Johnson releases book on improving Toledo’s futureWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
Former president of the University of Toledo and Toledo Free Press columnist Dan Johnson recently released “Toledo Vision,” an collection of his Toledo Free Press columns about improving the Glass City’s future.
“People coming in from other places see so many assets that you don’t find in a lot of other cities: the museum, the zoo, the Metroparks, the university, the health care system we have in place. It just seems to me that we are poised for real growth and development,” said Johnson, who was UT’s president from 2001-06.
“I just happen to think that Toledo has so much going for it and so much potential,” he said.
Johnson was born in Springfield, Ohio, and came to Toledo about 13 years ago. As president of UT, he led the merging of the school with the Medical University of Ohio. Johnson, a social demographer, also served as chief operating official and provost of Zayed University, based in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and as UT’s global initiatives director.
Mayor Mike Bell, who wrote the foreward for “Toledo Vision,” said, “Dr. Johnson has spent time in Toledo and throughout the world, so that he would choose our city as the focus of his book is an honor. The conversation it sparks is important because it will promote Toledo in both the national and global markets. I appreciate that someone of his caliber is working diligently to change the face of Toledo in the future.”
Johnson released “Talking Points for Toledo: Strategies for Developing Our City and Region,” another collection of his Toledo Free Press columns in 2009.
The new 173-page book is divided into several sections, including ones on defining the city’s future and image, economic development, education, regionalism and globalization.
One essay “Imagine Toledo in 2020,” written in 2008, details an ideal version of the city’s future. When asked if Toledo is on that track, Johnson said, “I think you can find examples of progress. I don’t think we’re moving as far and as fast as we could. I think there’s been great progress in developing our international visibility [and] understanding the importance of globalization.”
Johnson concludes his book by stressing the importance of collaborative leadership, in which different leaders of various sectors and organizations work together to improve the community.
“Toledo, as almost everyone knows, has so many strengths and so many assets yet we haven’t developed as a city and as a region as fast and as well as we would like. I believe that leadership is a key factor,” he said.
Those interested in obtaining a copy of “Toledo Vision” can email firstname.lastname@example.org.