About Us


Our Foundation

Our 1984 founding took place as leadership was transitioning from a handful of prominent industrialists. These leaders recognized the need to broaden and diversify the community’s leadership. The initial effort was spearheaded by Paul Poorman, editor of the Akron Beacon Journal and civic activist Barbara Hiney. Leadership Akron was designed to identify community leaders, inform them about the community, and launch them into community involvement.

LogoToday, over 1000 graduates of Leadership Akron volunteer throughout the Greater Akron area. The Alumni Association serves as an ongoing hub for leaders to connect and collaborate. Our graduates share a common commitment to serving community, working together to strengthen the Akron area.

In 2007, Leadership Akron’s board adopted the Continuum of Leadership as a framework for growth, commencing outreach to new audiences. In 2008, Leadership Akron launched insight:AKRON to orient top new leaders to the Akron area. In 2009, Leadership Akron reached a collaboration agreement with Torchbearers, establishing a presence with this audience of younger leaders. The agreement was enhanced and renewed in 2013 to establish Torchbearers as an independent affiliate of Leadership Akron. Two new programs were created in 2011: Community Leadership Institutes for those looking to start their community involvement, and the N.E.X.T. (New Endeavors for Experienced Talent) for seniors at or near retirement. In 2014, Torchbearers and Leadership Akron partnered to create InternEdge and provide college interns an opportunity to explore the Akron area as a place to build a life and career.



In Akron, leaders readily work together, collaborating to seize opportunities, address challenges, and develop new solutions. Leadership Akron's role is to empower this base of leaders to see beyond their own spheres to the bigger picture of the community, and inspire them to become more effectively involved as community leaders.


Leadership is a lifelong journey--one that unfolds in our community. Leadership Akron helps you embrace community as a central aspect of being a well-rounded leader.


Akron is a strong community because of its people, its leaders. Leadership Akron brings together leaders who share a commitment to building our Akron community, creating an environment where collaboration can thrive.


Our leaders embrace an ethic of service above self, fostering meaningful involvement and community impact. This results in a legacy beyond the power of one.

Leadership Akron is a member of the Association of Leadership Programs (ALP).

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Lead Now

Akron's future depends on a sustainable and renewable source for leadership. This is the role and responsibility of Leadership Akron.

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Leadership Akron
54 East Mill Street, Suite 201
Akron, Ohio 44308
330.436.5291 (phone)
330.436.5294 (fax)

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