Chief of Staff to Take New Position in North Carolina
Toledo Chief of Staff Catherine Crosby will leave her position with the City of Toledo on June 11 to take the town manager position in Apex, N.C., Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz announced today.
“Katy has been a faithful and fearless leader for Toledo,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. “I am grateful for her endless hours of work, dedication, and counsel during the past three years. I will miss her day-to-day guidance and presence, but I know Katy is destined for great things in her new role in Apex.”
The mayor added: “We have accomplished so much during the past three years, including regional water, expansion of Jeep, Southwyck, the number one ranking by Site Selection Magazine, and more. Katy is a big reason for our success.”
Ms. Crosby has been instrumental in helping Mayor Kapszukiewicz advance multiple initiatives, such as improving internal operations for the city and enhancing efforts to improve equity, public safety, and transparency. She has also been working with the mayor and city department leaders to combat the long-lasting effects of redlining, create better housing, encourage economic development, and more.
“We have made a number of operational improvements in the human resources, diversity and inclusion, information technology, and finance departments,” Ms. Crosby said. “The mayor and I have taken a lot of steps forward for Toledo in the area of equity, something many cities struggle with. The Toledo Racial Equity and Inclusion Council, a new public-private partnership, for example, will help Toledo hear voices from the entire community and design a community strategy that will hold all of us accountable for making a more equitable Toledo.”
Ms. Crosby played a key role in strengthening the city leadership team by conducting national searches to bring in diverse talent with a range of expertise in finance, community development, information technology, human resources, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She led the development of the administration’s strategic priorities, improving internal operations by developing performance metrics that support operationalizing the plan. The city will soon implement OpenGov, an initiative led by Ms. Crosby that will not only create greater financial transparency but also support the city’s data governance strategy. The city conducted the first employee engagement survey and established the employee engagement committee, which resulted in updating city job descriptions, creating an employee reward and recognition program, and updating administrative policies. She also strengthened internal diversity, equity, and inclusion processes by ensuring the diversity and inclusion department has the expertise to conduct thorough and unbiased investigations to address allegations of discrimination and that the administration is considering diverse talent for leadership roles.
The city also contracted with a diversity and inclusion consultant to help improve internal efforts and conduct training for all city employees. Ms. Crosby can also be credited for the city’s first disparity study, which will ensure Toledo has equitable contracting policies that increase contract opportunities for minorities and women.
Gun violence has increased nationwide and in Toledo, which is why Mayor Kapszukiewicz created The Mayor’s Initiative to Reduce Gun Violence. Ms. Crosby helped launch the program and guided it through the early stages of seeking to reduce gun violence by addressing the root causes.
Ms. Crosby has also worked with cross-sector partners to support racial equity, community and economic development, and public safety initiatives. She was recently named co-chair for the Toledo Racial Equity and Inclusion Council after spending the last year building a framework in response to the disparities that were exacerbated by the pandemic and the social unrest that resulted from the death of George Floyd. She is also co-chair of the Forward Cities E3 initiative, working with partners to develop strategies to ensure an equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Toledo region. Ms. Crosby has also worked with local financial institutions providing consultation on community and economic development initiatives that will increase access to financial services in low- to moderate-income communities.
“I am very proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish during my time with the city,” Ms. Crosby said. “I have learned so much personally and professionally. I would not have been able to accomplish any of these things without the support of the mayor. I accepted the role because I believed that as an administrator, I could fulfill my commitment to public service and to creating equitable opportunities to residents. The mayor trusted and allowed me to use his platform to do both.”
Ms. Crosby added: “Even prior to the events of 2020 that pushed leaders across the country to address racial equity and economic disparities that exist in communities of color and among women, Mayor Kapszukiewicz supported efforts to close the gap. I appreciate him for allowing me to lead with passion. I believe I have been able to lay a foundation that will last long beyond my time in Toledo. I would be remiss if I did not thank the team that supported me professionally, mentally, and emotionally, not only on the 22nd floor, but the directors, commissioners, and all city employees who work hard every day to provide services to residents. I will miss working with them. The last year has not been for the faint of heart.”
Ms. Crosby’s duties for the remainder of 2021 will be divided among other members of the senior leadership for the city, primarily Deputy Chiefs of Staff Karen Poore and Abby Arnold. In January 2022, at the beginning of the mayor’s next term, a new senior leadership team will be created.