PRESS RELEASE: ARC Announces Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellows


Appalachian Regional Commission Names Three Southern Ohio Leaders as Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellows 

October 1, 2020, Waverly OH – The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has named three leaders from the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission region as 2020-2021 Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellows.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced 40 Fellows who will be participating in the second class of the Appalachian Leadership Institute. The class draws on each one of Appalachia’s 13 states and includes professionals who live and/or work in the Region in civil service, finance, healthcare tourism, and a variety of public and private sectors.

The following area leaders will represent Southern Ohio in an intensive leadership development program:

  • Todd Wilkin, City Manager, Village of Greenfield, Greenfield;
  • Beth Pirtle-Frazer, President, Manchester Renaissance Foundation, Inc., Manchester;
  • Samuel Brady, Executive Director, Jackson County Economic Development Partnership, Jackson.

In addition to these three community leaders representing the OVRDC region, Diane Lautenschleger from the Tuscarawas County Convention & Visitors Bureau will also be part of this year’s inductees.

As Fellows in the Appalachian Leadership Institute, participants will attend an extensive nine-month series of online skill-building seminars featuring regional experts, peer-to-peer learning, and case study analysis beginning in mid-October through July 2021. Topics include:

  • Designing effective economic development project proposals.
  • Integrating community assets into long-lasting economic development strategies.
  • Identifying resources available to spur economic development.
  • Locating and accessing investment capital from a variety of public and private sources.
  • Preparing competitive applications for public grant opportunities; and
  • Using expanded leadership skills to create strong coalitions.

Upon completion of the program, Mr. Brady, Ms. Pirtle-Frazer, and Mr. Wilkin will automatically become part of the Appalachian Leadership Institute Network, a peer-to-peer working group committed to Appalachia’s future.

“Congratulations to Todd, Beth, and Samuel on being selected for the Appalachian Regional Commission’s 2020 Appalachian Leadership Institute,” said Director John Carey, Director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia. “Through this experience, you’ll learn best practices for economic and community development, and how to tailor them to benefit your community.” The Governor’s Office of Appalachia is part of the Ohio Development Services Agency.

“I am excited that four Ohioans were selected for this year’s Appalachian Leadership Institute. Congratulations to each of you,” said Lydia Mihalik, Director of the Ohio Development Services Agency. “The ARC Leadership Institute provides a great opportunity for our local leaders to expand their networks and learn from others in the Appalachian region.”

Fellows were selected via a competitive application process. ARC received over 100 applications for the 2020-2021 Appalachian Leadership Institute class and selected 40 applicants.

“Congratulations to the new class of Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellows. The skills development and network-building opportunities offered by this program have proven to be valuable, and this past year has shown that effective local leadership is essential,” said ARC Federal Co-Chairman Tim Thomas. “This program has adjusted well to the present circumstance and offers a unique opportunity to learn first-hand from those who have provided leadership for their communities through difficult circumstances.

The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a comprehensive regional leadership training program developed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in partnership with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The Howard H. Baker Center for Public Policy; Tuskegee University; and Collective Impact. This is the second year of the program.

More information, including a complete list of current Fellows, is available at


About the Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission ( is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.

About the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission

The Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission (OVRDC) is a public regional planning commission established in 1967 and dedicated to the development of Southern Ohio, providing multi-jurisdictional planning and economic development, administrative, professional, and technical assistance. OVRDC is a Local Development District (LDD) for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), an Economic Development District for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA), and a Regional Transportation Planning Organization (RTPO) for the Ohio Department of Transportation. OVRDC coordinates federal, state, and local resources and partners with local governments, non-profits, communities, and citizens on planning and development projects. More information at


# # #