18 Columbus Leaders Share What They Are Most Looking Forward to in 2018

Cbus Leaders 2018

Cbus Leaders 2018

With a brand new year of promise and possibilities upon us, we asked 18 Central Ohio leaders to answer the question: “What are you most looking forward to in Columbus in 2018.” Here is what they had to say!


“I’m looking forward to CMAX, COTA’s new service along Cleveland Avenue which launches January 1. CMAX combines convenience, reliability and technology to get customers where they need to go quickly.”

Stefphanie Galloway, Director of Marketing at COTA


“I’m excited to be working with Linda Logan over at the Greater Columbus Sports Commission and a great team of local and national basketball leaders to welcome the NCAA Women’s Final Four Basketball Championship. The nation’s best women players, fans and families, as well as the NCAA Women’s Basketball Coaches annual meetings are downtown at the end of March. For multiple days, we are hosting the best women leaders in sport and will show them all the things we love about Columbus.”

Michael S. Brown, VP Strategic Development at Experience Columbus


“I’ve already started my list of gratitudes for 2018. There will be plenty of growth opportunities for me personally and for our community to look forward to, especially as we collectively work towards health and equity in all policies.”

Priyam Chokshi, Director of Community and Legislative Strategies at CelebrateOne


“Collaboration and innovation as we work to meet the needs of the most vulnerable in our community. Being a part of the growing success of small businesses, companies, academic institutions, nonprofits and startups calling Columbus home and making this truly one of our nation’s best places to work, live, have fun and raise a family.”

Oyauma Garrison, President & CEO at A Kid Again


“It’s exciting to be a part of a city that is consistently recognized for being attractive to YP’s, for being one of the Midwest’s coolest cities and places to live. I’m excited to see how our Smart Cities designation will play out with the addition of new infrastructure and transportation options. I’m most proud of Columbus for continuously striving to be more inclusive and diverse in welcoming all cultures, beliefs and lifestyles.”

Michelle Wilson, Executive Director at Tri-Village Chamber Partnership


“We are looking forward to taking some big steps forward in our journey to become one of world’s most competitive metro areas. Most of all, I’m looking forward to facing whatever opportunities we have with the great leaders all over our region.”

Kenny McDonald, President and Chief Economic Officer at Columbus 2020


“Living and working in a test market like Columbus, I’m proud to be part of this fashion industry magnet that’s driving innovation in the integration of new technology in the retail landscape. With the launch of Tangible at Polaris Fashion Place, I look forward to the next steps in the blending of e-commerce and brick and mortar shopping that will come to Columbus, OH.”

Mary Dimitrijeska, Marketing Director at Polaris Fashion Place


“Reaching my goal of helping 105 small businesses and entrepreneurs reach their goals by being a mentor, advisor, friend or solutions provider.”

Otto Beatty, President at Intelligent Office Columbus


“Despite our political climate – or maybe in part compelled by it – Columbus continues proving daily that kindness abounds and love wins. Besa is honored to help harness that spirit. In 2018, I’m looking forward to seeing just how much bigger we can go toward the goal of doing good across the community.”

Matthew Goldstein, Founder of Besa


“Looking forward to the high-rise construction and sidewalk repairs in the Short North to begin wrapping up!”

Gavin Meyers, Co-Founder of North High Brewing


“Year five of our Maria’s Message campaign, teaching young people how to be defensive, not distracted, drivers. You can’t have too many safe drivers!”

Angela Pace, Director of Community Affairs at WBNS-10TV


“I’m most looking forward to our new series of public art projects that will literally line all of the streets in the Short North Arts District. We’re working with artists from CCAD as well as artists from all over Columbus to transform construction barricades and materials into public art.”

Betsy Pandora, Executive Director of the Short North Alliance


“Our people and the opportunities! We’re building a great team of great people, and pulling up to observe their growth and accomplishments is the most satisfying part of my job. On top of that, our Columbus economy is set to explode, and we’re so excited to help our clients be a part of that growth with mobile, device, data and the change that comes with it!”

Rick Ainsworth, Columbus Office Leader at CapTech Consulting


“In 2018, I am most looking forward to Columbus hosting the National Urban League Conference. This event will only continue to put Columbus on the map by hosting one of the largest and most prominent African American Conferences in the country. I’m also looking forward to the continued development in the downtown area as well as key neighborhoods such as the King Lincoln District & Franklinton.”

Habiba K. Bankston, Senior Community Relations Specialist at L Brands


“The past year United Way has been in transition. I am looking forward to implementing new business strategies to strengthen our organization and help advance community progress!”

Lisa S. Courtice, Ph.D., President & CEO at United Way of Central Ohio


“In 2018, I’m looking forward to attending multiple events and exhibitions being produced across Columbus to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance.”

Tom Katzenmeyer, President at Greater Columbus Arts Council


“Columbus continues to shine with so many businesses calling Columbus home. I love seeing the entrepreneurial spirit that is happening here and look forward to more in 2018.”

Libby Gierach, President/CEO at Hilliard Area Chamber of Commerce


“Laughing. Watching people turn political tragedy into comedy. I love watching the brilliance of the people of Columbus. Spending more time with family.”

Deb “Mz Doo Dah” Roberts, ChairChick at Friends of Doo Dah & Queen of The Doo Dah Parade



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