Page 1

Cindy Monroe

The Thirty-One Gifts founder returns to her roots.


Ohio leaders bet big on blockchain. Page 21

Page 14

Love Contracts

Are they a good way to address office romance? Page 46

Will a new law finally rid Ohio of predatory lenders? Page 34


January 2019 01


25274 77384


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Gov.-elect Mike DeWine speaks to the press at the Ohio Statehouse

Will a new law finally solve Ohio’s payday lending puzzle? Plus, advice for the new governor and what’s on deck for Franklinton’s ongoing transformation.

Agenda 28 Connections Homeport’s Voice & Vision, Greater Columbus Sister Cities annual meeting, Columbus CEO’s Best of Business

33 Events Seminars, webinars and business networking opportunities in January, including the Mid-America Restaurant Expo & Shark Tub

Special Advertising Section

57 Milestones These central Ohio companies have gone the distance—and they’re not done satisfying their customers and helping them succeed. january 2019 Cover desiged by

Yogesh Chaudhary Cover illustration source January 2019 l ColumbusCEO


VOLUME 28 / NUMBER 1 President

Bradley M. Harmon Publisher/General Manager

Ray Paprocki

Associate Publisher/Advertising Director

Rheta Gallagher Editorial EDITOR


Chloe Teasley Contributing Editor

Melissa Kossler Dutton Design & Production



departments 07 Editor’s Notes Graceful transitions are essential, whether you’re an entrepreneurial luminary, a banking titan or a magazine editor.

08 CEO Whiteboard Letters, social media buzz and developments since the December issue

67 Leaderboards MBA programs, hotels & independent insurance agencies

72 Office Space: Overmyer Hall The new office has modern updates while remaining true to company roots.

Yogesh Chaudhary




Erin Edwards Photography


Tim Johnson Associate photo editor

Rob Hardin Advertising


Susan Kendall

13 Breakdown A new Securities and Exchange Commission requirement highlights the inequities between CEO compensation and employee wages.

14 Profile Q&A


Cindy Monroe is returning Thirty-One Gifts to its roots as it moves to a new headquarters in New Albany.


20 Tech Talk

Gail Fullerton

Terri Tribbie, Telana Veil, Amy Vidrick Lauren Transue Marketing


Lauren Reinhard Administration

Administrative & Financial analyst

Ryan Koenig

LETTERS: PRESS RELEASES ADVERTISING Columbus CEO (ISSN 1085-911X) is published monthly by GateHouse Media, LLC. All contents of this magazine are copyrighted © 2019, all rights reserved. Reproduction or use, without written permission, of editorial or graphic content in any manner is prohibited. Publisher assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited materials. Known address of publication is 62 E. Broad St., Columbus, Ohio 43215. Periodicals postage paid at Columbus, Ohio, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Columbus CEO, 62 E. Broad St., P.O. Box 1289, Columbus, OH 43216.

SUBSCRIPTIONS l June Toll Free: 877-688-8009 2018 4 ColumbusCEO

RoamHR targets gig-economy workers; Updox launches a text-messaging product.

21 Briefing Ohio leaders go all in on blockchain; a transition occurs at Fifth Third Bank.


Barb Stauffer and Leah Monaghan

22 Small Business Spotlight Root 23 enjoys the sweet taste of success.

24 Innovation Spotlight Bosca stays on the cutting edge after more than a century of manufacturing fine leather goods.

26 Nonprofit Spotlight Taylor Hunt started the Trini Foundation to share the healing powers of yoga with those in recovery.

special sections 42 Health Watch A wave of innovation can prevent heart illnesses—and overwhelm cardiologists at the same time.

46 Employment Law Are “love contracts” a good way to address workplace romances in the age of #MeToo?

50 Estate Planning and Retirement Entrepreneurs find a niche helping seniors downsize.

52 Corporate Hospitality Photo Rob Hardin

Account Executive


Photo Rob Hardin

62 E. Broad St., P.O. Box 1289 Columbus, Ohio 43216 Phone: 614-540-8900 • Fax: 614-461-8746

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Editor’s notes *

The Art of Transition


n interesting juxtaposition occurred the same week I interviewed Cindy Monroe, the founder and CEO of Thirty-One Gifts, who I profiled for this issue (On the Mend, P. 14). I met Monroe in her company’s new headquarters in the former Bob Evans campus in New Albany a day after news broke that the Longaberger Company would liquidate its remaining assets as part of bankruptcy proceedings. In many ways, Thirty-One Gifts is following the path blazed by Longaberger, once central Ohio’s mightiest direct-selling business before ThirtyOne Gifts arrived on the scene. I noted this shared lineage to Monroe and asked if she’s learned any lessons from Longaberger’s 20-year decline, which began shortly after the 1999 death of Dave Longaberger, the wooden basket maker’s founder. Though Monroe says she hasn’t studied the Longaberger Company’s fall in detail, she did point to a couple of key takeaways: the loss of its charismatic leader, who turned an eccentric idea (selling handmade wooden baskets) into a billion-dollar business, and the importance of relationships in direct selling, which relies on an army of home-based, independent sales consultants to connect personally with customers. “Honestly, I don’t think it was their product,” Monroe says. “I don’t think it’s our product. It’s really about the relationships and the values and the mission that comes from the top and how we carry on those values.” Robert Shook agrees. An expert on direct selling, the Bexley author has written books with several icons of the industry, including Mary Kay Ash (Mary Kay Cosmetics), Doris Christopher (Pampered Chef) and Forrest Shaklee (the Shaklee nutritional company). Right before Dave Longaberger died, Shook collaborated with him on the New York Times best-selling book, Longaberger: An American Success Story. Shook is convinced Longaberg-

File/Columbus Dispatch/Matt Sullivan

Dave Longaberger signs a basket in 1997. er’s death—and the rough transition that followed afterwards—was the biggest factor in the company’s decline. “If Dave was around today, they’d be bigger than they were,” Shook says. So how should a business prepare for these kind of inevitable leadership changes? Fifth Third Bank offers an interesting model (Succeeding at Succession, P. 21). Jordan Miller, the longtime Columbus leader of the Cincinnati-based bank, retired in December following an unusually graceful transition. Francie Henry, his replacement and protégé, assumed the local reins of the bank six months before Miller actually left to help prepare her for the job. “Employees come to work for people, and you can lose some really good people in transitions, and so we wanted to be thoughtful about it and plan it,” Miller says. Transitions have been on my mind for more personal reasons, too. This issue is my last at the helm of Columbus CEO. In January, I’m returning to our sister publication, Columbus Monthly, to serve as its editor. While I’m certainly no entrepreneurial luminary or banking titan, my colleagues and I at Dispatch Magazines are doing

our best to ensure that the next leader of this publication will continue its tradition of compelling, insightful and instructive business journalism. And we believe we’ve found the right person for the job: Katy Smith, a journalist readers of this magazine already know (she’s been writing our Tech Talk column since August). A former editor at Business First for more than a decade, Katy is a sharp, talented and gracious person who knows Columbus and its business community well. She’s well positioned to succeed. In other words, nothing should be lost in the transition.

Dave Ghose, Editor January 2019 l ColumbusCEO



* Reader notes, digital buzz & Columbus CEO coverage updates

twitter responses @ColumbusCEOmag

@OneVoiceHSC: Thank you, @columbusceomag and @ceo_editor, for being a champion for nonprofits—and flagging our members at @ReebCenter and our friends at NCR and Community Shares in this essay! We appreciate your work highlighting the complex and critical businesses that nonprofits are!

MARCH 2019

Healthcare Achievement Awards Business Litigation Senior Decisions Health Watch: Orthopedic Medicine CEO Leaderboards Corporate Meeting & Banquet Facilities Online Degree Programs Home Mortgage Lenders Space Deadline: January 25 For advertising information, call 614-540-8900 today or email 8 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

I loved the article you did on Jeanie and Jay Schottenstein. We were at the JDRF special event honoring them at the Schott that night. I’m so glad you were able to interview them and highlight their modesty and commitment to charity and religion.

@gscottmccomb: Blessed to be among these CEO’s at last night’s @columbusceomag CEO of the year awards. Congrats to (R2L) Rebecca Asmo @BGCCbus, Jess Kittrell @101BeerKitchen, Frederic Bertley @cosi ! #humbled #seekvalue #feelgoodbanking

Pat Gabbe, Moms2B

Facebook responses

Hardlines Design Company: Thank you to Columbus CEO for featuring Hardlines as the Small Business Spotlight in December’s issue Ohio Film Group: Thank you Columbus CEO for the spotlight! Jim Bishop: You know that I am a big fan of your support of non-profits in our community. The business of charity and philanthropy is hard work, people need all the help they can get.

Columbus CEO’s blog features guest columns and additional interviews, breaking news and updates on monthly features. • Recent appointments. • Breaking business developments. • Guest blogs from area experts.

Top Stories CEO of the Year: Rebecca Asmo Leads with the Heart CEO of the Year: Scott McComb has Found his Own Path CEO of the Year: Jess Kittrell Knows her Craft Innovation Spotlight: The Ohio Film Group is a Filmmaking Oasis in Columbus Commercial Real Estate Spotlight: Developers Eyeing Surplus Columbus School Buildings





Breakthroughs and solutions treatments never before thought possible - all in a day’s work for Ohio State Ear, Nose and Throat specialists. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center ENTs are ranked first in Ohio and fourth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. What’s happening here is remarkable and beautiful. It’s important and it matters. Joshua Fellows knows firsthand what it means. Fellows always had plenty of reasons to smile. A 2008 procedure at a different hospital left one side of his face paralyzed. A smile became impossible. In late 2016, ENT surgeon Dr. Leslie Kim, director of Ohio State’s Facial Plastics Division, accepted Joshua as a patient. “Restoring his smile was complicated,” Kim says. “Smile muscles can atrophy irreversibly when they’ve been paralyzed for years.” But at Ohio State, the only central Ohio institution performing facial reanimation

surgery, Kim’s team was able to transplant a muscle from Fellows’ leg to replace his smile function. That’s right—they used a leg muscle to restore the smile function. By February 2017, Fellows could smile for the first time in nearly nine years. It restored his confidence, and his young children got to see their dad grin for the first time in their lives. Adverse facial effects also have been dramatically reduced for patients at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James), where surgeons have revolutionized the removal of skull base tumors. “Skull base tumors can often require incisions to the face, the side of the nose and the roof of the mouth,” says Dr. Daniel Prevedello, director of Ohio State’s Minimally Invasive Cranial Surgery

Until Moberly’s study, most research on cochlear implant success focused on device signal quality. But he’s studying how patients’ cognitive skills come into play.

Program and one of many neurosurgeons who collaborate with ENT teams for state-of-the-art care. The OSUCCC – James procedure blends minimally invasive robotic surgery with endoscopic endonasal surgery, combining the expertise of brain surgeons and ear, nose and throat surgeons to remove such tumors through the nose or mouth. Patients experience quicker recovery and are spared the pain and scarring that comes with open facial surgery. “To our knowledge, we were the first to combine these two techniques in patients,” says Dr. Ricardo Carrau, an otolaryngologist/head and neck surgeon at the OSUCCC – James. Behind the scenes of life-changing procedures, ENT specialists are driving research in other areas. One growing area is cochlear implants, which are becoming more common as our population ages and is treated more often for acquired hearing loss. Ohio State otolaryngologist Dr. Aaron Moberly is investigating why people with cochlear implants have varying success rates in understanding speech.

“If we can predict who’s likely to need extra help,” Moberly says, “we can intervene with other therapies, potentially improving quality of life dramatically for those affected by severe hearing loss.” Meanwhile, researcher Irina Castellanos leads a team that’s partnered with Nationwide Children’s Hospital to examine quality-of-life outcomes for preschoolers who have the implants. The first-ofits-kind study will reveal how delays in language and executive functioning skills help explain and predict psychosocial development. Understanding individual children’s different neurocognitive factors can help healthcare teams provide better care for the whole person—not just for the ear —in childhood and beyond. All of this is remarkable, and it is changing lives for the better. Ohio State is home to the most advanced, comprehensive ENT care in the region and some of the best specialists in the nation. And they’re making a difference.

