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OHIO alumnus Tony Marino helps shape current students into future leaders

Thursday, February 11 2021 10:00am

Tony Marino, BBA ’85, positively impacted current students by providing them with the unique opportunity to participate in leadership workshops and assessments, which are typically only offered to executives and senior leaders.

Tags: Alumni

By Bri Schoepf

Tony Marino, BBA ’85, proudly gave back to Ohio University by hosting a series of workshops and assessments for the students in the Select Leaders program to help them understand what it takes to truly become an inclusive leader. Getting teams to perform well together is not new to Tony, as he was a member of Ohio University’s varsity football team during his time at OHIO. 

Marino is currently the executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Fiserv, a global provider of financial services technology. After working in the business world for many years, he wanted to re-engage with the College of Business and use his experiences to give back in a way that would have a direct influence on current students.

“The events of 2020, the pandemic and the George Floyd tragedy, required that we, chief people officers, think and act much differently,” Marino said. “As a result, we are working on an action plan that builds on our previous work and is even more aspirational, bold, and will demand more of us as leaders to accelerate change.”

Marino’s passion and goals for making a positive difference in how people lead inspired him to get in contact with Tammy Reynolds, co-director of the Select Leaders program. They worked closely together to develop an exciting series of workshops for the Select Leaders, intended to help bring awareness to unconscious bias in leadership and in the workplace, and to encourage these students to become inclusive leaders starting now. 

“Even though I’ve been gone a while, I still see Ohio University as an important community of mine, which is where the impetus to reach out and do more originated,” Marino said. “If we are going to create a world where we can help to open the minds and hearts and better understand the life experiences of others, it has to start at the college level, if not earlier. Bringing The Inclusive Leader to the Select Leaders program was my gift to all of them and the University that I love.”

The main themes of this series included self-awareness, reflection, and choices that we are confronted with every day and how we choose to respond to them. The first workshop took place before Thanksgiving, which included an introduction to the topic of what an inclusive leader is and the competencies and behaviors an inclusive leader demonstrates, based on a database of thousands of leaders, provided by Korn Ferry, a leading global consulting firm.

Thanks to Marino’s strong relationship with Michael Hyter, chief diversity officer at Korn Ferry, students had the unique opportunity to complete three online assessments about the journey from unconscious bias to consciously inclusive behavior, which are usually only offered to executives and senior leaders. Each student then received an individual report of their results in January. The Inclusive Leader series concluded with a workshop on overcoming unconscious bias, which took place on Jan. 26.

"Reflecting on my childhood and how it has shaped me on my journey of becoming an inclusive leader has transformed how I view my experiences and future actions,” said Bella Miller, a Select Leader and senior studying management and strategic leadership. “This was the most holistic assessment I have ever done with reflection, group and personal debrief, and an action plan to act on what I learned. For that, I cannot thank Tony enough. He is changing the world with his work and has notably changed mine."