Meet Our Officers: David Toth, Vice Chair
Written By Keely Veatch
If you want to talk about civic engagement in Cleveland, sit down and chat with David Toth. Serving on several local non-profit Boards and working on events like Cleveland Oktoberfest and Dyngus Day, David believes “civic engagement leads to civic leadership.”
He applies that same focus on community in his work every day as a Vice President at USA Expo. Wearing many hats, David puts his entrepreneurial spirit to work in event production, operations, and sales to grow experiential marketing opportunities for clients to connect with their audiences face-to-face.
After receiving his degree in Political Science from Miami University, David returned home to Northeast Ohio and has continued to build a career and family here ever since. Get to know more about his story and passion for civic engagement in the CLE.
What do you love most about living and working in Cleveland?
Besides family, there are a few things that make a great impact. One is accessibility – the ability to get involved. There are a lot of opportunities and not a lot of barriers. It’s about finding the right one for you and figuring out how to take that next step.
What are some of your favorite things to do or places to go around town in your free time?
I grew up as a boater. To me, the lake is an undervalued area around here. I think Cleveland is starting to focus on how to use that asset again, so I’m hoping that evolves.
I also fill a lot of my time in the nonprofit world, which takes me to a lot of unique, cool places. Working on Dyngus Day last year, I got to learn a lot about Gordon Square and Detroit Shoreway, which is important for someone like me who’s an east sider. It’s important to think about how you start challenging yourself to explore new areas and I think that civic engagement has allowed me to do that.
Where do you see Cleveland in 5 years? What is your biggest hope for our community?
Right now, Cleveland is in somewhat of a transformational stage. We’ve done a great job of building up attractions for visitors, through opportunities like All Star Week and the NFL draft, as well as building up some unique industries. Hopefully five years from now, the talent pool looks even more rich and there’s more accessibility downtown and to the various neighborhoods. Cleveland has a unique story and we’re starting to do a better job of telling it.
What are you most excited about as a board member of Engage! Cleveland?
The endless opportunities to continue to engage and provide experiences for young professionals. It’s not just about how you get people here and keep them here, or how companies use Engage! to recruit. It’s also about connecting young professionals with similar goals and motivation together and connecting that community with more seasoned professionals. There’s not a lot of organizations that focus specifically on that, which has a lot of value.
What advice would you give to young professionals interested in growing personally or professionally?
Pick three to five things you want to focus on and get them done in 12 months. Whether it’s joining a non-profit Board or meeting someone from a specific company, pick what they are and don’t stop until you get there. You can obtain it, but you have to stay focused.
Keely Veatch is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at College Now Greater Cleveland, an organization committed to increasing postsecondary access and retention in Northeast Ohio. Keely moved to Cleveland to serve with AmeriCorps after growing up in Columbus and graduating from The Ohio State University. She enjoys being active in the Cleveland community as a member of Engage! Cleveland's Leadership Council and by volunteering with other local organizations.