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Leadership Columbus: Tim Coriden

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Tim Coriden

Born: Columbus

Age: 39

Occupation: Partner in the law firm Coriden Coriden Andrews & Glover

Family: Wife, Ann; sons Pete, 10, and Danny, 7.

● You are pretty much a lifetime Columbus resident. What about living here appeals to you?

I met my wife in law school, she’s from Toledo and we both went to the University of Toledo. Initially we moved to Indianapolis and lived there for about a year. We decided to move to Columbus because for raising a family it’s ideal. We have the good fortune of knowing many different people and their extended families, members of local organizations as well as school faculty and parish members at St. Bartholomew Church. The pros of living in a small town greatly outweigh the cons for me and my family.

● What was your first job?

I cleaned cars on Tom Mueller’s lot when he was on U.S. 31, and I was about 13 years old.

● What primary lessons did you learn from that job that have helped you today?

To take pride in whatever you are doing. Tom Mueller is a longtime family friend, and he really got after me about not taking pride in what I was doing. I learned that if you are going to do it, do it right, don’t mail it in. He didn’t have any interest in having me there if I wasn’t going to do it right. The stakes are higher now, so that was a great lesson to learn.

● What are the biggest leadership lessons you’ve learned?

I think one of the more important things I have learned about leadership is that anytime I find myself frustrated in a situation, much of my agitation can be traced back to things I could be doing better. In most situations, I have learned that I can avoid that frustration by doing things better on my end.

● How did you develop your leadership capabilities?

One of the better things that happened to me when I was in college is that I was a head basketball coach for St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati. I volunteered my first two years with the varsity, and the next two years, I was hired to coach the freshman team. I was 20 and 21, coaching kids that went on to play in college and even one that played in the NBA. Being able to lead them, even though I wasn’t much older than they were and get the respect of the parents taught me a lot about what leadership skills I needed to have to be successful.

● We are going through a bit of a community leadership transition in Columbus. Some of our longtime community leaders are taking a step back and there is going to be an opportunity for others to step up. Do you see yourself as one of those who might fill that role?

I think I see myself more as someone who is willing to help, or someone who is there when a situation presents itself. There are a lot of great potential leaders that should be given a chance, and there are a lot of opportunities to step up, so it’s important to be ready. Columbus has been made into a great community by a very large group of people, some known and many unknown, and if it’s going to maintain this high level we are going to need new leaders.

● What are some of the lessons you have learned or examples that demonstrate the level of community involvement in Columbus?

I was really fortunate to be the city attorney for seven years and was exposed to a lot of the different philanthropic endeavors in that time and to people who are truly altruistic that contributed lots of time, energy and resources to the community. (Former) Mayor (Fred) Armstrong and the city council were also all great.

● What advice do you have for people who want to become more involved in the community?

Volunteer. Find something and volunteer. It may not necessarily be where their interests lie or the area they are the most interested in, but there is a great volunteering network in the community. Eventually you will find a niche that really appeals to you.

● You mentioned that your have a competitive nature, talk about that a little bit more.

It probably stems a lot from my parents, Terry and Kitty Coriden, just always encouraging me to get better. I played sports in college, and I really try to surround myself with people who are competitive or have a competitive spirit. I still like to compete on various levels, whether it is playing golf and basketball or even just competing with myself as far as doing something better than I did it the last time. That drives a lot of what I do.

Community involvement: I am on the Board of Directors with kidscommons. I’m involved with the Columbus First Tee program, which is a junior golf/personal development organization. This year, I will also help coach fourth-grade basketball at St. Bartholomew School.

Hobbies: I play basketball several times a week with a group of guys I have been playing with for close to 20 years. I have also recently started golfing with a little more frequency.

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