Since 1955, with a team driven to provide innovative solutions, Worthington Industries is One of US. See why forward-thinking organizations like Worthington Industries excel as One of US at Media Sponsor:

Breakdown Compiled by dave ghose + Infographic by Yogesh Chaudhary

C o m pa r i n g Pay c h e c k s CEO’s yearly pay

CEO & median pay ratio

Fran Horowitz

CEO, Abercrombie & Fitch

$10.2 million David Kornberg

CEO, Express

$6.5 million David Campisi

CEO (retired), Big Lots

$8.3 million Roger Rawlins


$4.9 million Les Wexner

CEO & Founder, L. Brands

$5.7 million Todd Penegor

CEO, Wendy’s

$5.5 million Mike Kaufmann

CEO, Cardinal Health

$11.4 million Stephen Steinour

CEO, Huntington Bank

$8.7 million Nick Akins



$11.5 million

More Money Be sure to check out our sister publication Columbus Monthly’s January issue, which includes a feature on all things money in central Ohio, including a list of some of the highest-paid executives in the city.

Jeffery Edwards, CEO,

Installed Building Products

$4.6 million Robert Schottenstein

CEO, M/I Homes

$4.8 million David Ciesinski

CEO, Lancaster Colony

$2.7 million John P. McConnell

CEO, Wortington Industries

$4.4 million

3,431:1 1,022:1 951:1 618:1 499:1 295:1 221:1 145:1 102:1 96:1 74.5:1 69:1 69:1

January 2019 l ColumbusCEO

Source: SEC filings, 2017 data

A new federal rule is highlighting the large financial gap between chief executives and their workers. For the first time, the SEC required in 2018 that public companies disclose CEO compensation in comparison to the company’s median salary. And the differences are significant, especially in the retail industry, which relies heavily on seasonal and parttime workers.


profile By Dave ghose + Photos by Rob Hardin

Cindy Monroe Founder, CEO and President

Thirty-One Gifts

In Position: Since 2003 Previous: Product development

at Unum insurance company, Chattanooga, Tennessee

Education: University of Tennessee

at Chattanooga, bachelor’s degree in business administration

Community Involvement: Advisory board of the Salvation Army in Central Ohio, Women Presidents’ Organization, Young Presidents’ Organization

On the Mend Cindy Monroe hopes a new headquarters and a return to core values can continue the turnaround at Thirty-One Gifts.


indy Monroe likes to say she earned her “president’s badge” over the past few years. After a decade of astronomical growth, her company, Thirty-One Gifts, began to stall. Sales dropped from a high point of about $760 million in 2013 (when the company was named the fastest-growing woman-owned business in the world) to about $400 million in 2016, a nearly 50-percent decline. For the first time since she started her company in 2003, Monroe had to cut costs, fire employees, shake up leadership and communicate those difficult decisions with staffers. Monroe used an analogy to get her

14 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

point across during those tough days. Likening the company’s struggles to whitewater rafting, she bought several oars for her executives. She told them they needed to row together as a team to make it through the choppy waters. Not everybody was on board. “Some did leave,” Monroe says. “Some were like, ‘OK, that was way more fun when we were growing at 1,900 percent.’ ” But most stuck it out, she says, and after four years of furious paddling, she and her team are now enjoying a much smoother ride. Though the company isn’t experiencing the go-go growth of before, it no longer is in decline, either. Sales stabilized in 2017 after a three-year downward trajectory, and Monroe in November predicted 2018 would wrap up with flat or slightly higher sales, as well. What’s more, Monroe says the company just had its biggest recruiting month of new independent sales consultants (the lifeblood of any direct-selling business) since 2011. “Whenever we have those small wins, we all celebrate them together, and everybody knows they had a part in it,” Monroe says. And Monroe hopes for some bigger wins soon, perhaps courtesy of two major announcements she made in the fall. In January, about 350 ThirtyOne Gifts employees will move into a new headquarters in New Albany. The company spent $24 million in November to buy the 40-acre campus, the former home of Bob Evans, which offers plenty of space for growth and amenities (walking paths, towering windows and an open floor plan) that could help attract and retain talent. In the second quarter of 2019, the company also will move its Columbus distribution center to the Dallas area. That shift will cost central Ohio about 800 jobs, but it will put Thirty-One Gifts closer to the markets where it anticipates the most growth, including the western United States and Mexico. Monroe compares those changes to her decision to relocate her company from her native Tennessee to central Ohio in 2008. Like the Columbus move did a decade ago, she hopes these new changes will result in an-

We had lost a little bit of who we were because we were so busy chasing sales, so busy getting orders out the door, so busy ramping up.

Cindy Monroe

Q&A Was your family entrepreneurial? It was not. But both my parents worked very hard and balanced that family life. And so I really feel like [that’s] what has helped me be successful from just seeing that hard work growing up. Did you face any challenges as a woman? For sure. I would walk into a bank meeting, and they would be blown away that I could actually talk about my financials. It almost became fun for me. I didn’t take it as a victim. I really wanted to show them that I had done my homework, and that I was very confident in what I was asking for. How important is personalization in helping your products stand out? It’s huge. We’ve expanded into photos so I think that has helped us a ton. We’ve got some examples here where you can tell a story, and I think that’s what personalization does. And it helps you be able to show your personality. Are consultants using social media to build relationships? A lot of them have customer Facebook groups, and so they will go on there, and they will build relationships with their customers. Then they will take that conversation offline to messenger or texting. They’re showing up in Facebook Live, and their customers are getting to know them. Their customers don’t feel like they’re just buying from a company. They’re actually getting to know her. Did you consider leaving central Ohio before buying the Bob Evans property for your new headquarters? We definitely looked at it through all the analysis, but when we found this campus, it kind of felt like home. It felt like what we wanted to build upon. Are you going to keep the Bob Evans logo on the silo on the campus? I’m pretty sure it’s going to stay Bob Evans. I really do want to help co-brand and to help make sure that we are embracing this amazing farm, and kind of honoring what they’ve built. I really don’t think the silo is part of our Thirty-One brand, so why not honor Bob Evans? January 2019 l ColumbusCEO


other flowering for the business. “This is a huge moment in history for us,” Monroe says.

•• • The Fast Track

Thirty-One Gifts grew out of Monroe’s own frustration as a working mother of two young children. Family responsibilities and her job at Unum insurance company made it difficult to find the time to visit new boutiques popping up around the Tennessee town where she lived with her husband, Scott, a musician and Baptist pastor, and her children, Alyx and Evan. She recognized she wasn’t the only mother in this situation and decided to start a business that catered to this group. A former Pampered Chef sales consultant during college, she adopted a direct-selling business model, where independent, home-based consultants would sell her products—bags, purses and other accessories. Deeply religious, she named her company after Proverbs 31, which celebrates women’s strengths. She started Thirty-One Gifts in the basement of her home in Soddy-Daisy about 17 miles north of Chattanooga.

She faced plenty of skepticism. Cathy Smith, a friend from Monroe’s church, became her first employee, working in Monroe’s basement alongside both Monroe and her then partner, Julie Sutton, whose role with the company decreased in later years. Smith recalls a conversation with a UPS deliveryman who came by Monroe’s house back in those days. “He said, ‘Is this one of those garage businesses?’ ” recalls Smith, who remains involved with Thirty-One Gifts today as a member of the sales leadership team. “I went, ‘Yes sir.’ And he said, ‘Yeah, it’ll probably never make it.’ I really wish I got that guy’s business card to go, ‘Hey, do you remember what you said to me that day?’ ” Indeed, Thirty-One Gifts took off quickly. Monroe and her team would

I would walk into a bank meeting, and they would be blown away that I could talk about my financials.

pull all-nighters to keep up with demand, especially during Christmas. After about a year, the business moved out of Monroe’s basement and eventually settled in a 40,000-squarefoot warehouse in Chattanooga around 2007. Smith says the fast growth led to some jokes about the company’s name. “Thirty-One, we said, changed every 31 minutes, and then we said it changed every 31 seconds,” Smith says. Thirty-One’s emphasis on personalization (monogramming names and meaningful phrases on products) helped drive that growth, Smith says. “It was more of a unique gift,” Smith says. Plus, the company’s religious roots and Monroe’s leadership and charisma helped draw consultants and customers. “Cindy’s always been inspirational and always lifts people up and is always looking for the good in people and looking for how we can help them be successful,” Smith says. Adds Jenny Hillenburg, the first Thirty-One Gifts sales consultant: “She’s very visionary, and I think that’s very contagious to people, and that’s why she is successful.”

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Monroe also turned out to be a shrewd corporate leader. Her decision to relocate to Ohio in 2008 paid off in a big way. In 2009, the company reported $38 million in revenue. Four years later, that figure made an astounding leap to $760 million—a 1,900-percent increase, which led the Women Presidents’ Organization to name the company the fastest-growing woman-owned business in the world. Hillenburg saw her sales consultant business grow beyond her wildest dreams during this period. Though obviously not typical—the average consultant makes about $6,000 annually—Hillenburg says she was able to build a sales network of more than 100,000 people and earn more than a million dollars a year.

•• • Surviving the Fall

In Columbus, Monroe found a supportive environment for her business. With its new Midwestern location, ThirtyOne Gifts was able to grow in Ohio and surrounding states, building upon the company’s strong base in the southeast part of the country. Central Ohio

also provided good access to talent, the main reason for the move, Monroe says. And a lot of that talent was familiar with direct selling, which wasn’t the case in Atlanta, the other city that Monroe considered for relocation. The Longaberger Company, a Newark-based direct seller of handmade wooden baskets, helped create that familiarity in the Columbus region. But Longaberger also presented a cautionary tale. On a downward spiral since the 1999 death of its founder Dave Longaberger, the basket maker’s struggles showcased what can happen to a direct-seller that doesn’t adjust

to market trends. And when ThirtyOne Gifts’ growth stalled in 2014 and continued to drop in the following years, central Ohio business observers couldn’t help but wonder if Thirty-One might be starting its own Longabergerlike decline. Monroe acknowledges that the sales drops caught her and others at ThirtyOne Gifts off guard. Though the company didn’t expect to continue to grow at a record-setting rate, it did expect some expansion and purchased inventory with that in mind. Monroe was forced to adjust. Her status as one of the most successful women entrepreneurs in the country has made her an in-demand speaker, but Monroe pulled back from those types of events to focus on turning around her company. On the financial side, she was forced to “right-size” the company’s budget to match the new revenue realities. But perhaps the biggest challenge was more cultural. “We had lost a little bit of who we were, because we were so busy chasing sales, so busy getting orders out the door, so busy ramping up,” Monroe says. She wanted to refocus the company around its core values of

The Graduate School

January 2019 l ColumbusCEO


empowering women and helping them succeed. “As we started that decline and started assessing, it was, ‘OK, where is this coming from, how can we evolve, how can we get back to some of the basics?’ ” When other direct sellers have faced declining sales, Monroe says they’ve pushed hard into new demographics and international markets. She decided to go a different route, however. “That was one of the areas I chose not to get distracted with during the decline,” she says. Instead, she focused on strengthening the company’s foundation—internal operations and relationships with current customers and consultants. Some weren’t willing to stick around. The number of consultants dropped by nearly 50 percent, from a high-water mark of about 120,000 to around 61,000 in 2017. “Some people just left because they had to go get jobs or whatever to support their families,” says Hillenburg, who lost nearly 40 percent of her sales network. “But then there are those people who saw the vision and passion from Cindy and stuck around.” Now, those loyalists are benefitting.

