A great community knows where it comes from and works together to move forward. That's what drives Eric Leslie, president of the Historic Dublin Business Association, which will host a slate of St. Patty's Day events this weekend. The man trying to boost the BriHi District shared other things that make him tick.

A great community knows where it comes from and works together to move forward. That's what drives Eric Leslie, president of the Historic Dublin Business Association, which will host a slate of St. Patty's Day events this weekend. The man trying to boost the BriHi District shared other things that make him tick.

From Columbus, I went to Full Sail University. I went there for recording arts and engineering. My second month down there, I found out that I was going to be having a child in Columbus. So I had a decision to make. I decided to commit to being Dad.

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After I got my degree, I took a job with Cornerstone, which we transformed into Your Marketing Corner, a marketing company. We found a space out in Dublin. Tim Picciano, owner of the Dublin Village Tavern, came to me and said, "Hey Eric, you want to join the Historic Dublin Business Association?" I said OK.

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A few years ago, I learned a very hard lesson. I had a huge house in Powell. I had a great job making lots of money. I remember walking into the house one day, and it was empty. Everything I saw in my mind of where I wanted to be - I was there. And it was the most empty feeling I've ever had in my life. None of it meant anything, because who was I sharing it with?

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Every December, I look back. I say, "Where am I? What have I done this past year?" Each year since then, I realize I've given less to myself and more to the people around me. That fulfills me more than any big house or great car ever could.

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What I found most volunteering with the HDBA was that I started building real relationships. There was an importance and value in what I was doing. Every day when I woke up, that's what I started gravitating toward. I came back last year as president of the association.

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You can't manufacture community. You literally have to create momentum. The task that I'm up for is creating the momentum here, so the people in this community can embrace it and not have to go somewhere else.

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A great community comes from working toward the heart of the whole versus the individual needs.

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I might not be wildly successful. But if I can show my son how important it is to follow your dreams, I'm setting him up for success. That's all I want to leave him.

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I need to have craziness around me to function normally. It's when everything is OK and stable that I'm bored.

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The best advice I've ever received is trust circumstance, not people. We're all flawed. We're all human. But I'm here for a reason. I'm here to make a difference. If I trust that, it'll never let me down.

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Three things I can't live without are my family, my faith and a contribution to community.

Know someone doing cool things around Columbus? E-mail John Ross at jross@columbusalive.com.