ARLINGTON TODAY: How did you come to be executive director of Leadership Arlington? Please include past experience that played a role.
PAULETTE TUTOR: I have volunteered for many years with Leadership Arlington (I am part of the Best Class 2011). I have held many roles on the Board of Directors and in July of 2020 interviewed and was named the Executive Director.
In 2019 I received a Master’s Degree in Management and Leadership, which I believe helped with my qualifications.
AT: In a nutshell, what is Leadership Arlington all about?
PT: Leadership Arlington is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization whose mission is focused on the development of the next generation of community leaders. We have an Adult Training Program and a Youth Training Program for Juniors in High School. In a nutshell, it’s a nine-month training program highlighting many public and private areas to lead and serve in our city.
AT: What is your vision with regard to where Leadership Arlington will go this year and in the near future?
PT: My vision for Leadership Arlington is to be “the” place our community finds leaders. We have pivoted (like others) this past year, and it has given us the opportunity to fine-tune and create an exceptional experience.
AT: Who, in addition to you, is on the board of directors? What does the board do in general?
PT: Board members are Chair Elect Ryan Hunt, Past Chair Jack Webb, Secretary Lauren Wright, Finance Director Brian Razloznik, Development Director Brig Serman, Membership Director Debra Meers, Marketing Director Lisa Mann, Director of Adult Training Dawud Mabon, Assistant Director of Adult Training Jakisha Jones, Director of Youth Training Nancy Blinn, Director of Youth Training Chris Pettitt, Assistant Director of Youth Training Blake Davidson, Youth Class Representative Owen McGilberry, Adult Class Representative Jamil Ahmed, Director of Outreach Julie Reinhardt, JLA Representative Jennifer Cummings, Arlington Chamber Representative Henry Lewczyk, UTA Representative James Hollis, Parliamentarian Jean Jewell, Webmaster Leslie McGuire, At Large Blake Barry, At Large Kinsey Thayer, At Large Kathryn Haubold, At Large Brandon Demings, and Program Director Nadia DiStefano. Board responsibilities (in general) are to support Leadership Arlington by providing their advice, expertise and personal advocacy. The Board manages the affairs of the corporation on matters relating to its continued growth, impact and financial planning for the future. Board terms are 1 year, beginning July 1 through June 30 of each year.
AT: How many people are in the Class of 2021-22, and how were they selected?
PT: Each year we select 35-40 Adults and 35-40 Youth. The application is completed online and additional forms, transcripts are provided. The Directors of each of the programs review the applications.
AT: The work of Leadership Arlington mirrors that of leadership groups in other cities. Please share some of the “inherently Arlington” aspects of the organization and highlight what makes them special.
PT: Our program introduces the classes to our city through physically being part of the session and visiting key locations in our city. They have access to leadership and executives, as well as public and private locations that are unique to only Leadership Arlington. Example: Education session includes meeting with Dr. Marcelo Cavazos, Superintendent of AISD, Dr. William Coppola of Tarrant County College and Dr. Teik Lim, the interim president of UTA.
AT: The recent classes have had to deal with the COVID pandemic. What challenges were presented, and what measures did the organization’s leadership take to make the best of a tough situation?
PT: One of the challenges this past year was the delivery of content in a meaningful way. Normally, it is “hands on,” and we had to get creative transitioning to Zoom only for the youth. The leadership of the organization really took on active roles in the classes (Youth and Adult) by rewriting curriculum, finding locations where we could socially distance or simply attending and being part of the conversations.
AT: Please describe what you believe Leadership Arlington means to the city.
PT: Leadership Arlington is an integral part to the future of the city of Arlington. We introduce individuals to “THE AMERICAN DREAM CITY,” which is a diverse city full of opportunities and challenges. We hope they’ll plug in and find ways to lead and serve in this great city to further the opportunities and tackle those challenges head on. We are identifying, developing and educating future community leaders.