In addition to improving sales, the number of consultants has risen again, back up to around 73,000. Hillenburg and Smith both praise the company’s new products, such as convertible purses and belt bags, wood caddys and photo holders—as well as table galleries, pillows and wall art that can be personalized with photos. “We’re at the point where we’re getting new stuff every three months now, which is amazing,” Hillenburg says. Smith says the company has turned a corner. “You can see it in the sales, but you can also see it in the attitudes,” Smith says. “It’s another level of excitement, and everybody’s just happy for what’s to come.” Hillenburg echoes those comments. “We’re nowhere near where we were in those peak times, but we’re definitely on an increase, and our product line just keeps getting better and better.” There’s also excitement about the company’s new headquarters and distribution center. In early November, Monroe sits in a conference room in the former Bob Evans building, next door to her future corner office. Eventually, Thirty-One Gifts employ-

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Songs & Sounds of the Harlem Renaissance Friday, January 18 Lincoln Theatre


Sunday, February 10 Nationwide Arena



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18 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

Tuesday, March 19 Schottenstein Center


ees will occupy about three-quarters of the building, while the company will lease back the rest of the property to Bob Evans. In addition to the main 136,000-square-foot building, the campus also includes two additional structures, including one that ThirtyOne Gifts plans to use for training sales consultants. “We can have 200 people come in for the day and train them, and the hotels are right next door,” Monroe says. “It was a really good fit for our sales field and for our employees.” She says she anticipates hiring more staff in the coming years to fill the campus, though there are no immediate additions planned. Meanwhile, the new Dallas area distribution center also may play an important role in expanding the reach of Thirty-One Gifts. “We know that growth opportunity out west is huge for us,” Monroe says. “We’ve not even begun to tap into that market.” And now that she’s addressed the foundational challenges, Monroe is looking to grow internationally beyond Canada, where the company has been since 2012. Mexico’s close proximity to the Texas distribution center could help


expansion efforts in the bordering country. “I really feel like it’s a winwin,” says Monroe, who launched initiatives targeting Latinas and African-Americans in 2018. “There are so many Latinas here in the U.S. that are already selling for us, that have families in Mexico. So, as soon as we open up that opportunity, they’ll be asking their cousin, ‘Hey, would you love to sell Thirty-One and make some extra money?’ ” To be sure, Thirty-One Gifts isn’t in the free and clear yet. Major questions still remain, such as the long-term sustainability of the business amid digital disruption and cultural changes. For many years, direct selling was popular with women because bias and sexism kept them from other employment opportunities. The late makeup tycoon

We know that growth opportunity out west is huge for us. We’ve not even begun to tap into that.

Mary Kay Ash built her direct-selling empire on this inequity. But how can a direct seller like Thirty-One Gifts continue to compete as more lucrative opportunities open up for women amid changing societal norms? Monroe says relationships will keep her business going. “I think that the younger generation is even more interested in a relationship with our consultants,” says Monroe, who even in the era of Amazon requires all sales come through consultants. Despite her faith in her business, however, Monroe tries to avoid bold proclamations about its future. Tough times have taught her the importance of humility. She and others in the company used to talk about becoming a billion-dollar business. These days, they’re goals are more modest—at least financially. She talks about “healthy growth” and building her company on a foundation of strong values. “As long as our employees still love working here, and as along as our consultants are proud of Thirty-One Gifts, then I don’t care what size we are,” she says. Dave Ghose is the editor.


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Company: Vaultz Inc.

Tech talk

Product: RoamHR app CEO: Rick Gonzalez

By Katy Smith •

Launch Pad: RoamHR Targets Gig Workers


ith the gig economy forecast to more than double to 54 million of the nation’s 150 million tax filers by 2021, helping 1099 workers handle their taxes is a huge opportunity. Columbus-based Vaultz Inc. is racing to capture that market. With a deep background in financial technology dating to his days working on re-

mote deposits at Austin, Texas-based USAA, founding CEO Rick Gonzalez left his job as a digital business strategist at Huntington National Bank earlier this year to launch the new company. Vaultz is developing an app called RoamHR that calculates and dynamically recalculates a user’s tax burden as the year progresses. It then deposits the funds into a savings account it sets up for that purpose and sends them to the IRS. The idea is to bring the convenience of an HR department and automatic tax deductions to the 1099 experience. “In the case of the gig economy, there’s nobody there taking care of you,” Gonzalez said. “The problem

Will RoamHR achieve startup success? P ot e n t i a l u s e r

P ot e n t i a l i n v e s to r

“As a long-time freelance professional, I could see RoamHR being helpful to those who are self-employed. I’ve heard multiple stories of freelancers being caught off guard by the quarterly taxes—they had no idea that they had to pay them or how much they should be paying. That can cause real financial hardship, if you’ve earned a lot but failed to set aside any of your income to pay your taxes.”

“Vaultz accurately identifies the growth of non-conventional jobs, many of which are 1099-based. Unlike employees, contractors must calculate their own payroll taxes so the Vaultz app should be well-received. Because of the high cost of acquiring consumer customers, Vaultz may be better served by selling directly to banks, fintech and other adjacent-space companies who possess an existing base of customers.”

Michelle Garrett founder, Garrett Public Relations

Bob Fisher CEO at Fisher Advisors & angel investor

i n d u st ry ex p e rt

“The key to their success will be distribution and adoption of their app. I believe financial institutions (banks and credit unions) will be keen to work with a technology partner that can bring them cash deposits, but they will need to prove that they can get the 1099 worker to adopt their technology to assist them with their tax burdens.” Kevin Pohmer, CEO of IXN Tech and fintech entrepreneur/investor

20 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

Partners: Matt Armstead, executive director at Fintech 71 and partner at Horizon Two Labs; Ken Andrulis, vice president with Mastercard; others Funding: $50,000 development expenses internally funded to date

for 1099 workers is a lot of times they have no idea what they’re getting paid, and a lot of times they have multiple people that pay them. They have no idea what to take out for taxes.” Gonzalez, a software developer, has taken the app through 28 builds and has been beta testing it since August. The company is in talks with large banks and is looking to enter into a relationship with a tax-filing partner, he says. RoamHR will go to market this tax filing season with a $7.99 monthly fee for users. But its potential to generate revenue on deposits is where the real money lies. For every 1 percent of the 54 million-person marketplace RoamHR engages, it could collect $300 million in deposits. Banks would pay it a percentage of that. RoamHR plans to quickly add other human resourcestype functions for users.

Updox Adds New Product Dublin-based Updox has launched a text messaging product that connects doctors with patients and with their healthcare colleagues. The product allows healthcare workers to get immediate answers, said Updox CEO Michael Morgan in a release. “If they need a question answered internally, they stop again to track someone down or leave a reminder note. It’s the epitome of frustration.” Secure Text and Messenger uses encryption methods compliant with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, allowing patients and healthcare providers to exchange images, videos and text electronically. The new product works within Updox’s existing suite of digital tools for healthcare professionals, including appointment scheduling and reminders, forms, payments and secure email. Updox is on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies.

briefing By dave ghose

Blockheads Ohio leaders bet on blockchain.


hio Treasurer Josh Mandel made plenty of people scratch their heads with one of his last actions before leaving office in January. In late November, the Republican from Northeast Ohio began allowing Ohio businesses to pay their taxes with Bitcoin. The announcement occurred on the same day that the cryptocurrency lost 10 percent of its value, worsening a decline that began earlier in 2018. So why would Mandel go all in on such an unstable financial product?

Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel Courtesy AP Photo/Phil Long

First, he points out that Ohio will convert Bitcoin tax payments immediately to U.S. dollars to avoid fluctuations. Second, he emphasizes that the state’s embrace of cryptocurrency is just as much about Bitcoin’s underlying technology, blockchain, as it is about digital money. “We’re doing this

Success at Succession Francie Henry replaces Jordan Miller at Fifth Third. Leadership changes aren’t often this smooth. In December, Jordan Miller, the longtime regional leader of Fifth Third Bank, retired after more than a decade as the Cincinnatibased bank’s regional president in Columbus. The move isn’t unforeseen. In fact, his replacement already has moved in. In June, Fifth Third, the fourth-largest bank in central Ohio, named Francie Henry the new regional president for a territory that includes

Southeast Ohio, West Virginia and Eastern Kentucky, in addition to Greater Columbus. Henry, Miller’s protégé, transitioned into the role while Miller, who was named regional chairman for the last six months of his Fifth Third career, stayed on during her initial months and eased her transition. “It’s been a really measured transition, and one that allowed employees and clients to understand that it was orderly, and it was thought out,” Henry says. “And it’s been great to have his leadership and his knowledge.” Miller has focused more Courtesy WELD/Joey Chase

Jordan Miller with Francie Henry

on community activities, such as chairing the United Way of Central Ohio 2018 campaign during this period, but he’s also been available to help with Fifth Third operations as Henry learned the ropes these past few months. “He’s not fussed too much about what he wants to be in, but when I need him, I can pull him back in,” she says. Miller has been eying Henry as his replacement since he promoted her to become the Columbus market president in 2017. It was a new position—Cincinnati is the only other Fifth Third city with a market president— and Miller hoped it would prepare her to eventually fill his spot. “The company was really behind making sure that she was ready, had all the right tools,” Miller says. “She’s well networked in the community and well networked in the bank, so all of those things really allowed her to just move right in.”  –Dave Ghose

project to let the rest of the country know that Ohio is loud and proud about embracing blockchain technology,” Mandel says. Indeed, Ohio leaders are betting big on blockchain. While most associate the digital ledger technology with Bitcoin, the software has potential beyond digital money, and developers are busy coming up with applications in healthcare, finance, real estate and other sectors. No other state has embraced blockchain more than Ohio, says Tony Franco, the CEO and co-founder of SafeChain, a Columbus startup that uses blockchain to prevent fraud in property transactions. “We’re literally No. 1, and I would expect us to continue to see the benefits of the hard work of our state and local officials over the next 50 years,” Franco says. In addition to Mandel’s Bitcoin initiative, Gov. John Kasich signed a law in August that gave records or contracts secured through blockchain legal legitimacy. Other municipalities—including Franklin County— have experimented with the technology, while Ohio investors are putting money into blockchain startups. In February, SafeChain raised $3 million in venture capital—led by Columbus’ NCT Ventures—and during the early December Blockland conference, Cleveland’s JumpStart and several other Ohio accelerators announced plans to invest $100 million in earlystage companies using the digital ledger technology. “I think we have 100 percent of the ingredients that we need in Ohio to capitalize on the new technology moving forward,” Franco says.  –Dave Ghose January 2019 l ColumbusCEO


spotlight By Melissa Kossler Dutton + Photo by Rob Hardin

Small Business

Sweet Success Two Clintonville moms ride the craft cocktail wave.


hile exploring healthy popsicles as a potential business idea, Barb Stauffer and Leah Monaghan began creating simple syrups infused with herbs and other natural ingredients to enhance the flavors. They soon found other uses for the syrups, including in cocktails. The response of friends and family to the drinks was so overwhelmingly positive, Stauffer and Monaghan decided to market the syrups as a stand-alone product. The partners, both residents of Clintonville, named the company Root 23 after the road that serves as one of the Columbus neighborhood’s main arteries and a nod to their focus on natural products. Stauffer and Monaghan, who met because their children attend the same school, began researching the proper guidelines for safely producing food products. During the process, they sought advice from many local entrepreneurs, Stauffer says. “The small business community in Columbus is great,” she says. “It seemed like everyone gave us a nugget of information that made a difference.” They also solicited advice from friends and family. They hosted an open house where guests sampled

Root 23 P.O. Box 14546, Columbus 43214 About: Produces handcrafted, all-natural,

small batch simple syrups created with organic cane sugar and locally sourced ingredients for cocktails, non-alcoholic drinks and cooking

Owners: Barb Stauffer & Leah Monaghan

22 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

Barb Stauffer and Leah Monaghan at Watershed Kitchen & Bar, one of their customers. their 15 best flavor ideas in order to choose the top four that they would use to launch the company. Winning flavors included Cucumber Habanero, Grapefruit Basil and Vanilla Ginger. “That was really helpful. There were flavors we really loved that other people didn’t touch. Everyone responded well to the idea of using the syrups to create fun cocktails,” Monaghan says. The women used their own money to buy bottles and rent space in a commercial kitchen to make and bottle the syrup. They each invested about $5,000. Once they perfected the recipes, they took the syrups to local grocery stores. Every store they visited agreed to carry the syrup. Weiland’s Market in Clintonville readily offered to stock Root 23. Everything about the product was excellent, says owner Jennifer Wil-

liams. She prides herself on carrying local products but knew right away that Root 23 was special. “They do a great job,” she says. “They’re not just a local product that people should buy because they’re local. The product is beautiful. It’s beautifully packaged. It’s at the right price point.” The packaging reflects Root 23’s authentic brand story, says Adam Lehman, co-founder of Wonder Jam, the Grandview creative studio that helped develop the logo. “Some companies pay us to help them come up with their story. They knew their customer. They had big dreams for their brand.” Stauffer and Monaghan made their first batch of syrups during their kids’ last week of school in May 2015. Once it was done, they loaded their minivans and delivered it to stores. School was out for summer when

“We believe there’s still a lot of growth potential ... We regularly field requests from stores on the West Coast.


