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Published: Sunday, 7/20/2003

Toledo leaders to meet on future of city

Toledo leaders will try to focus on a unified vision for the future of the city at a daylong retreat set for tomorrow.

The retreat will be led by Robert Rothman, senior vice president of Gap International, Inc., based in Springfield, Pa. Mr. Rothman was a consultant in “leadership transformation” for Owens Corning.

Forty-six area leaders have confirmed they will attend the event in the Owens-Illinois Building at One SeaGate.

“What we're trying to do is get everyone aligned about one future,” said Peter Gozza, president of Downtown Toledo, Inc. The chairmen of the boards of DTI, the Toledo Area Chamber of Commerce, the Regional Growth Partnership, and the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority signed the invitation.

Attendees include Mayor Jack Ford, members of City Council, members of the Lucas County commissioners, the heads of area economic development organizations, and education and business representatives.

The impetus for the meeting came from an essay written by Toledo businessman Peter Garforth, vice chairman for DTI, and published in The Blade Feb. 1.

In the essay, entitled ”A Glimpse into a Positive Future for Toledo,” Mr. Garforth imagined Toledo of 2013 as the leading midsized city in attracting domestic and foreign investment.

Such a future could happen if a clear vision and unwavering commitment were established in 2003, Mr. Garforth wrote.

The purpose of the retreat is to “get the leadership of Toledo - the business, the political, the social - to begin to get committed around a single successful future for Toledo,” Mr. Garforth said.

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