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Wright-Patt receives 2020 Leadership Dayton award

Col. Patrick Miller, 88th Air Base Wing commander, accepts the Program Partner of the Year Award on the installation’s behalf. The award recognizes WPAFB’s commitment to Leadership Dayton and the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Col. Patrick Miller, 88th Air Base Wing commander, accepts the Program Partner of the Year Award on the installation’s behalf. The award recognizes WPAFB’s commitment to Leadership Dayton and the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. Contributor photo

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio - Wright-Patterson Air Force Base was among the honorees Oct. 21 during Leadership Dayton’s annual meeting.

Col. Patrick Miller, 88th Air Base Wing commander, accepted the Program Partner of the Year Award on the installation’s behalf. It recognizes WPAFB’s commitment to the organization and Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s event was held virtually via Zoom. Attendees included nearly 100 Leadership Dayton alumni and program participants.

“This award is presented to the company or organization that best provides support to Leadership Dayton,” said Doug Anspach, chair of the program’s board of governors. “When the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year, Wright-Patt leaders pivoted to ensure this year’s class got the best possible experience. The base is also the largest single-site employer in Ohio with 30,000 employees.

“They have been an outstanding partner for many years, and we’re pleased to honor them as one of our distinguished award recipients.”

Formed by the Dayton Area Chamber in 1976, Leadership Dayton is the fourth-oldest continuously operating community leadership program in the United States, according to its website. It was designed to identify, educate and motivate a network of local leaders and increase their capacity to serve the Dayton region.

“On behalf of our installation, Airmen and people, thank you for this recognition,” Miller told the virtual audience. “Wright-Patterson is here for the defense of our nation. But our community leadership is what makes this installation so great. We truly value your partnership and support.

“Leadership Dayton is a phenomenal program. … What made this year so different is how closely this class came together in the face of difficult circumstances, how this class saw leadership unfold and watched each other in action. It was a true case study in that as we navigate through the pandemic.”

Other honorees were Tim Kambitsch (Leader of the Year) and Megan Cooper (Volunteer of the Year) from the Dayton Metro Library. Doug Cleaves of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton received the Outstanding Community Board Service Award.

Wednesday’s keynote speaker was Dave Williams from Cross Street Partners. He serves as senior development director for the Dayton Arcade adaptive reuse and historic preservation project and provided a brief overview.

Leadership Dayton is a 10-month commitment that immerses participants in many community facets through seminars, small workgroups, panel discussions, interaction with civic leaders and other activities. More than 1,400 people have completed the program since its inception.