Barb Stauffer, co-founder customers started reordering the syrups. They began going to the commercial kitchen and making batches of syrup early in the morning in order to be home before their husbands left for work. They would bring the bottles home and their children would help affix labels and make boxes. “They still help us,” Stauffer says. “They are excited about the business. It’s been good for them to see our hard work pay off.” The partners soon realized that their idea was marketable beyond central Ohio. They worked with a distributor to find stores willing to sell it. As demand grew, they found a co-packer in Cleveland that uses their recipes to create the handmade syrups. Today, their products are available at 150 locations in 13 states. The women continue to run the business without any additional staff. They spend time each week at their warehouse making boxes and packing them. They even still use their minivans to deliver to a few of their customers. They don’t have titles and share the workload, which often includes picking up each other’s children from school. Moving forward, they would like to increase their distribution and sell to more bars and restaurants. “We believe there’s still a lot of growth potential,” Stauffer says. “We regularly field requests from stores on the West Coast. It’s just a matter finding a cost effective way to get the product to them.” They’ve been fortunate that the launch of their business has coincided with the rise of the craft distilling industry, which sold nearly 7.2 million cases in 2017—an increase of 23.7 percent over 2016. “They tapped into the market just as it was starting,” Williams says. “Craft cocktails are big. They caught the market at the right time and are riding the wave.” Melissa Kossler Dutton is a freelance writer.

Open channels of creativity, break down communication barrier and work together to solve a common problem—all in a fun and engaging learning experience through COSI’s unique The Science of Team Building program. Available for groups from 25-250 in 2, 4, and 6 hour format options. Visit to learn more.

333 West Broad Street, Columbus, OH 43215 | 614.228.267 January 2019 l ColumbusCEO



By Peter Tonguette + Photo by Rob hardin


Tough as Leather Chris Bosca’s innovative practices have helped his 107-year-old family business survive.


hat suggests Old World tradition more than a maker of leather goods? Chris Bosca—the CEO of the top-end leather company Bosca— doesn’t disagree. “The Bosca brand is over 100 years old now,” says Bosca, whose grandfather, Italian-born Hugo, founded the Springfield-based company as a maker of handbags in 1911. “A product like ours plays by a little bit different rules. There is this sort of attachment to the past and tradition.” Under the leadership of the founder’s grandson, however, the company has been anything but stodgy. While remaining true to its roots, Bosca— who lives in Columbus, where he operates the company’s design studio—has expanded its product line to include wallets, backpacks, totes and other accessories. More significantly,

“The only business that has been a big-growth business for us has been internet business. ” Chris Bosca, CEO, Bosca

Bosca 764 Oak St., Columbus 43205 About: maker of fine leather goods Employees: 25

24 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

Chris Bosca the business has positioned itself on the cutting edge in how it reaches customers. Evolving from its past reliance on large, multi-branded retailers, the company today concentrates on online sales via third-party retailers, like, and its own website, “It’s down to a couple of department stores that are in existence and are appropriate for our brand,” Bosca says, pointing to Dillard’s, Nordstrom and Von Maur. Although those and other brick-andmortar retailers—including luggage stores and men’s stores—remain important, the company prioritizes the web. “The only business that has been a big-growth business for us has been internet business,” Bosca says. The son of Mario Bosca—who helped run the company following the death of Hugo—Chris grew up in the business. “When I was a little kid, on most Saturday mornings, I was down at the office with my dad, and I’d be out in the factory making something,” says Bosca, who kept a hand in dayto-day operations even while attending Wittenberg University. “I worked in the factory on the stitching line.” Today, much of Bosca’s manufacturing has moved off-site, including to China, but one constant has been

sourcing leather from Italy. Many products feature a hand-stained variety called Old Leather. “It’s all done in one little place right now, and I actually physically inspect,” Bosca says. “I go through, and I grade and select all of the hides, and then they’re shipped to wherever we need it to be.” The most significant change Bosca has overseen has been the transition to a web-first distribution strategy. To assist in this effort, Bosca turned in 2012 to Adept Marketing, which oversaw an overhaul of and utilizes strategies like search engine marketing. “In essence, using the search engine as a way when people were either looking for something like ‘Italian leather wallet,’ . . . that we were showing up where those consumers were looking,” says Adept Marketing’s Danielle Walton. Including partners such as, Bosca says that over 55 percent of its purchases now take place online. He also believes that in-store purchases are often preceded by online activity. “I think that almost all of our new customers discover us online,” he says. “Then they go to stores to find our product.” Key to the strategy is effectively telling the company’s story. In years past, they relied on print advertising.

Columbus #1 CITY FOR

“You could repeat it enough times, and it would work,” Bosca says. “Now I don’t think that people are seeing those things or lingering on them.” Today, the company recounts its history, tradition and reputation online. On the website, a button reading “Why it’s worth the price” sits beside the purchase price of products. “I wanted for people, right in their pathway, to say, ‘Well, this looks interesting, but who are these people?’ ” Bosca says. “And for them to be able to—without getting too far away from the product—find out a little bit more about who we are.” While maintaining its headquarters in Springfield, the company has long had a presence in Columbus; its current spot in Olde Towne East houses the online marketing creative department. “Not that there isn’t creativity in Springfield,” he says, but Columbus is home to the photography, web design and email production departments. Bosca feels he is reaching a new demographic; in addition to its traditional baby-boomer clientele, 30-somethings are drawn to craftsmanship. “We’re looking for people that value something that is going to last, not something that is just inexpensive,” he says.





Kauffman Foundation 2016 - 2017

PitchBook 2015 - 2017



Visit us at

Start your


Peter Tonguette is a freelance writer. January 2019 l ColumbusCEO



By Kathy Lynn Gray + Photo by Rob hardin


Serenity and Sobriety Yoga helped Taylor Hunt beat heroin. Now he’s encouraging other addicts to follow his path.


hattered in mind, body and spirit from 10 years of drinking, popping pills and, ultimately, shooting up heroin, Taylor Hunt finally found sobriety during his fourth trip to a drug rehabilitation center. Six months later, still working the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to stay clean, the then 25-year-old Dublin native was stymied by the 11th step—connecting with God through prayer and meditation. “I was good at praying, but I didn’t know how to meditate,” Hunt says. Then Ashtanga yoga came into his life and changed everything. “Yoga, matched with the 12 steps, has given

“I feel like this is a solution for some of the people who are struggling.” Taylor Hunt, founder of Trini Foundation

Trini Foundation 417 Kenbrook Dr., Worthington 43085 About: A nonprofit dedicated to bringing

Ashtanga yoga to those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. The foundation provides scholarships for yoga classes to aid in recovery and long-term sobriety.

Founder: Taylor Hunt Employees: 25 part-time teachers

26 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

me an entirely new life,” says Hunt, now in his 12th year of sobriety, his 10th year as a Columbus yoga instructor and his third year leading a nonprofit that helps other recovering addicts through yoga. That nonprofit, the Trini Foundation, provides scholarships for recovering addicts to take Ashtanga yoga classes. Started in 2016, it has provided 500 scholarships using about $150,000 donated to the organization. “I wanted to make sure other people could do the 12 steps and take yoga, do them together, because it can give you a completely different equation [in recovery],” he says. “But I knew that financially a lot of people in recovery couldn’t afford yoga, and I felt that was unacceptable.” Hunt, 37, is the executive director of Trini. His wife, Jessica Hunt, who also is a recovering addict and an Ashtanga yoga instructor, is the co-director and program coordinator. Hunt has written a book about his experience, A Way From Darkness, and the couple own and operate Ashtanga Yoga Columbus, a Clintonville studio where some scholarship students attend classes. Originally, the foundation only gave scholarships to students in Ohio, but it has expanded its reach throughout the country as more people have

learned about the opportunity and more studios have been willing to partner with the foundation. Besides funding scholarships, Trini pays instructors to teach yoga classes in all the drug treatment centers in Columbus so that those struggling with sobriety can try it out. One of those programs is operated by the Columbus Public Health department. Treatment program manager Debbie Helldoerfer says a Trini instructor has been teaching a class for recovering addicts in the outpatient program once a week. “It’s been amazing,” Helldoerfer says. “I wish we could offer it to everyone every day.” Yoga, she says, helps participants “be present and in-the-moment,” helping to teach them how to focus on one thing at a time. “It’s calming the brain and the body, getting them involved in something that can stabilize their mood, reduce their cravings and help them feel better physically. They come to the class grumbling, but they make progress.” According to the American Addiction Centers website, yoga is being increasingly used in addiction treatment programs as a way to reduce stress, manage withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapses. But first, recovering addicts need to be willing to try yoga. When a woman in AA first suggested

Columbus State. Making Us Stronger.

Taylor Hunt yoga to Hunt, he dismissed the idea. “I was like, ‘You’re out of your mind. I’m not doing yoga.’ ” But she persisted until Hunt agreed. Hunt’s first yoga class was scary and awkward, but he returned at the urging of his AA sponsor. Soon, he felt a sense of contentedness from the class. “I felt like I had some value to me as a person, and that’s the first time I’d felt that,” Hunt says. “And from that day on I never stopped doing it.” Yoga gives him clarity about his life and actions that have helped him stop his compulsive behaviors and deal with depression and anxiety. He’s seen the same result in some of Trini’s scholarship students. One, a 25-year-old waiter, has been sober for two years. Another, a woman of about 30, has gone from being a grocery-store cashier to a marketing manger in the nearly two years she’s been sober. Hunt has ambitious plans. He’d like to expand into every state and to convince government officials that yoga can be a viable means of treatment. “We are on the front lines of getting people to understand what this is . . . and how it can help them in their addiction,” Hunt says. “I feel like this is a solution for some of the people who are struggling.”

Columbus State produces the talent employers need. Learn more at

Kathy Lynn Gray is a freelance writer. January 2019 l ColumbusCEO




October 18, 2018 + Photos by Shelle fisher and Matt Reece

St. Charles Walter Commons

Homeport Celebration John Edgar was honored with the 2018 Voice and Vision award.

1 3

2 4

12 1 Denise Robinson, Arlene Reitter and Adrienne Braxton-Yates

2 Dorothy Cage-Evans, Hank Evans and Melanie Cates

3 Maude Hill, Bill Byers and Bruce Luecke 4 Maggie Parks, Joyce Mayne, Melle Eldridge, Kathy Carter


10 9

28 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

5 Mary Cusick, Lynn Elliott, Susan McDonough

and Carol McGuire 6 Rita Parise. Ian Labitue and Stephanie Talbert 7 Bob Weiler, Michael Kelley, Cindy Kelley, Tim Kelley, John Edgar, Don Kelley and Ben Kelley 8 Lark Mallory, Bob Weiler and Missy Weiler 9 Tom Krouse and Jane Abell 10 Chris Beal, James Price, Clyde Owens and Reggie Thomas 11 Dan Sharpe, Tom and Lisa Courtice, Michael Jones 12 Mike and Molly Purcell and Sarah Kernan

8 7



FEBRUARY 7, 2019 // 7–9:15 AM GREATER COLUMBUS CONVENTION CENTER COLUMBUS.ORG/ANNUALMEETING The Chamber’s 2019 Annual Meeting will leave you feeling inspired through empowering keynotes, a unique interactive networking display, and the presentation of the Columbus Award and Small Business Leader Award. Connect and collaborate with nearly 1,200 of the Region’s leading business associates. You’ll hear from dynamic speakers as they share relevant and inspiring stories covering topics like growth, partnership and transformation.

Columbus Award Since 1964, the Columbus Chamber has recognized business leaders who have shown great success in business and have provided outstanding leadership in the community. Past recipients include Jim Kunk, W.W. “Woody” Hayes and Leslie H. Wexner. Small Business Leader Award Each year, three small business leaders are nominated for the Chamber’s Small Business Leader Award thanks to their exemplary success in a myriad of areas. Previous recipients include Cameron Mitchell, Dwight Smith and Greg Ubert.

Be one of the first to experience the Chamber’s new interactive networking display, complete with exclusive swag customized to the event experience. You’ll leave the program feeling prepared to ignite change to your bottom line in 2019. For a full agenda and up-to-date event details, please visit 2019 KEYNOTE PRESENTERS: Aslyne Rodriguez Co-founder & CEO, EmpowerBus


John R. Ness CEO, ODW Logistics


Dr. John Comerford

President, Otterbein University

Erin Bender

Executive Director of The Point, Otterbein University


Michael Thornton Executive Director, JPMorgan Chase




November 14, 2018 + Photos by Dan Trittschuh

St. Charles Walter Commons

Best of Business Winners as voted on by Columbus CEO readers were recognized.








