Login | June 19, 2018

New executive director to take the helm at the Akron Bar Association

Legal News Reporter

Published: June 7, 2013

After a long career in library management, C. Allen Nichols is getting ready to embrace a new challenge as executive director of the Akron Bar Association.

Nichols starts on Monday after serving as chief executive officer of the Wadsworth Public Library since March 1997.

“I am very excited,” said Nichols. “I was looking for a change when I learned about the position at the Akron Bar Association, and I felt that my background handling budgets and operating libraries would translate well, and I decided to see if other people would feel that way.”

“He has two advanced degrees, significant experience managing nonprofits and handling budget matters and he is very open and communicative,” said Jack Weisensell, president of the Akron Bar Association, who was on the committee that selected Nichols. “We are confident that he will be able to do an effective and efficient job.”

The bar association began looking for a new executive director last year, after Donnie Long passed away from leukemia in mid-November of 2012.

“We formed the search committee in December 2012,” said Weisensell. “We did a national search and received about 25 applications; five of the candidates were from outside Ohio. We narrowed it down to four finalists and the committee felt that Nichols was the best person for the job.”

Born and raised in Akron, Nichols attended Kenmore High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in management from The University of Akron. He also received a master’s degree in library science at Kent State University where he co-chaired the School of Library and Information Science Strategic Planning Committee, and has a master of business administration from Mississippi State University.

As chief executive officer of the Wadsworth Public Library, Nichols managed and administered services to over 27,000 customers, directing the main library, a satellite outreach services building and up to two bookmobiles.

Nichols is a member of the American Library Association and the Ohio Library Council. He also serves on the board of directors of Downtown Wadsworth, Goodwill Industries of Akron, The University of Akron College of Business Administration Alumni Board and the Business Advisory Council of Wadsworth City Schools.

He lives in Fairlawn with his wife and two children, where he is athletic director/pastoral designee at St. Hilary Catholic Church, working as a part-time volunteer managing all aspects of the CYO athletic program which includes over 1,000 athletes from first grade to high school who compete in 13 different sports.

He is also a member of the Wadsworth Chamber of Commerce, a past president of the Wadsworth Lions Club and a graduate of Leadership Medina County.

“We will be looking to Allen to use his skills to help us deliver our CLEs electronically,” said Weisensell. “We are already doing so to some degree but we are still struggling with that a little bit.

“He will also be responsible for budget and staff management and will serve as our liaison with other bar associations and organizations to help us get our message across on various issues, not only to the legal community, but also to other parts of the Greater Akron and Greater Summit County communities.

“For example, we would like him to work to raise awareness of The Akron Bar Foundation and the good work that it does in the community, not only for lawyers and law students, but also for non-lawyers,” Weisensell said.

“I am looking forward to returning to Akron and working with the legal community,” said Nichols. “The bar association also has a connection with The University of Akron, and I have taught graduate-level classes for Kent State and been involved with graduate school accreditation. I am hoping those experiences will help us build on the existing relationship between the bar association and the law school.”

However, Nichols said his first order of business will be to get to know the staff and learn the day-to-day operations of the bar association.

“While at the library, I was able to focus on the 30 and under population by adding more technology. I would like to use a similar strategy to help the bar association attract more younger members as well,” said Nichols.