Leadership on Main: Featuring David Lieberth
Lieberth Consulting Group
Moderator: Stephanie York
Vice President and In-House Counsel, Hennes Communication
Dave Lieberth is one of the founders of the Leadership Akron program. He served on its Board of Trustees for 20 years and has been involved in every one of the program’s 35 classes as a presenter.
From 2002 -2012, he was Deputy Mayor of Akron. Previously – over a span of 32 years - he was a broadcast journalist, a lawyer and an ardent civic activist. Currently, he is a consultant assisting clients in public communication.
He is an Akron historian and immediate past board chair of the Summit County Historical Society. In 1983, he developed its endowment and opened its first new museum in 40 years. He directed the monumental Marking of the Trail of the Portage Path, completed in 2001. His life-long interest in local history was the basis for two television documentaries he produced for PBS 45/49, Inventive.Industrious.Inspired, a history of Akron (2000), which was honored by the Columbus International Film Festival; and Reinventing Akron: Stories of a Generation (2001). Dave directed Akron's 175th anniversary celebrations in 2000, producing more than 40 Centeseptequinary events.
In 2013, Cherbo Press published Dave’s book on the story of Greater Akron’s growth and development over the last 30 years. In October, 2016, the University of Akron Press published Dave’s 40-year history of the Akron Roundtable, and in 2018 it published his history of Akron’s Sisler-McFawn Foundation.
As a reporter and radio news director, he received state and national journalism awards. His published articles on cameras in the courtroom spurred the Supreme Court's decision to open Ohio courtrooms to television in 1978. Dave was a trustee of the national journalism group the Society of Professional Journalists/Sigma Delta Chi, and was honored with the John S. Knight Award from the local chapter.
He practiced law for 25 years. For ten years, Dave was listed among the Best Lawyers of America. The Akron Bar Association presented him its Sir Thomas More Award. He was selected by the Ohio Supreme Court to preside over major public meetings, and was picked by the White House to moderate President Clinton’s first Town Meeting on Race, carried live nationally on C-Span in 1997.
Dave chaired Akron's successful efforts in 1995 and 2008 to be selected as an "All-America City." In 1999, Mayor Don Plusquellic appointed him to direct Imagine.Akron: 2025, which brought together 400 volunteers in 150 individual workgroup meetings. He delivered the final report in 2000 to the Akron Roundtable.
For two decades he has been one of the city’s most visible proponents of Downtown development. As Deputy Mayor, he developed the Lock 3 and Lock 4 entertainment venues. He is a partner in The Bowery project, which will develop six buildings in the Akron Civic Theatre block in 2018.
Dave initiated the Lock 3 Summer Arts Experience for high school students. He founded the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival and continues to manage its 12th season, including the free Sunday summer concerts by the Akron Symphony.
He was the founding president of Inventure Place, which attracted the National Inventors Hall of Fame to Akron. He produced its Induction Ceremonies for 7 years, as well as the opening ceremonies for Inventure Place (1995), the John S. Knight Center (1994), Canal Park (1997), and Akron’s first First Night (1997.) He wrote and produced the Homecoming celebration for LeBron James at Infocision stadium in 2014, the celebration of the Cavaliers’ first NBA championship at Lock 3 in 2016, and was emcee for the opening of LeBron’s “I Promise” School in August, 2018.
Dave’s community activities reflect a diversity of interests. He served as a director of Summa Health System for 17 years, and chairs Summa Health’s Community Engagement Committee. He has chaired the boards of the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority and University of Akron Law School Alumni Association. He was the youngest person to serve as a trustee of Akron Community Foundation. For 27 years, Dave produced and hosted the annual Polsky Award program, which has raised more than $3 million for ACF. He helped launch the Guardian ad litem project at Juvenile Court, was a trustee of the Children Services Board and convened the first Summit Meeting of agencies dealing with children's issues, which continues today.
He received the Salvation Army’s Community Medal (2017) and the H. Peter Burg Community Leadership Award from the American Red Cross (2013.) In 2005, Dave was honored by the Akron-Summit Convention and Visitors Bureau with its Chairman’s Award for his contributions to enhancing Greater Akron as a tourism destination. Leadership Akron gathered over 600 people for Dave’s retirement breakfast in 2012 and created its Community Vision Award in his name, presented annually.
He currently serves on the boards of the Downtown Akron Partnership, the Akron-Summit Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Summit County Historical Society and the LeBron James Family Foundation Community Advisory Board.
Lieberth graduated from the University of Akron and received a master’s degree in Television & Radio from Syracuse University. He is a graduate of the School of Law of the University of Akron where he also taught as a member of the adjunct faculty.
Dave has been married 48 years to Lynne. Their daughter Emma is the director of Policy and Advocacy for the United Way of Summit County.
Come join us for breakfast the second Wednesday of each month, as we bring in Akron’s changemakers for leadership conversations focused on key elements of the Signature Program curriculum. Get to know the current class and engage with other alumni through this open forum.Exclusively for Members of the Leadership Akron Alumni Association, current Signature, NEXT and Diversity on Board Class participants, and Torchbearers members.