1 Chris Ebert and Kim Pheiffer 2 Dena Friedel and Lora Brown 3 Ashley Johnson and Ryan Syverson 4 Jennifer Ciccarelli and Oyauma Garrison 5 Hayden Pyles and Frank Haun 6 Lindsay Smith and Kevin Ballard 7 Leah Senecal, Harris Atha, Holly Colburn and


Scott Coale

8 Nyle Mohler, Rachel Underwood and Michael



9 Jeff Miller, Mary Noel Moore, Ryan Gilmore and Tony Bravo

10 Justin Wasylczuk, Kari Warchock and Mike Redcay

11 Pam Blair and Nick Magoto 12 Michael Scott, Amanda Rees and Michael Bishop

13 Andrew Turocy, Melissa Dombro and Michelle Schultz

14 Leanne Chylik, Julie Woodson, Scott Hrabcak


and Shawn Adams

10 9

11 30 ColumbusCEO l January 2019


P ower o f maga z i ne s

What % of Us adults say they read magazine media in the last 6 months?

When more than 1,400 Us advertisers were asked which medium offers the highest roI, which was on top?



This even includes 93% of those under 35 and 95% of those under 25.

With a $3.94 return for every $1 spent, A full 50% higher than the $2.63 average roI from digital display and more than double the $1.52 from digital video.


(Nielson Catalina solutions, 2015)

the hi ghest of a l l t ime.

searCh PoP uPs


m i n u t e s

(Digital First Content Marketing: the return of Print - CMo by Adobe, 2016)

Brand Purchase Intent

(Marketing sherpa, 2017)

Brand favorability

Print Ad Awareness

Brand Awareness

(The Association of Magazine Media, citing a study by Millwood brown Digital, 2007-2015)

Print is memorable.

Print creates an emotional connection. Print builds relationships. Physical material is more “real� to the brain, involves more emotional precessing, is better connected to memory, with greater internalization of ads-all important for brand associations. (Forbes)

For advertising information call Columbus Ceo at 614-540-8900 or email For your complimentary subscription to Columbus Ceo visit








time sPent reading a magazine



82% 80% 76% 71% 69% 61%

n 1-2 exposures n 5+ exposures



What is the average

Print lift with increased exposure



The average time spent on a website is 2 minutes


t rust the most ?

increased exPosure to Print ads


of all media, which do Us internet users say they



October 11, 2018 + Photos by Shellee Fisher

The Ohio Statehouse Atrium



2018 Sister Cities The theme was “Connecting Columbus to the World Through Citizen Diplomacy.”


1 William Murdock and Roberta Winch 2 Bonnie Milenthal and James E. P. Sisto 3 Howie Beigelman, Matt Wagner, Adiya Dixon, Cailey Oehler and Jill Londino

4 Terry Emery, Keith Conroy, Mayor Carolyn Kay Riggle, Mayor Ben Kessler and Rand Guebert

5 (back row) Dan Weng, Matt Wagner, Laura


Tegethoff, Emmett Kelly, Joyce Steffan, Anthony D. Weis, (front row) Noel Shepard, Greg Lashutka, Andrew J. Ginther, Michael B. Coleman, Tim Sword and Cathy Hare 6 Richard L. “Ike” Stage, Elfi DiBella and George J. Arnold 7 Colleen Marshall, Shannon Hardin, Michael B. Coleman, Andrew J. Ginther and Greg Lashutka 8 Emett Kelly, Bonnie Quist and James Schimmer


6 5 32 ColumbusCEO l January 2019



Events calendar: january

Compiled by chloe teasley


Beginner Web Development Time: 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Location: Idea Foundry 421 W. State St., Columbus 43215 Cost: Free or $75 for nonmembers Contact: 614-653-8068 or Have you ever wondered about the process of building a web app? Would you like to get your feet wet in web development for a career change? Learn from experts during this web development class and follow along as they build a practical app in class that will teach you the fundamental concepts and process of web development.


2019 Personal Visioning Workshop Time: 8:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Location: sparkspace 300 Marconi Boulevard, Suite 206, Columbus 43215 Cost: $225 Contact: 614-224-7727 or This two-hour leadership workshop with motivational speaker Jason Barger will guide you through assessing your strengths, articulating your vision and acting on your intentions for the coming year.

held by attorney-turned-entrepreneur and legal expert, Sam Vander Wielen—will leave you feeling like you can tackle the legal stuff in your business you might have been putting off. Covered will be registering your business, protecting your content, getting paid, using contracts, and what you need on your website to protect your business.

traditional businesses with the most cash invested go before a panel of sharks with $10,000 in real cash prizes on the line. Any businesses interested in participating should fill out the form on the website listed above.


Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Location: Copious, 520 S. High St., Columbus 43215 Cost: $70 for members or $85 for nonmembers; $600 for package of 8 tickets Contact: 614-470-3444 or Celebrate and honor excellence in marketing, communications, graphic design, public relations and advertising. Enjoy drinks, a strolling dinner and desserts at Copious Columbus.

Mid-America Restaurant Expo Time: 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Location: Greater Columbus Convention Center, Hall B 400 N. High St., Columbus 43215 Cost: $49 and up Contact: 614-442-3535 or More than 4,000 experts, exhibitors and operators from throughout the Midwest gather to discuss the latest trends and topics affecting the restaurant industry. Its exhibit hall showcases the newest equipment and tools created specifically for restaurants, in addition to the most innovative food and beverage products available.


Shark Tub 2019

How to Build a Legally Legit Business

Time: 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Location: The Muskingum Recreation Center, 1425 Newark Road, Zanesville 43701 Cost: Free for students, $17 each for group tickets or $20 for individuals Contact: 740-453-3649 or

Time: 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Location: The Wonder Jam 1145 Chesapeake Ave. Suite J, Columbus 43212 Cost: $30 Contact: 614-699-4242 or This interactive workshop—

Spark 560’s signature event to promote Columbus’ up-and-coming businesses offers $100,000 in Shark Tub cash to invest in your favorite traditional and technology businesses. The top technology and



Achievement in Marketing Awards


The Well Workplace Summit 2019 Time: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Location: Town Hall, 4400 Easton Commons, Columbus 43219 Cost: $149 Contact: 614-523-3213 or The Well Workplace Summit is a one-day conference focusing on health and well-being in the workplace and how to create a thriving, high-performing culture. Unlike other events with an overwhelming number of sessions to choose from (and excessive sitting), the Summit brings everyone into one room to connect while exploring and discussing today’s trending topics. Look forward to hearing from industry experts, as well as local employers, willing to share their experiences.


Westerville Chamber 2019 Lunch & Awards Program Time: 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Location: Renaissance Westerville-Polaris, 409 Altair Parkway, Westerville 43082 Cost: $70 (seminar/lunch) or $80 for nonmembers, $560 for a table of eight (seminar/ lunch); $40 (lunch only) or $50 for nonmembers, $320 for a table of eight (lunch only) Contact: 614-882-8917 or Beth Thomas, CEO of Change 4 Growth and author of Powered by Happy, will be presenting “top tips” from her book. Following the seminar will be the Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon, a celebration of the Chamber’s accomplishments from 2018 and recognizing outstanding award winners.


NAWBO Candid Conversation Time: 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Location: Inspire PR Group, 6120 S. Sunbury Road, Westerville 43081 Cost: $25 or free for members Contact: 614-636-2926 or Join Kay Coughlin and discover a quick, yet powerful technique to get the most out of meetings and turn team members into clear communicators and problem-solving dynamos. To submit a business or professional event, go to the online calendar at and add your listing. All qualifying events will be listed on the website; select events also will appear each month in the magazine.

January 2019 l ColumbusCEO


Miller found himself in what payday loan opponents call a “debt trap.”

e Oh v l o ly s

a Wi ll

i nal f w w la


34 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

le n y a d ay io’s p


uzz i ng p


By Chloe Teasley + Photo by Rob Hardin


ob Miller did what many struggling Ohioans do when faced with a cash crisis: He got a payday loan. Three years ago, after successfully paying off two other short-term loans, the Newark resident decided to get a third, securing $600 from an online lender to cover a car payment. Miller, however, failed to read the fine print of his loan, which charged him an annual percentage rate around 800 percent. In comparison, a typical credit’s card’s APR is about 12-30 percent. Miller, 53, fell behind. His car was repossessed as his loan’s exorbitant interest rates turned his life upside down. “Who can afford that?” Miller says, sitting in his apartment, which is filled with Ohio State Buckeyes and patriotic decorations. It is tidy and comfortable, though furniture is sparse. He lounges on a loveseat and his dog, Bevo, is large enough to sit on the ground and lay his head on Miller’s leg. “It was so easy to get [the loan], though, because you’re online,” Miller says. Miller found himself “My whole in what payday loan attitude opponents call a “debt towards life trap,” monthly payments that suck cash from just started bank accounts and do going down. nothing to pay off debt. The inherent nature of It’s like, ‘Why the payday loan causes bother? Take the issue. The loan must be paid off by the everything. I borrower’s next payday give up.’ ” to avoid refinancing charges that are automatically removed from the borrower’s committee for more than year until bank account, or cash a predated check former Ohio Speaker of the House Cliff each payday, until the full loan amount Rosenberger resigned amid an FBI can be paid at one time. This means a investigation into his connections to borrower could end up paying far more the payday lending industry. The law than the loan is worth—without paying is also a repeat performance. A decade off any portion of the actual loan. ago, the legislature passed another That scenario was the impetus for payday lending crackdown, including the creation of House Bill 123—officiala 28-percent cap on annual interest ly known as the Fairness in Lending rates, which was affirmed by voters afAct—which Gov. John Kasich signed ter payday lenders attempted to repeal into law in July. Set to take effect in the changes through a ballot initiative. April 2019, the new law traveled a That reform package, however, failed circuitous route to passage, stuck in to have impact, as payday lenders

Bob Miller found loopholes that allowed them to continue to charge interest rates far above the cap, pushing Ohioans such as Miller deeper into debt. Miller’s sole means of income is a monthly Social Security check. He used to work in construction and lighting, but health problems forced him to stop (standing up for too long causes him unbearable pain). Treated for spinal stenosis, he says surgery actually made the pain worse. Along with pain pills and blood pressure medicine, Miller takes medication for January 2019 l ColumbusCEO


bipolar disorder. The pressure from his mounting debt—along with the fear of losing his prescriptions and the loss of his car—sent him into despair. “My whole attitude towards life just started going down,” he recalls. “It’s like, ‘Why bother? Take everything. I give up.’ ”

•• •

According to research done by Pew Charitable Trusts, about 12 million people spend more than $7 billion a year in payday loans and fees. On average, a borrower takes out eight loans of $375 each per year and spends $520 on interest. The five groups most likely to take out a payday loan, according to Pew, are renters, African-Americans, those with no four-year college degree, those earning below $40,000 annually and those who are separated or divorced. Renting is a huge predictor of payday loan usage, with low-income homeowners borrowing less than higherincome renters—8 percent of renters earning $40,000 to $100,000 a year have used payday loans, compared with 6 percent of homeowners earning $15,000 to $40,000. About 69 percent of all payday loans cover everyday

expenses like rent, utilities, food, credit-card bills or mortgage payments, as opposed to an unforeseen expense such as a car repair or medical bill. Payday loan borrowers have few other options. Without the short-term loans, they might cut back on food or clothing expenses, try to borrow money from family and friends or pawn or sell possessions. In other words, a payday loan can be an easier and faster option to help borrowers stay in a home, keep the electricity on, repair a car or eat for the week. Ohio Rep. Kyle Koehler, a Republican from Springfield, describes the decision to take out a payday loan this way: If you’re in a sinking boat with your family and someone offers you a spot on their boat for a fee, you aren’t going to wait for another option. If they also charge you for the ride and to exit onto dry land, you are going to pay, because the only other option is the sinking boat. “People say, ‘Well, the free market should work. People should be able to go to any of those,’ ” says Koehler, who co-sponsored House Bill 123. “The fact of the matter is, they go to the very first one they come to, and they don’t leave because they’re like [the person] stuck in the water

Closing the Loophole Under the new law, lenders also must provide loan costs orally and in writing, and borrowers have three business days to change their minds. Before Regulation

After Regulation

Maximum loan



Loan term

Unlimited, typically 2 weeks

Maximum 12 months

Loan length

Unlimited, typically 5 months

At least 2 months to repay*

Loan limit


No more than $2,500 in outstanding principal loans

Fees and interest

Typical borrower pays $680 to borrow $300 for 5 months

Capped at 60% of principal amount

Share of paycheck consumed


Capped at 6% gross income (7% net) for loans shorter than 90 days

Annualized interest

Unlimited, typically 591% APR

28% and limited fees

Operating under

Small Loan Act, Mortgage Loan Act, Short-Term Loan Act Credit Services Organization Act

