A lifetime of giving back for Slough

FINDLAY — In his more than 20 years in Findlay city government, James “Jim” Slough has seen a thing or two.

“One of the first things I encountered in City Council was a proposal for a leash law for cats,” he said. “It was defeated,” he added with a laugh.

Slough served as a 6th ward councilman, City Council President, Councilman-At-Large, and 4th ward councilman during his tenure in Findlay city government.

For Slough, it’s all about a commitment to service and “developing relationships.” That heart for service is what led to Slough becoming a 2023 Jefferson Award Winner. Nominations for Slough were filled with accolades citing his “understanding of people, strong work ethic, ability to bring out the best in others,” and his ability to work individually and collectively “for the greater good of his community.” Slough sums up his desire to volunteer by saying, “[I]t boils down to giving back to the community that gave so much to me.”

Slough’s parents were divorced and his mother lived in Manhattan. Following his graduation from high school, Slough chose to attend Pace University in New York City. Although he enjoyed the experience in New York, Slough found the size of the city much too large for him to be able to develop the close relationships he desired in a hometown. He returned to Findlay after college and soon began a life of volunteerism and service. “I’m blessed that I know a lot of people from the community,” said Slough.

“My first real experience in volunteering was in the early 70s,” said Slough. That opportunity came as he served with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program. Slough enjoyed the experience of being a Big Brother and spending time with the children. He remained with the program for four years.

More recently, Slough served as President of the Court-Appointed Special Advocates/Guardian Ad Litem (CASA/GAL) Board. “It is near and dear to my heart when I can make a difference in a child’s life,” said Slough. “Gaining the child’s trust, testifying in court [on behalf of the child], that’s something I took very seriously and one thing I’ll always be very proud of.”

Slough’s volunteer efforts were noted to have benefitted many organizations in the community, including the Children’s Mentoring Connection, Findlay Family YMCA, First Presbyterian Church, Hancock County Children’s Trust Board, and SAFY Center for Safe and Healthy Children.

For those who know Slough, it is evident that his spirit of volunteerism could not be leashed—just like those cats in Findlay.


The Jefferson Awards honor 10 individuals for their community service. There will be an awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the City Club in downtown Lima. At the ceremony, one of the winners will be selected to represent the region at the national Jefferson Awards dinner in Washington, D.C.