to help build your skills, make connections within Toledo and pour back into our community through service and volunteerism. 

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

One of the biggest challenges for our area is diversity and inclusion. We, as a community, need to make sure there is diversity on our boards, in our organizations, clubs, companies, etc.  People need to feel like they are valued and included and have a voice. In some instances, there are individuals at the decision-making tables who do not look like nor understand the issues/concerns of the people they are representing. This is definitely a challenge that I will always be a champion for and will continue to raise awareness to those in which I come in contact. 

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