The Ohio Library Council Board of Directors has selected Michelle Francis, current Director of Government and Legal Services, as the new OLC Executive Director. She will assume her new role following current Executive Director Doug Evans' retirement on June 28. Evans, a longtime OSAE member, also served on the organization's Board of Directors and as Board Chair.
"The OLC board is very excited to have Michelle as our new chief executive officer," according to Kacie Armstrong, chair of the OLC board and director of the Euclid Public Library. "Her five years of experience with the OLC and the leadership she has shown while directing our successful advocacy efforts and legal services make her the ideal candidate to lead our professional association."
Following Evans' announcement in January 2019 of his pending retirement, the OLC board of directors initiated a thorough review of its executive leadership qualifications and conducted an extensive search with the assistance of a Cleveland-based firm that specializes in non-profit executive placement. In selecting Francis, the board sought the best candidate to build on the OLC's successes during the past 17 years under Evans' leadership and to work with the board to advance the organization's strategic direction in the years ahead.
As Francis moves into a much broader executive leadership role in the organization, she will be responsible for the organization's day-to-day management, the development and management of the OLC's $1.4 million annual budget, coordination of internal and external resources and leadership of the organization's 10-member staff. One of her first responsibilities will be to select her successor to direct the OLC's government relations activities and legal services.
"I greatly appreciate the OLC board of directors' confidence in selecting me to be the organization's new executive director," Francis said upon accepting the position. "I am excited and eager to start working with the board, staff and our dedicated members to continue the OLC's long and proud legacy of representing and serving the best public libraries in the country."
Prior to joining the OLC staff in February 2014, Francis was the deputy director of legislative services and a lobbyist for the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) and served in various external and internal positions in Congress, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee and the U.S. District Court.