John Leo graduated with a physics degree from Durham University and has a professional fundraising certificate from Boston University. He worked in various positions—first as Development Coordinator for Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, then as a staff member for Main Street Gardens event center—before starting at OVV in November of 2019. John Leo’s curiosity and flexibility have led him to try property rental and online marketing for an Australian scientific media company. He has also been a child actor, steakhouse server assistant, and even the founder of a small theater company.

Although John Leo has worked at OVV for a year, he has known about the school since its inception. His father, Dr. Stephen Muething, was one of the original board members. The senior Muething served during OVV’s initial growth and worked on the campaign to build the current Branch Hill-Guinea Pike facility in Loveland.

John Leo has witnessed firsthand the amazing work that OVV’s teachers and staff do for children. As a development professional, he cares deeply about the OVV mission and is honored to open up opportunities for its students. He is reminded of the fact that he is one of the few male employees when boys wave at him a little more enthusiastically in the hallways.

John Leo Muething

John Leo is one of four siblings and grew up in Batesville, Indiana. His brothers and sisters are now all married and scattered across the country, and he has seven nieces and nephews with an eighth on the way. John Leo maintains an impressive array of hobbies including playing his ukulele (lovingly nicknamed Lola) and Cincinnati-built 1940s spinet piano, hiking and collecting books. The pandemic has temporarily thwarted his goal of enjoying every new restaurant, craft brewery, and stage production in Cincinnati, but he plans to resume once the pandemic is over.

When asked about his personal philosophy, John Leo replies, “My grandfather has a wonderful phrase that has helped me persevere through some hard times: ‘Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.’ And in good times I’m egged on by Auntie Mame: ‘Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.’”


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