Cost to borrow $400 for 3 months



*Unless monthly payment is under 7% of a borrower’s monthly net income or 6% of gross income

36 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

with their family.” Borrowers can take out loans via storefronts or the internet. The online option makes the lightning-fast process even quicker by eliminating the drive and potential line, but online lenders—like the one Miller sought out— may do more harm than the storefront lender. According to Pew, nine of 10 complaints about payday lenders made to the Better Business Bureau were about online lenders—46 percent of online borrowers report that lenders’ withdrawals from their bank accounts overdrew them, and online lenders usually ask for a higher APR, around 650 percent. Thirty percent of online borrowers also report being threatened by the lender, which includes the lender contacting friends, family members or employers about the debt, or the police to make an arrest. Online or storefront, the first thing a borrower does is fill out an application. Minimum requirements for eligibility vary from lender to lender but usually include age (18 in most states), checking account and proof of income. Once approved, the borrower signs a contract and gives the lender either a check to be cashed on payday or access to their bank account for withdrawal. Koehler uses a real-life example to explain the catastrophic result of highinterest, short term loans—a woman who pays on a $1,200 loan at $200 a month. Four years later, the woman still owes the principal, $1,200 (plus a $399 loan fee), but she has paid the lender $9,600. Not one cent of that money will be put toward the principal. What’s more, the APR on this woman’s loan is around 200 percent, low compared to the projected average in Ohio, which is closer to 600 percent. Miller secured his loan through CashNetUSA. According to the CashNetUSA website, the lender charges an annual percentage rate of 291.96 percent to 1,171.8 percent for its payday loans, depending on how frequently the borrower is paid (the lower the length of time, the higher the percentage). Miller says he doesn’t remember the information being available at all on the website, although there is a page devoted to explaining terms and fees in detail now. When asked to specify how long the data had been made available on the general website, CashNet was vague, saying in a statement, “CashNetUSA is committed to transparency

and has consistently listed the APR, interest rates and fees on its website.” “There’s a ton of papers you’ve got to sign,” Miller says. “Eventually, you get tired of reading, and you just initial and initial and initial everything. I wish I would have read it now, but I just got it over with.”

“This is putting some regulation on an industry that was out of control.”

•• •

payday lenders exploited a loophole in the 2008 law by registering as mortgage lenders to avoid the regulation, effectually rendering the reforms irrelevant. With payday lenders acting as credit service organizations, interest rates and other fees ran wild. Ohio became the state with the worst paydaylending rates in the nation. Doug Clark, the CEO of Axcess Financial, says that 2008 law was an “unworkable model” for lenders, and that other statutes, such as the Small Loan Act, Mortgage Loan Act and Credit Services Act, provided more viable supply channels to meet the demand. Axcess Financial is the Cincinnatibased parent company of Check n’ Go and Allied Cash Advance. There are 34 Check n’ Go stores in Ohio, including three in central Ohio and 960 scattered throughout the U.S. Check n’ Go also has an online presence in Ohio, which is the only method by which someone can obtain a payday loan with the company. According to Clark, payday loans comprise less than 20 percent of Axcess’ portfolio. He says that Check n’ Go is completely transparent about fees and APR rates for customers when they are applying for a loan, though the rates and fees cannot be found on Cash n’ Go’s general website. Clark says Check n’ Go is clear about the cost to obtain the credit. “There’s nothing deceptive about it, and our disclosures make sure of that,” he says. “We don’t see anything in complaint data for that. We provide credit in terms they understand, our company’s price in accordance with the risk, and we want positive outcomes for everyone involved.” Springfield, Koehler’s hometown, is the epicenter of the payday lending problem in Ohio. Koehler says that on just one strip of road in Springfield, there are nine payday lenders. In all,

Ohio Rep. Kyle Koehler

there are 13 stores in Springfield and nearby Urbana that serve approximately 70,000 people. In Columbus, a similar phenomenom can be found on Ohio 161 between I-71 and Cleveland Avenue, where there are at least six lenders. “I had [local] business leaders, chamber of commerce president, pastors come to me,” says Koehler. During an initial meeting at Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs, the concerned citizens pushed for the elimination of payday lending in Ohio altogether. In response, Koehler joined with Rep. Michael Ashford, a Democrat from Toledo, to create a bill that closed the loophole and put “guardrails” on Ohio payday lending, rather than total restriction.

As the two evangelized about the bill, Koehler says they struggled to get hearings because of the perceived threat the regulation posed to the free market. “I believe that people should be able to earn money and keep the money they make and not have the government take it all,” he says. “But at the same time, this is putting some regulations on an industry that was out of control. The trouble I had was convincing my Republican colleagues that this was something that needed to be done, that we weren’t trying to tell a business how much money they could make— we just didn’t want to make all their profit off of one person.” Eventually, Koehler says, people January 2019 l ColumbusCEO


Doug Clark, Axcess Financial were won over as they realized that the bill provides protection to borrowers in desperate situations while still offering a viable business to the lender. Clark disagrees. He says the new law threatens the free market. “It’s nonsensical, quite frankly, [but] such is the way of our legislative process at times,” he says. Clark goes on to say that the monetary limitations imposed by the law are arbitrary. Once H.B. 123 goes into effect in 2019, things will change drastically (Closing the Loophole, P. 36). Check n’ Go is preparing a new payday loan product for release that complies with the new law, and Clark says it will change his business’ entire program in Ohio. Clark also says that putting restrictions on this industry will have unintended consequences for borrowers. Basic economics, he says, dictate what will happen. Now that the price controls exist, he says, consumers are going to be left out—namely, lower-income people who are most in need and are the greatest risk to lenders. “Time will tell who gets into the credit access club and who the new law keeps out,” he says. One bright side, he says, is that Check n’ Go’s market share may grow if other area lenders aren’t able to offer a product that fits within the new bill. Another lender, however, sees the new law as an opportunity. Tony Huang, the co-founder and CEO of Seattle-based Possible Finance, plans to expand his business to Ohio because of the new law. Possible Finance is a mobile app that offers short-term loans that can be paid off in four paychecks instead of one, at no additional cost to the borrower compared to a traditional lender. Possible Finance also reports to all three major credit bureaus to help

38 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

“We provide credit in terms they understand, our company’s price in accordance with the risk, and we want positive outcomes.” borrowers build up their credit even as they take on short-term loans. He recognizes that, without the ability to build credit, payday loans will remain one of the only options available to someone with bad or no credit. “Effectively, they’re always trapped in a hamster wheel using payday loans without ever being able to improve their financial wellbeing,” he says. Huang says the massive profits generated by payday lenders pre-regulation makes competing with them unfeasible, since the large profits allow lenders to spend a lot more to acquire customers. Possible Finance will never be a match for them, since Huang says it makes inherently less money in its efforts to be fair to the borrower. “We believe H.B. 123 will equal the playing field and make the loans that consumers can access much more affordable,” he says. Huang says he created Possible Finance to help fix a “broken” credit system. Prior to starting the company, Huang and his colleagues formed the first company to engineer body cameras for police officers. Since then, they have sold the company, Axon, and were hunting for a new concept that would provide an innovation for a sensitive, highly-regulated space and would “provide greater transparency to lower income individuals and make society a little bit more equitable for minority communities.”


As the dust settles, questions remain: Is this is the end of predatory payday lending in Ohio? Are there more loopholes and debt traps ahead? Is H.B. 123 a usable option—not only for the lender, but also for the borrower? Koehler is hopeful about the effect

of the bill for the borrower and also for the economy, citing the amount of money currently moving from Ohio borrowers to the often out-of-state lender companies—an estimated $75 million per year. “I believe that money is going to go back into the pockets of the people that need it the most—that is, people who are hurting for money, who don’t have good credit,” he says. “I believe that’s going to help the individuals more than anything else, but $75 million per year is leaving Ohio to these payday lenders.” Looking into the future, Clark doesn’t have to wonder about another loophole. One already exists, he says, in the form of lenders who are using the protected status of tribal reservations to operate. “There’s already a large sovereign-nation lending model in Ohio,” he says. One such lender, Big Picture Loans, explains on its website that its business has a financial services license issued by the Tribal Financial Services Regulatory Authority, which gives it immunity to regulation. Any payday lender located on tribal land can operate as an entity outside of the regulation imposed by H.B. 123 or any other legislation about lending because of its sovereign immunity. Despite H.B. 123’s reforms, Miller says he will never use a payday lender again. “I didn’t think companies like that would do that to you,” he says. “These are supposed to be good companies. … Then they screw you, and they don’t care.” At the height of his desperation, he found help through the St. Vincent de Paul Society’s microloan program and is finally out of the hole his paydaylender debt created. The program pays off the debt and accepts monthly payments from users with a 3 percent interest rate that is given back once the balance has been paid off. Miller says he’s grateful for the help. Now, he has an apartment again and spends his free time creating Ohio State Buckeyes-themed wooden furniture and knick knacks and hanging out with Bevo and his cat, Little Girl. And though he doesn’t plan to take out any more short-term loans, he does appreciate the new law’s reforms. “The bill is awesome,” he says. “I don’t think they should be able to do what they do anymore.” Chloe Teasley is staff writer.

Advice for Gov. DeWine Compiled by Dave Ghose

Central Ohio business leaders share what Gov.-elect Mike Dewine can do to strengthen the Columbus economy and business climate.

Rick Ricart

Curt Moody

Andy Joseph

Ricart Automotive Group

Moody Nolan architectural

Apeks Supercritical

“Education is crucial to the continued growth of our economy and business climate and is the foundation of our community. By prioritizing early childhood education, making education more affordable, accessible, and building out in-school support programs, the governor-elect will put Columbus on the path to prosperity.”

“The governor-elect and his development team should work with the Franklin County commissioners, the mayor and private developer stakeholders to develop a strategic central Ohio plan to expedite the most critical/ crucial projects that act as a catalyst for future responsible development that adds to central Ohioans quality of life.”


President and CEO

President and CEO

“Gov.-elect Mike DeWine can help by supporting Ohio businesses, paving the way for future expansion, particularly in the medical cannabis industry. By backing future expansion and legislation changes to the program, which reflect the adapting needs of patients, industry growth will allow Ohio patients to get the medicine they need.”

Francie Henry

Liza Kessler

Tanisha Robinson

Alex Timm

Fifth Third Bank

Jones Day law firm

BrewDog USA

Root Insurance

Regional president, central Ohio

“Manufacturing jobs are growing in the United States, and the U.S. share of such jobs globally is rising. To attract these jobs, the state must continue to make Ohio appealing for companies to do business here, through physical infrastructure and policies. Also, continue workforce development, especially in manufacturing and skilled trade positions, to give us a competitive advantage. Each manufacturing job created historically brings multiple other jobs in its wake.”

Partner-in-charge, Columbus office

“Ohio’s economy will thrive if we can attract new business while retaining our existing companies. One of the key factors to achieve that goal is access to the world economy.  A key consideration for companies considering a business center is: Can their employees travel efficiently? And that means nonstop flights. Put simply, our community needs government investment (in partnership with private dollars) to secure nonstop international flights at John Glenn Columbus Airport.”


“It would be powerful for [him] to focus resources on supporting the growth of existing Ohio businesses and growing startup companies vs. worrying about attracting companies looking to move here for tax credits. It could make a huge difference to Ohio-based businesses if the state invested tax credits, grants, and support to the homegrown companies who are scaling and already committed instead of a disproportionate amount of this investment focused on importing businesses.

CEO and co-founder

“As we are looking to rapidly hire over the next few years, Root is very supportive of Gov. elect DeWine’s proposal to increase investment in job training programs that give people the skills they need to compete for today’s jobs. We also believe that investment in transportation will be key for the long-term growth of business in central Ohio. Our employees are increasingly looking for mass transportation solutions that can get them to and from work.” January 2019 l ColumbusCEO


Gravity Phase I

500 W. Broad St. Status: Under construction The flashy mixed-use project—which includes 14,000 square feet of murals—is expected to open in the spring with the arrival of commercial tenants, including the Roosevelt Coffeehouse, Pelotonia and Cova Cowork.

Scioto River

Photo Rob Hardin Courtesy Perkins + Will

CoverMyMeds Headquarters

Northwest of McKinley and Souder avenues Status: Proposed The fast-growing healthcare IT company wants to build a $240 million, 400,000-square-foot campus along the Scioto River.

