Leadership Ohio honored Montgomery County Commissioner Carolyn Rice with the Professional Excellence Award at its Homecoming 2023 celebration in Columbus on Saturday, Aug. 19. Commissioner Rice was one of four distinguished Leadership Ohio graduates to be honored at the organization’s annual recognition event.
The Professional Excellence Award honors Leadership Ohio alumni who have reached the pinnacle of success in their careers, whether through groundbreaking or significant contributions to their field, notable achievements, or exemplary performance that sets them apart. Rice is a 2021 graduate of the Leadership Ohio program.
“As a public servant, you really want citizens to know that you are listening to them, spending their taxpayer dollars responsibly, and working hard to improve the quality of life in their community,’ said Commissioner Rice. “Winning an award like this is a nod from fellow leaders that you are having an impact and working in the best interest of those you serve. It is a tremendous honor!”
Rice is in her second four-year term as a County Commissioner. She has focused on issues such as birth-to-age-3 child development, homeless solutions, youth internships and work-based learning, addiction prevention, criminal justice, international economic development, sustainability and mental health. She is a champion of Montgomery County's participation in the Ohio Governor's Imagination Library in partnership with Dolly Parton's Imagination Library which mails free books to children birth to age 5. The County program has had more than 17,000 children participate since its inception.
“Carolyn is tireless and incredibly active throughout Montgomery County,” said Commission President Debbie Lieberman. “When people hear her speak at events, her great passion for our community and its people is apparent. Working with her every day, I appreciate the energy and creativity she brings. This award is well deserved.”
Prior to her 2018 election to County Commission, Rice served 12 years as Montgomery County Treasurer. In that office, she founded the Montgomery County Land Bank, which purchases blighted properties and secures funding to assist with their redevelopment.
As Commissioner, she serves on the boards of the Community Improvement Corporation, the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Dayton Special Improvement District Board, and the local and regional emergency management boards. In addition, she serves on the County's Data Processing Board, Investment Advisory Committee, and Planning Commission. She also serves on the County Commission Association of Ohio's Investment and Justice and Public Safety committees, and as Vice Chair of the Human Services Committee.
“I’ve known Carolyn for a long time now and it never ceases to amaze me how much energy she brings to work each day and her unwavering passion for community service,” said fellow Commissioner Judy Dodge. “She is truly one of those people who wants to make a difference and refuses to let barriers get into the way of the county’s support of citizens.”
Carolyn has been recognized as one of the Dayton Business Journal's Power 50 (50 most influential women in the region) three times, and as a 2016 Peace Hero through the Dayton International Peace Museum. Carolyn was also honored as a “Woman of Influence” by the Dayton Area YWCA.
Other Leadership Ohio 2023 honorees include Rayshun Holt (Community Impact Award), Program Director, Cincinnati Works; Laura Koprowski (Visionary Leadership Award), CEO, TARTA; and Ohio State Senator Hearcel Craig (Distinguished Alumni Award).
Leadership Ohio fosters leadership development, community engagement, and meaningful connections among its alumni. With a strong commitment to making a positive impact, Leadership Ohio members continue to inspire change and transform lives across the state. For more information, please visit www.leadershipohio.org.