man presenting to crowd

Our Mission

Ross Leadership Institute is dedicated to raising the quality of leadership in business, education, nonprofit and government organizations. By bringing together proven leaders we provide focused responses to critical leadership needs through a variety of resources; including leadership developments programs, courses, ​consulting, coaching, and presentations, including coordinating and guiding an organization's overall leadership development efforts.

If you only look for leadership in the usual places, you will only find usual leadership.

Paul Otte, Founder, Ross Leadership Institute
Dick & Libby Ross, Ross Leadership Institute namessake

Our History

The Ross Leadership Institute was founded and named in 2012 in honor of two leaders who have had a major impact on our community, Richard M. "Dick" and Elizabeth M. "Libby" Ross. 

Dick Ross was president of Ross Labs, the nation's leading manufacturer of infant formula, which began as a family business, M & R Dietetic, founded by his father Stanley along with Harry Moore in 1903. When Stanley passed away everyone assumed Dick would become the president, but as a hallmark of his leadership to come, he said he wasn't ready. Eventually he did become president and his leadership extended well beyond Ross Labs.

Together, Dick and Libby demonstrated tremendous leadership in the arts, education, and heath care. Dick was an accomplished photographer who donated a large number of photographs to the Columbus Museum of Arts. In 1968, Libby became one of the first women to serve on the museum's board of trustees and in 1975 became the first woman board president. Together, they received the Ohio Art's Council Governor's Award in 1991.

Libby continued their family tradition of philanthropy when Dick passed away in 1993. A committed community leader, Libby served on the boards of Children's Hospital and ProMusica (as president in 1985 and 1986). Her gracious leadership to many organizations will continue long into the future as she created the Ross Fund at the Columbus Foundation in 1995. Libby was recognized for her leadership in the community with the Columbus Foundation's Harrison M. Sayre Award in 1999.

With her permission, twelve leaders came together in 2012 as Founders of the Ross leadership Institute in honor of Libby and Dick Ross.  She provided us our mission, to raise the level of leadership in our community and the greatest example of her leadership, graciousness, and humility. Libby will be missed, but her presence will continue to be with us in everything we do.