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Though a Hoosier transplant, Lydia Mihalik has found a home in the Buckeye State. An internship in a small northwest Ohio community helped her realize her interest in local government, especially in community and economic development, and eventually led her to work for the city of Findlay, Ohio. Though she admits “I was pretty green,” she learned enough about how to develop, lead and grow a community that she was later elected to be the first female and the youngest mayor of Findlay.

But Lydia Mihalik will be the first to tell you that “you can’t be afraid to fail,” as it’s just a part of the learning process. And when “you want to make a difference in improving the life of others, you’ve got to jump in and not be afraid to do it.”

Lydia Mihalik loved being mayor because of its “opportunity to make connections and improve people’s lives.” Luckily, that same opportunity exists in her latest role as director of Ohio’s Development Services Agency. Her new role allows her to showcase what she learned as mayor and help other people fall in love with Ohio, “the most innovative, creative and entrepreneurial state in the Midwest.”

Listen to the interview to hear Lydia Mihalik discuss her love for Ohio, her thoughts on leadership and her cooking abilities as she appears “In the Arena.”

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