Community Gem: Attorney Ireland follows passion for service

DAYTON — Dayton-area lawyer Jeff Ireland has long served his community, not only through his practice of law, but also as a result of his commitment to the city of Dayton and its residents.

Ireland was nominated as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem by his longtime employee John Kendall.

“Jeff Ireland is the gem of all gems,” Kendall said. “He’s about 66 years old, he looks like he’s 55 years old, and acts like he’s 35 years old; he has more energy than anyone I know.”

Ireland began practicing law in Dayton in 1980, opening the Faruki Gilliam & Ireland firm with two other lawyers in 1989. The practice, now known simply as Faruki, specializes in business litigation.

Having grown up in Oakwood, Ireland served as a city council member around the same time he began practicing law. Two years later, he was appointed as mayor of Oakwood. At just 29 years old, Ireland was the youngest mayor to have served in Ohio at the time.

“I served as Oakwood’s mayor for 10 years, which opened me up to a lot of things that were going on in Montgomery County and the city of Dayton,” he said.

Ireland said his time as mayor, as well as his professional work with local businesses, led to his serving on a number of community boards for organizations such as RTA, Planned Parenthood, the Dayton Opera, and the Salvation Army, among several others.

“As board member, chairman, president and founder of numerous local organizations, he has made great strides toward elevating the quality of life of Dayton residents through reducing poverty, improving education, and promoting diversity and equality,” Kendall said.

One accomplishment Ireland is particularly proud of is his involvement with the Levitt Pavilion. In 2015, he became board chairman of Friends of Levitt Pavilion, at the request of Mayor Nan Whaley, in order to lead the fundraising effort to bring an outdoor music venue to the Miami Valley.

“In his determination to create a welcoming destination where free, live music could bring people together, strengthening and invigorating community life, Jeff was the core person in raising over $5 million to make the dream of the Levitt Pavilion a reality,” Kendall said.

Ireland said his interest in public service is driven by his passion for each organization’s goal and purpose.

“I’ve always felt, and I’ve told people, ‘Don’t get involved just for the sake of getting involved; only get involved in things that you’re passionate about,’ because if you’re not passionate about it, people will see that,” he said.

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