Courtesy Kaufman Development

Photo Rob Hardin

Graham Ford

707 W. Broad St. Status: One to watch Interest is strong in this long-vacant auto dealership—and Franklinton leaders expect a buyer to emerge soon, perhaps with plans for another mixed-use project for the neighborhood. Compiled by Dave Ghose + Infographic Yogesh Chaudhary + Map source Google

W. Broad St.

h rt No

Gravity Phase II

Across from previous Gravity project Status: Proposed The second phase of developer Bret Kaufman’s Gravity project is even more ambitious than the first, with plans that include a 12-story high-rise and a mix of offices, retail, a parking garage and more that could fill an entire city block. Photo Rob Hardin

Franklinton’s Transformation Franklinton should experience another big year in 2019. Huge projects—including the National Veterans Memorial and Museum and the River & Rich mixed-use development—already have energized the neighborhood just west of Downtown, and major changes should continue in the next few months, with the first tenants expected to move into the highly anticipated Gravity project on West Broad Street. More details also should emerge related to a host of ongoing big-ticket items, including the redevelopment of the Mount Carmel West Hospital, the proposed CoverMyMeds headquarters and the 21-acre site west of COSI. 40 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

Mount Carmel West Hospital

793 W. State St. Status: One to watch With demolition of the eight-story hospital building expected in the spring of 2019, Franklinton leaders are eagerly anticipating more details on what Mount Carmel executives plan to do with the property. Social enterprise Fortuity Calling already purchased one building.

National Veterans Memorial and Museum

File/Columbus Dispatch/Adam Cairns


Courtesy CDDC

300 W. Broad St. Status: Opened in October The $82 million, 53,000-square-foot project adds a massive new attraction to East Franklinton as city leaders aim to turn the Scioto Peninsula into the city’s premier cultural district.

Scioto Peninsula Project

West of COSI Status: One to watch After original plans flamed out with Indianapolis-based Buckingham Cos., the Columbus Downtown Development Corp. is again seeking developers for this 21acre site owned by the city of Columbus and Franklin County.

Genoa Park

Courtesy East Franklinton Review board

W. Rich St. Bicentennial Park

Starling St.

W. Main St.

W. Town St.

Homeport Project

Scioto River

W. Rich St. Photo Rob Hardin

476 State St. Status: Proposed Nonprofit developer Homeport wants to build a four-story affordable housing development on city-owned land. Homeport is also requesting approval to tear down a 107-year-old church that sits on the property.

Photo Dave Ghose

Photo Rob Hardin

Dodge Recreation Center

Out of Town Apartments

540 W. Town St. Status: Opened in November This $5 million project from Metropolitan Holdings and Arch City Development offers more affordable housing options as Franklinton attracts a wealthier crowd. The $5.5 million project includes 45 apartments with rent reduced to 80 percent of the area median income.

Lucas Lofts

430 W. Rich St. and 431 W. Town St. Status: Proposed This project from Urban Smart Growth calls for 136 apartments on the surface parking lot next to the 400 West Rich arts complex, as well as a 7,500-square-foot event space in a former manufacturing site on Town Street. A coffee shop along Rich Street is also in the works.

River & Rich

401 W. Rich St. Status: Opened in November A joint venture of Casto, the Robert Weiler Co., Kelley Cos., Smoot Construction and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, this project—on the former site of the crime-ridden Riverside-Bradley public housing complex—welcomed its first residential tenants in the fall. January 2019 l ColumbusCEO


The Heart Tech Revolution A wave of innovations can prevent devastating illness—and overwhelm cardiologists at the same time. By Laurie Allen


ersonal technology is propelling a new age of cardiovascular medicine. From smartphone apps to wearable and implantable devices, this burgeoning technology can capture real-time information about a patient’s heart health and in some cases trigger them to seek medical treatment even if they

aren’t experiencing symptoms. “Detecting what a patient doesn’t perceive launches us into a new area of medicine,” says Dr. Emile Daoud, a cardiologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Monitoring technology falls into two categories: wearable, such as watches and phone apps; and implantable, such as tiny devices implanted just under the skin, or in an artery, for example. Their uses are many—from tracking steps, blood pressure and weight, to monitoring heart rhythms and fluid pressure. Some use interactive messaging to connect patients and healthcare providers. Constant monitoring can have key implications in preventing serious events, such as stroke or heart attacks, physicians say. For example, atrial fibrillation, or Afib, is a heart rhythm abnormality that often goes undetected but is a leading cause of stroke, resulting in some 130,000 deaths and 750,000 hospitalizations a year in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Devices that remain with

Mark Holloway at YMCA of Clemmons, North Carolina

File/Associated Press/SKIP FOREMAN

42 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

Courtesy Apple

Health Watch: Cardiac Care

a patient continuously have an edge over those worn for a finite period, when an arrhythmia may not occur, experts say. “You’re trying to capture something in a pretty tiny window of time,” Daoud says. Cardiologists have mixed feelings about this expanding technology. “It provides extremely valuable data, if we can get our arms around it,” says Dr. Joshua Silverstein, a cardiologist with Mount Carmel Health. “It can prevent catastrophic events like stroke. … It’s about getting answers for patients, and getting to the bottom of their condition.” At the same time, he and other heart specialists fear what they see as a bombardment of data that must be reviewed and acted upon. Silverstein says that to deal with the influx of data, “you need to have a really organized process. Larger medical centers have device clinics, where that’s all the staff does.” Even with the infrastructure that comes with a larger system, the ever-increasing amounts of incoming data are daunting, he says. “We are overwhelmed.” At OhioHealth, “We’re creating a process for reviewing all this data in a timely manner. Most likely it will involve creating a separate data stream on the order of, does your smart watch need a second opinion?” says cardiologist Dr. Anish Amin. Despite physicians’ trepidations about the volume of data generated by wearable and implantable technology, there is no turning back, Silverstein says. “You can’t avoid this, it’s coming. Now that Apple has it, it’s going to explode.” In September, the FDA gave clearance to an Apple Watch with electrocardiogram apps designed to



When you need heart care, how close you are to that care matters. So does the quality. That’s why Mount Carmel offers our award-

winning, life-saving, comprehensive cardiovascular program at Mount Carmel East, West and St. Ann’s. It’s also why we have a team of board-certified physicians who are experts at everything from stent and pacemaker placement to complex procedures like open-heart surgery and electrophysiology ablations. And why we participate in clinical research. Because having immediate access to cardiovascular expertise and top technology can get you back on your feet and back to the life you love even faster. To learn more, visit A Member of Trinity Health

Laura Gravelin, MD

Courtesy Ohio State University

OSU nurse Rose Chumita (right) demonstrates an app she helped develop.

detect irregular heart rhythms that the wearer might not notice or that might not show up during a routine medical exam. The watch also has an app that senses if someone has experienced a hard fall. Apple also is involved in a clinical trial to determine whether a mobile app that uses the optical sensor on the Apple Watch to analyze pulse rate data can identify atrial fibrillation as well.  A sampling of other personal technology available or being tested includes: • AliveCor KardiaBand replaces an Apple Watch band with one that detects heart rate and physical activity. When it sees something it doesn’t expect, it sends a notification to take an electrocardiogram to measure heart rhythm. • AliveCor KardiaMobile works with smart phones and uses finger pad sensors to obtain an electrocardiogram. • The Cardiio app uses a smart phone camera to detect heart rate based on changes in light reflected from the face or fingers. Developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, it does not have FDA approval, and like several other apps, comes with disclaimers that it is not intended for use in people who already have a heart condition, nor is it a substitute for medical care. • Abbott CardioMEMS is designed for heart failure patients to detect changes in the pressure of blood

44 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

through the pulmonary artery, which can indicate the condition is worsening. The implanted device sends information wirelessly to physicians, who can then adjust medications and treatment if necessary. • Rose Chumita, a nurse at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, along with a software engi-

“Technology may be ahead of the medical algorithm to manage it. It is certainly ahead of medical personnel’s ability to mangage it.” Dr. Emile Daoud, a cardiologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

neering team in the OSU’s Department of Biomedical Informatics, created an app for previously hospitalized heart patients so that they can more easily participate in follow-up care after their rehabilitation. Users input blood pressure readings and weight, as well as fluid and sodium intake throughout the day. The app warns users when their numbers fluctuate too high or low and gives immediate feedback and suggestions. Other apps help plan heart-healthy meals, assess risk for cardiovascular disease caused by atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and monitor glucose levels, for example. Getting ahead of cardiac problems has the potential to save healthcare dollars. The economic component looms large in conditions such as heart failure, where reimbursement may be denied if a patient is re-admitted to the hospital within a specified number of days after being discharged. At the same time, the devices have limitations. Most use algorithms in lieu of an actual reading, which can lead to errors. What some sensors think is Afib often is not. “The key is, you need someone to interpret these. And physicians need to be paid to do this,” Silverstein says. OSU’s Daoud agrees. “Technology may be ahead of the medical algorithm to manage it. It is certainly ahead of medical personnel’s ability to manage it.” For example, it’s possible that doctors will have to wrestle with the issue of whether to put a patient on anticoagulant therapy–usually a lifelong proposition—with increasing frequency. Amin says while it’s possible to pack a tremendous amount of analytics into a small implantable, the tools to manage effectively that information don’t yet exist in heart and vascular care. For example, technology to track progress after a “fixed encounter” such as knee replacement surgery relies on recovery and rehabilitation following a certain trajectory. “For chronic diseases, the models are much more difficult to build. Zero clinical pathways have been developed,” Amin says. “We need larger scale studies to prove that any of this stuff works in real life.” Laurie Allen is a freelance writer.


OhioHealth heart and vascular physicians make “close to home” meaningful Any leader responsible for insuring a large workforce understands the importance of heart and vascular health, both in terms of their employee’s well-being and the health of their bottom line. So whether a person needs emergency heart care when seconds count, care for a chronic cardiovascular condition or preventive care that keeps hearts well, it’s always better to have the care you need close to home, delivered by people who understand you. Quality care close to home is the foundation of OhioHealth’s Heart and Vascular strategy. But because the health system covers more than 47 counties, with both urban centers and rural communities, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t meet the needs of every patient. “What Dublin needs is different from Athens. There are different payer mixes and patient populations, and they differ in their ability to access healthcare systems,” says cardiologist Daniel Friedman, DO. “Our regionalization strategy allows us to keep more care local for patients, and their primary care providers involved. We offer telehealth visits to connect patients to our specialists, and we have streamlined our care continuum so patients can access advanced treatments at our larger facilities, but stay close to home for their follow-up care,” says Friedman. With a multitude of health systems in Ohio, close to home can have different meanings for patients. The key is creating differentiators, says cardiologist Bruce Fleishman, MD. “Patients may have no issues driving across the city to get a surgical procedure from the specialist of their choice, but when it comes to long-term care, convenience comes to the forefront. That’s the strength of the OhioHealth system – our extraordinary reach across the state makes it easy for patients to receive care within a single system and get annual and follow-up heart and vascular care close to home. Fold in our education programs and workplace wellness efforts and you have a comprehensive approach to improving health.” Another unique approach OhioHealth takes is offering multiple specialists within one location. One example of this is the medical

office building on the OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital campus, says cardiologist Gregory Eaton, MD. “On one floor we have very different disciplines of medicine: vascular surgery, cardiac surgery, interventional radiology, advanced vascular imaging, general cardiology, interventional cardiology, even endocrinology. It enhances the dialogue about our patients and improves outcomes,” says Eaton. “It’s also more efficient. Patients don’t have to drive to various offices to see the next specialist involved in their care.” By focusing on different approaches to meet local needs, OhioHealth delivers exceptional heart and vascular care to more people in more communities. Discover how you can partner with OhioHealth to protect the hearts of your organization at (614) 544.4656 or OhioHealth Employer Services works with employers of all sizes to develop employee health and wellness programs that can help lower medical costs, increase productivity and create a happier, healthier workforce.

