OTA Leadership Academy

OTALA (the Ohio Township Association Leadership Academy) training opportunities.

The Ohio Township Association Leadership Academy (OTALA) was created by the OTA, OSU Extension: Office of Community Development, and the Center for Public Management and Regional Affairs at Miami University. The purpose of the Academy is to enhance the leadership and decision-making skills of the township leadership team through participation in OTALA workshops. Workshops are offered at every OTA conference. The Academy is designed for township elected officials, administrative staff and individuals who serve on township committees, boards or task forces. A diploma is presented to each individual who successfully completes the program.

OTALA Webinars Scheduled In Place of In-Person Events

Please note: to register for an OTALA webinar, you must first/also be registered as a student of the Leadership Academy. Contact Michael Zaky at zaky@ohiotownships.org with questions or to register.

OTALA's webinars will take place March 22 - 26, 2021. For more information, contact Michael (email listed above). To register for this event, click here to go to the registration page. 

Federal Day

Please note: to register for an OTALA webinar, you must first and also be registered as a student of the Leadership Academy. Contact Michael Zaky at zaky@ohiotownships.org with questions or to register.

The 2021 Federal Day date and time is TBD. For more information contact Michael (email listed above).


The following criteria must be met within a three-year period of submitting a registration form and attending your first workshop.

  • Complete the General Workshop
    Designed to provide participants with an overview of the basic issues, expectations and practices associated with serving in public office.
  • Attend six of 10 elective workshops, which include the following:

    1. Conducting Effective Meetings
      Topics include: types of meetings; legal requirements; pre-meeting activities such as agenda preparation/distribution/”five day rule”; the meeting environment; process, rules and procedure; and dynamics of conducting the public meeting.

    2. Communicating and Working with the Media
      Topics include: understanding the media; preparing the media for your meetings; preparing yourself; and developing effective media relations.

    3. Communicating and Working with Citizens
      Session is based upon best practices used in many locations around the state and nation to provide a framework for building effective relationships and engaging community residents with their government in positive ways.

    4. Building Sustainable Communities
      Sustainability seeks to find the balance between environmental, social and economic aspects of a community. Discussion centers on methods of involving residents in determining the desired balance, resolving differences and settling indicators for future decision-making.

    5. Team Building
      Participants have an opportunity to learn more about the elements of effective teams; the roles and perspectives of team members; how to assess their individual skills and group functions; and how to work together.

    6. Conflict Management and Dispute Resolution
      This workshop is divided into four parts, with each focusing on different dimensions of conflict management and dispute resolution.

    7. Leadership Skills and Styles
      Centers on how understanding leadership styles and types can help improve our interpersonal relationships and the effectiveness of the board.
    8. Effective Decision-Making
      Focuses on principles and practices that can provide a framework for improving your tenure and service in public office. Topics include: duties and responsibilities of public officials; codes of ethics; standards of conduct; conflict of interest; using and abusing the office; open meetings laws; and honesty.

    9. Intergovernmental Relations: Opportunities and Challenges for Cooperation
      Explore Ohio law pertaining to opportunities and limitations for intergovernmental agreements and cooperative arrangements. Draws heavily from positive and negative experiences of others who have engaged in cooperative agreements with other governments.

    10. Technology in Government
      Reviews the uses, applications and limitations of information technology, especially Internet-based technology, in local government.

  • Complete the federal component (annual NATaT Fly-In or one-day Federal Session held annually in August at the OTA office).