Leadership UA Partners with the PAST Foundation to bring the GIFT program to UA Youth

Growing Innovative leaders For Tomorrow (GIFT) is a summer camp program designed for Upper Arlington Youth entering grades 8-10. This program teaches leadership skills through the service learning experience of developing a “3D garden sphere.” Participants will learn to work together as they build a unique suburban garden and develop plans to market their harvest for the benefit of those in need.

Food insecurity is one problem in our society that people may not think much about. Did you know 1 in 8 Americans and 1 in 5 children in the US are food insecure? By participating in this program your youth will learn skills in teamwork, business, giving back to the community, and how to be a leader amongst their peers. They will also have an added benefit of learning more about social issues related to food and hunger.

This program is brought to you through a partnership between two non-profit organizations: Leadership UA and the PAST Foundation. Leadership UA educates, engages and inspires current and emerging leaders to take an active, effective role in our community. Established in 1988, Leadership UA provides both adult and youth programs that strengthen leadership skills, broaden understanding of local issues, and connect participants with others in the community. The PAST Foundation partners with K12 schools, post-secondary institutions, as well as industry and community partners by designing and researching new and innovative programs that deliver rigorous and relevant education.


The above is an image of a 3D garden sphere.

Timing   June 2017 – Mondays and  Wednesdays 9:00a-4pm – 8 sessions

Cost: $300/participant

Registration Deadline: June 2nd


Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Annual Spring Celebration!

The Spring Celebration was lots of fun. Thank you to everyone who was able to join us to celebrate our graduates and award honorees. We are proud to have another wonderful group of leaders graduate from our adult program. The 2017 Class graduates are: Victoria Barkin, Haley Callahan, Julia Johnson Davis, Kristen Easterday, Joe Henderson, Joe Lotozo, Debbie McLaughlin, Jennifer Mox, Chelsea Fulton Rubin, Lanny Rubin, Shahin Shoar, and Becky Wilkins. Congratulations graduates!

 Each year, Leadership UA (LUA) presents awards to outstanding community members who have demonstrated an exceptional devotion to our community, a vision regarding the community’s needs and the empowerment of others within our community.  This year, Leadership UA is awarding three community service awards:

The Margine Moul Award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated an exceptional devotion to our community. The award is given in honor of Margine Moul who served as the first Leadership UA Executive Director on a volunteer basis for six years. This year the award goes to Cathe Armstrong who recently retired as the City of Upper Arlington’s Finance Director after 21 years in this role and a three-decade career with the city. Her leadership is a key factor in the city receiving top credit ratings from Moody’s and S&P Global in 2007, an accomplishment she and her team maintain since receiving it in 2007.

Cathe Armstrong receives The Margine Moul Award, presented by City Manager Ted Staton.

The Exceptional Leader Award acknowledges someone who has demonstrated exceptional vision and inspiration in the community. This year the award goes to Mrs. Stori Rex. Mrs. Rex has taught Windermere Elementary School students the value of kindness and service to others. She set up a daily route for Windermere families to deliver Meals on Wheels to seniors around Upper Arlington. She develops the monthly schedule for daily delivery of meals, trains new volunteers and keeps the program running smoothly. She has also set up daily routes for BEARS pre-school and worked with each grade level at Windermere and LifeCare Alliance to fill holiday wish lists for home bound seniors in our area.

Mrs. Stori Rex shares why it’s important to give back and the lessons it teaches our children.

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a Leadership UA program alumni who has shown exemplary leadership in the community through their involvement and activity in the community. This year the award goes to Mr. Samir Dahmin, a 2011 graduate of LUA. Mr. Dahmin along with his wife, Amalee Dahmin, founded The Berkshire Triathalon, a 501(c)(3) charity. Since inception 5 years ago this event has raised more than $45,000 for sick children in Central Ohio benefitting Flying Horse Farms, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and the Ronald McDonald House charities. In 2016, the event raised over $16,000 and 100% of the proceeds of The Berkshire Triathalon go to charity. The 2017 event will take place June 11th at the Mallway Park, registration is now open at www.berkshiretri.org.

Samir and Amalee Dahmin accept The Distinguished Alumni Award.

