Speaker at Business Conference and Presentation. Audience at conference hall.


The Founders of the Ross Leadership Institute are proven leaders who have reached a point in their leadership development where they too want to share with others what they have experienced and learned. As Founders they have come together to establish the Institute, remain committed to guiding its future, and acting as resources in providing leadership responses.​

Recognizing that leadership challenges differ by mission, size, purpose, and function our Founders have been selected for their diverse experiences and talents. They include:

Jane Grote Abell​

Jane Grote Abell​​
Chair and Owner of
Donatos Pizza
View Jane’s Book  

Ann Gallagher​​​
President of
Gallagher Consulting Group

Jim Kunk​​
Central Ohio President
Huntington Bank​

Bill Lhota​​
Former President
COTA and AEP Executive
In Memory 1939-2017

Eileen A. Mallesch​​
Former CFO
Nationwide Insurance P&C

Jay Martin​​​​​
Men’s Soccer Coach,
​Ohio Wesleyan University

Lt. General Dennis McCarthy​​
USMC (retired) - Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs

Clarke Price​​
Former President
Ohio Society of CPAs

M​arsha Ryan​​
Former Administrator
Ohio BWC​

Betty Montgomery​​​​​
Former Attorney General of Ohio

Doug Smith
Former CEO Kraft Foods,
Canada, CEO Bordens,
Chairman/CEO Best Brands
View Doug’s Book

Dwight Smith​​
Founder SSI (Sophisticated Systems, Inc.)

Debbie Johnson​​
Executive Director, Ross Leadership Institute
Upper Arlington City Council

Paul Otte - 1943-2015
Former University President
The Ross Leadership Institute lost it's great leader on Tuesday, September 29, 2015. Paul Otte passed away unexpectedly after a short illness. He leaves behind a legacy of leadership and will be greatly missed. Many Central Ohio leaders appreciate his mentorship and contribution of raising their level of leadership.

Before Paul passed away, he finished his book, We Leadership, which is focused on engagement and features four organizations with We Leadership behaviors.
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