Press Release:

Global Ties Akron (GTA) Executive Director to Step Down in Q1 2024
GTA Board announces plans for leadership transition, begins search process.

November 16, 2023     Contact:  Holly Harris Bane


Global Ties Akron (GTA) Executive Director to Step Down in Q1 2024

GTA Board announces plans for leadership transition, begins search process.

After more than 22 years of distinguished leadership and service to Global Ties Akron as Executive Director, Michelle Wilson will step down from full-time responsibility in 2024. Prior to serving as Executive Director, Ms. Wilson served for over a decade as a GTA volunteer, board member, and program officer.  The GTA Board of Trustees today announced Ms. Wilson’s plans and outlined the search process for a new Executive Director.

“Michelle Wilson has been an exceptional leader, passionate global advocate, and friend,” said Holly Harris Bane, Board Chair. “Global Ties, as we know it today, can be attributed to the vision and hard work of Michelle as she has grown this important non-profit from a small volunteer organization into the robust professional organization we know today. She has built the reputation of this organization within Akron and NE Ohio as well as within the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Congressional Office of International Visitors, and NGOs supporting international exchange.     

“Global Ties Akron is an amazing organization that has been a perfect fit to fulfill my dream to work in the field of diplomacy and peaceful change.  I have loved every opportunity to build impactful global friendships, partnerships and professional connections with leaders working around the world to increase democratic ideals and human rights,” states Michelle Wilson about her departure from Global Ties Akron. 

“While finding a successor who can match her dedication, passion, and unwavering advocacy for the Global Ties mission will be no small feat, we are confident that we will find the right candidate to fill this important role,” Litsa Varonis, GTA Board member and Search Chair noted.  She said the advance notice Ms. Wilson provided gives the organization ample time to recruit and identify a strong candidate while maintaining stability and continuity within the organization.

The GTA Board has outlined a search process that anticipates an overlapping transition between Ms. Wilson and the incoming Executive Director, to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibility and to leverage her deep knowledge and experience of Global Ties Akron.

The candidate search will include extensive outreach. Invitations for candidates to apply are being issued and the position will be posted across a variety of networks. For additional information select the QR code or go to

Candidates will be screened and interviewed beginning December 2023. The GTA Board plans to announce the new GTA Executive Director no later than spring 2024. The Search Committee has retained the services of BVU, which will assist with the Executive Director search.

“Global Ties Akron is in an excellent position to successfully manage this transition. We are financially stable, our Board leadership and membership is engaged, and our network is extensive,” says Board Chair Harris Bane.

The Board’s search committee will keep stakeholders apprised of the search process at key points.  To learn more about Global Ties Akron, visit the organization’s website


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