We would like to thank Budros, Ruhlin and Roe Inc. for sponsoring the evening. We also thank The City of Upper Arlington, The UA City Schools, and The UA Public Library for their continued program support.


Upper Arlington Neighbors Love Their Community

Leadership Upper Arlington Spearheaded Successful Six-Word Project

Upper Arlington, OH- What’s to love about Upper Arlington (UA)?  At the top of the list is schools, its people, sense of community, the parks and safety of the area.  This information was gathered over the course of a month this winter from hundreds of Upper Arlington residents, employees and friends through an initiative where they could share their personal love stories about Upper Arlington in just six words.  The project was coordinated by the 2017 Class of Leadership Upper Arlington in collaboration with Larry Smith’s “Six In the City: Columbus” project (sixwordmemoirs.com/cbus).

The program was hosted within schools, libraries, and businesses across the city.

Here are some six-word love story examples from across the City:

  • “Green spaces for children to grow”
  • “The teachers throw kindness like confetti”
  • “Centrally located community, rideable for families”
  • “A place that encourages community involvement”
  • “Older adults are cherished and respected”
  • “Great businesses, great people, fun times”

“We were impressed with the amount of participation by our local businesses as well as neighbors and friends,” said Haley Callahan, a member of the 2017 Leadership Upper Arlington class.  “It was exciting to see and be reminded of the many reasons why UA residents love this incredible neighborhood.”

Leadership Upper Arlington classmates were inspired to host the six-word story initiative throughout the neighborhood based on the Six-Word Memoirs concept created by Larry Smith, a Columbus resident.  Smith’s Six-Word Memoirs has been utilized by local and national groups alike from Pelotonia and the Columbus Museum of Art to the ACLU and Volkswagen’s MINI Cooper.  The initiative was a way for individuals to express themselves around a positive unifying concept- in this case the community of Upper Arlington.

The 2017 Leadership Upper Arlington class envisioned this project as a way for community members to build a closer connection and become part of something larger than themselves.

“Not only did this project open the hearts and minds of residents,” shares Debbie Johnson, Mayor of UA, “but we also were able to see the core values of our community members shine through.  I can personally relate to the top mentioned themes and these ideals help drive my decision-making process within the community.”

“This was an excellent way to gather a list of our community’s values.  As we gear up for UA’s 100th anniversary, I believe our core values have stayed fairly consistent since 1918- sense of community pride, our people, and meeting the needs of our residents for a high quality life- and that is something to celebrate!”

Both the Upper Arlington Community Foundation and the City of Upper Arlington sponsored the Leadership Upper Arlington Six-Word project.

Individuals of any age participated by creating and posting their six-word personal love story about Upper Arlington at the following locations from February 14 through March 14:

  • Alfred’s Barber Shop
  • Chef-O-Nette
  • Colin’s Coffee
  • Crimson Cup
  • Graeter’s Ice Cream
  • Huffman’s Market
  • Edward Jones – Joseph Lotozo’s Office
  • Municipal Services Center
  • The Old Bag of Nails Pub – Tremont Center
  • Upper Arlington Schools
  • Upper Arlington Public Library, Main Branch – Tremont Road
  • Upper Arlington Senior Center
  • Whole Foods Market


Six Word Cards are on Display at Alfred’s Barber Shop on Tremont Road.

Six Word Cards are on Display at the City of Upper Arlington’s Municipal Services Building

Leadership UA – where leaders grow!


Leadership UA educates, engages and inspires current and emerging leaders to take an active, effective role in our community. Established in 1988, Leadership UA provides programs that strengthen leadership skills, broaden understanding of local issues, and connect participants with others in the community.

Leadership UA offers two courses: an Adult Program and a Youth Program. Each course provides community information and leadership skill development.

Leadership UA also recognizes individuals for their outstanding community service through our two annual service awards: our Exceptional Leader Award and our Distinguished Alumni Leader.

Leadership UA sponsors events designed to encourage open community dialogue and community participation such as Meet the Candidates Night, Community Night, Leadership Panel, and Conversation Arlington.

Read more about Leadership UA using the following links: