A former account manager for a marketing and communications service provider with experience leading two nonprofit agencies serving disadvantaged children and families has been tapped as Leadership UA's next executive director.

Leadership UA's board of directors announced May 9 that Natalie Boe has been hired to succeed Mary Beth Cowardin, the organization's executive director since February 2017.

Cowardin is stepping down from the part-time post to become vice president of marketing and engagement for AmericanHort, a Grandview Heights-based national horticulture industry association. She will help with the leadership transition and remain involved with the organization.

Boe, 36, moved to Upper Arlington in January 2016. Most recently, she was an account manager in internal marketing and communications at Michigan Creative, an organization that seeks to leverage the University of Michigan's mission and brand.

From June 2009-12, Boe was executive director of the Israel Idonije Foundation, a Chicago-based nonprofit that assists economically disadvantaged children and families. She also worked from August 2007 to May 2009 as executive director of the Warrick Dunn Foundation in Tampa, Florida, a nonprofit that provides assistance in getting houses for disadvantaged single-parent families.

"I am honored to serve as the (Leadership UA) executive director and work closely with an active board of directors, as well as our community, to educate, engage and inspire emerging leaders," Boe said. "It is an ideal combination of my personal and professional experience, and I truly believe in Leadership UA's mission.

"Our family has thoroughly enjoyed everything Upper Arlington has to offer, and I look forward to helping this amazing community continue to thrive."

Leadership UA seeks to educate and inspire current and emerging leaders to take active and effective roles in the Upper Arlington community.

Established in 1988, it provides programs designed to strengthen leadership skills, broaden understanding of local issues and connect participants with others in the community through adult and youth classes.

Board President Thad Boggs said Boe is expected to take over June 1.

He said she was selected from a host of applicants, including five who were interviewed by the board.

"She has a great background in the nonprofit world," Boggs said. "She has just a great, very substantive background ... and was looking for something to put her experience and talents toward in the community.

"We are really excited to have her aboard."

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