Employment Law

Love in a Time of Change As business responds to the #MeToo movement, are “love contracts” a good way to address workplace romances? By Evan Weese

46 ColumbusCEO l January 2019



mployers are grappling with how to best manage workplace relationships amid a string of high-profile sexual harassment cases and heightened awareness of issues relating to the #MeToo movement. To manage workplace romances and avoid lawsuits, some companies are opting to have employees sign consensual relationship agreements, colloquially known as “love contracts,” rather than outright prohibiting office dating. These documents vary in scope but generally spell out the consensual and voluntary nature by which employees are involved in a romantic relationship at work, while also acknowledging a company’s broader dating and sexual harassment policies. They’ve been used for years but are perhaps better known with dating and harassment issues in the spotlight. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’re more common, attorneys say. Because, while there are benefits to the contracts, there also are shortcomings. One of the participants of a love contract, for example, could argue they were coerced into signing, or they could be hesitant to disclose the relationship at all. And there’s always a possibility that love contracts create the impression that the company endorses relationships among their employees—and could even promote the idea of favoritism. And they create more work for the

Office Romance on the Rocks

Workplace romance hit a 10-year low, according to CareerBuilder’s annual survey:





Workers have dated their boss, up from 15 percent last year.

Workers who started dating at work ended up getting married.

Almost one in 10 females whose romance at work soured left their job.

Workers had to keep their romance a secret.

human resources department. While the contracts are not a perfect solution, they can simply be another tool in the toolkit for employers wanting to foster the right culture around relationships—and potentially avoid liability. “It is not a ‘get out of jail free’

card,” says Rebecca Jacobs, a lecturer at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business, who teaches the class Contemporary Employment Practices and the Law within the Department of Management and Human Resources. “Really, at best, what it can

do is be a piece of evidence if there is a subsequent sexual harassment claim.” Samuel Lillard, a partner in the Columbus office of Fisher and Phillips LLP, says they’re considered by some to be heavy-handed tools used merely to make up for ineffective sexual harrassment training. He saw a surge in popularity early on in the #MeToo movement but says their popularity appears to be dwindling. “The solution of love contracts often represents an overly narrow understanding of the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace and as a result are no longer favored by those of us advocating for new solutions, which are based on fostering effective work teams, bystander training and providing managers with tools to promote the psychological safety of all employees,” Lillard says. “A number of us are now advising employers to refocus their efforts on training managers to create a culture of effective work teams through protocols that discuss sexual harassment in a broader context.” That means teaching managers what to do to create effective work relationships, with less emphasis on what not to do or what is illegal, he says. Jacobs, who is expanding her curriculum to teach a follow-up class to Contemporary Employment Practices and the Law, also provides her students with this broader context. “I would never want a company to have a false sense of security, where they would think that because they have this agreement—because the person has said it is voluntary—that now we don’t have to worry about this relationship.”

The #MeToo Effect The #MeToo movement could be having an effect on workplace dating, according to CareerBuilder, which says office romances hit a 10-year low in 2018. The online employment website found 36 percent of workers reported dating a coworker, down from 41 percent last year and 40 percent in 2008. But those figures shouldn’t give employers a false sense of security, says Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder. “Office romance is experiencing a dip and whether it’s impacted by the current environment around sexual harassment or by workers not wanting to admit the truth, the fact remains that

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office romance has been around forever and will continue to be,” Haefner said in a press release. For businesses that do choose to embrace love contracts, Jacobs says, the document should first and foremost outline the relationship as consenting and welcome for both parties. It’s important to prevent a superior from threatening a subordinate into sexual favors in a situation that could be construed as “consent,” but which certainly is not welcome. “If [an employer] can prove somehow that the conduct at issue was actually welcome, that goes a long way to defeating a sexual harassment claim,” Jacobs says. “So that’s where these agreements may be useful.” Molly Gwin, a senior associate at Isaac Wiles in Columbus, agrees. While love contracts are not a perfect solution, she says, they do have a specific usefulness. “Although important for peer-to-peer relationships, dating policies and love contracts are particularly important in relationships between a supervisor and a subordinate, where the potential for coercion is greater and the legal standards are different.”

Another critical component of the contracts is a statement saying that, if at any point in time the relationship or the conduct becomes unwelcome, whoever is upset must immediately notify human resources. Attorneys say these love contracts must fit into the broader context by

“Really, at best, what it can do is be a piece of evidence if there is a subsequent sexual harassment claim.” Rebecca Jacobs, lecturer at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business

referring to the company’s Equal Employment Opportunity and Non-Harassment policies and articulate what kind of conduct is unacceptable. Lillard recommends companies should have a well-drafted conflict of interest policy that reserves the right of the company to address supervisorsubordinate relationships or peerto-peer relationships that have the appearance of impropriety. Determining whether to use the contracts not a science, attorneys say. It’s not about the size of the company the industry, or whether it is private or publicly traded. It comes down to culture and how willing an employer is to take steps to get involved. When the contracts do work as intended, they can be useful. “Executing a love contract, where employees acknowledge the relationship is consensual, can allow for a culture in which employees do not have to hide their relationship, and where employers can protect themselves from liability should the relationship deteriorate,” Gwin says. Evan Weese is a freelance writer.

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Estate Planning and Retirement

Helping Hands Entrepreneurs find a niche assisting seniors downsize. By Jeff Bell + Photo by Rob Hardin


aura Schulman remembers how difficult it was when she, her husband and their three children pulled up roots in Chicago and moved to Columbus in 2006. She had lived in the Chicago area her entire life and found herself a bit overwhelmed by all that was involved in the transition to a new city and home. But she enjoyed some pieces of the move, including handling the myriad details that went into organizing and packing her family’s belongings and setting up their new home. Nine years later, Schulman drew upon those skills when she founded A Moving Experience LLC. Focused on helping seniors downsize before a move to an apartment or assisted-living facility, the company tries to take the work and worry out of a move by

“We were looking for a way to serve seniors, increase furniture donations we get for families and make a small surplus to help underwrite out mission.” Steve Votaw, Furniture Bank President

50 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

concentrating on the emotional and physical aspects of the process. “I was 40 when I moved here and learned how emotional it was for me,” she says. “When it’s 40-plus years later, people are not physically at their best. It can be extremely overwhelming or even paralyzing for them to manage all of it and what to take with them.” A Moving Experience is one of a growing number of senior move management companies in central Ohio and across the nation. They typically help organize a client’s possessions, design floor plans for new residences, schedule and oversee movers, handle sales and donations of discarded items and pack and unpack before and after the move. And, perhaps most importantly, they provide emotional support for older persons struggling with the reality that they need to leave a place that may have been their home for decades. “It’s such a blessing to be able to do what we do,” Schulman says. A Moving Experience is among about 1,000 companies that are members of the National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM). That’s up from the 16 companies that founded the association in 2002, says Mary Kay Buysse, executive director of the Chicago-based trade group. The growth is due in part to what’s been called the “silver tsunami” of baby boomers who have reached retirement age or will do so in the coming years. The vast majority will face downsizing decisions as they move to smaller living spaces or age in place. Buysse points to data that shows 10,000 Americans turn age 65 every day. By 2030, a projected 79 million U.S. residents will be that age or older. The trend can be seen in central Ohio. There were 252,175 people ages 65 and older in the seven-county region in 2017, an increase of more than 62,000 compared to 2010, according to the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. Such gains are expected to continue over the next decade. Buysse says NASMM members must meet strict vetting requirements. They include taking the association’s cornerstone courses, abiding by its

Kristi Brewer, left, sorts through belongings in her new apartment with help from Laura Schulman of A Moving Experience LLC.

code of ethics and submitting to oversight by the group’s Ethics Compliance Commission. Those standards are critical in an unregulated industry in which senior move managers “get into the nooks and crannies of a private home like nobody else has,” Buysse says. “This is such an intimate relationship,” she says. “Our members take that responsibility very seriously.” Senior move management charges can range from $40 to $120 per man hour nationally, Buysse says. The average price for a move is around $3,000, plus the cost for the moving company. That can be money well-spent for not only seniors, but their adult children who turn to senior move managers for help in assisting an elderly parent make the transition at what often is an emotional time for all involved. Leslie Smith and her brother, Ray, called on Schulman and A Moving Experience for help in moving their mother, Helen, in September. She left her long-time home in Worthington for an independent senior living community in Atlanta, where Smith lives. “We needed someone who knew how to be patient and understanding

Courtesy Karen Spiller

Karen Spiller of Smooth Transition of Central Ohio of the process my mother was going through,” Smith says. “The biggest service Laura provided was her ability to talk with my mother and help her understand she would support her in this process.” Smith and her brother also hired a senior move manager in Atlanta who worked with Schulman to coordinate things on that side of the move. “They worked together to recreate the room layout so it was similar to our mother’s home [in Worthington]. That was extremely valuable,” Smith says. She believes it is important for family members to start planning for a move when it begins to become clear an elderly parent’s living situation no longer works. That was about five years ago in her family’s case. “We had done all the research,” Smith says. “Then it was just a matter of saying ‘let’s implement this now.’ ” While such moves are often difficult, Karen Spiller of Smooth Transitions of Central Ohio says she tries to help her clients see the good in the moving process. She and her husband, Matt, launched their senior move management business in 2011. It is a licensee of Louisville, Ky.-based Smooth Transitions, which operates in 25 states. The company was founded by Barbara

Morris, who is considered a pioneer in the field. Karen Spiller says she learned quickly that older people moving from a long-time home need a lot of empathy from those assisting them during the transition. “We try to make it less overwhelming for them and easier for them to sleep at night,” she says. “It’s really about listening to what matters most to them. We look for ways to save something that’s important to them or honor it.” Smooth Transitions provides everything from floor planning for the new living space to coordinating move-in day. The Spillers have a pool of about a dozen part-time workers to draw upon at peak times and work with moving companies they trust to do a good job. The company charges $50 an hour per person working on the move. “When we’re done,” Spiller says, “people tell us that’s the best money they ever spent even if they were hesitant at first.” Some nonprofits are getting into senior move management, too. They include the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio, which created Downsize with a Heart as a social enterprise venture in 2017. “We were looking for a way to serve seniors, increase furniture donations we get for families and make a

small surplus to help underwrite our mission,” says Furniture Bank President Steve Votaw. While his organization already had moving trucks to help with that part of the process, it saw the need to send some staff members through NASMM training courses on how to work with the elderly. “It’s an emotional time for them,” says John Vidosh, who oversees Downsize with a Heart. “They have all this stuff and memories from living in the same home for 40 to 50 years. Often they will tell us stories that relate to their furniture pieces. It’s a form of grieving for them.” He says Downsize with a Heart plays the role of a general contractor, coordinating the various aspects of a move from start to finish. That includes helping clients sell items to help cover the cost of a move—it ranges from $45 to $60 per man hour depending on the season—and donate unwanted items to Furniture Bank, although that is not a requirement. “It resonates with seniors that any surplus will go to support our mission,” Votaw says. “We’ve been successful once we’ve met with families and shared our model.” Jeff Bell is a freelance writer. January 2019 l ColumbusCEO


Corporate Hospitality

An upgraded center and a Hilton expansion are designed to uplift the Columbus convention biz. By Brian Ball + Photos by Doral Chenoweth III


hen you think about national trade association meetings, you probably think about traveling to Las Vegas, New York City or Orlando. Those large destination markets create images of big city convention centers, large hotels, exciting urban dining scenes and side trips to wondrous tourist stops. But what about Columbus? Even though many central Ohio residents may quickly dismiss the idea of Ohio’s state capital city becoming a draw for national trade groups, those who promote the city believe the region could crack that market in a few years. What’s generating those beliefs are a bigger and better Downtown convention center and prospects of a Downtown Hilton offering 1,000 guest rooms, the minimum size of a host convention hotel many of the midmajor conventions demand to even consider a bid for their business. “That’s the kind of business we couldn’t attract in the past,” says Brian Ross, CEO of the Experience Columbus travel and tourism organization that markets the region as convention destination, “because we didn’t have the national brand recognition or the physical infrastructure to accommodate these groups.” That began to change six years ago when the city completed construction of the 532-room Hilton and further bolstered three years ago when the expansion and polishing of the city’s North Downtown convention center got underway. Next up: the

52 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

star hotel standards. “We’ve upgraded the entire visitor experience,” says Don Brown, the convention center authority’s chief executive. “We’re doing things to make guests feel this is the best convention center they’ve ever been to.”

Welcome Improvements

File/Columbus CEO/Rob Hardin

On the Cusp?

construction of a 26-story, 468-room expansion of the Hilton. “Now we have the physical attributes we need to host high-profile, national events,” Ross says. The $140 million expansion and complete overhaul of the convention center that opened in mid-2017 boosted the square footage of exhibit space to 447,000 square feet, with 373,000 square feet of that contiguous space to accommodate the jumbo regional and mid-tier national groups. It also expanded the number of meeting rooms near those exhibition halls for convention business sessions. Beyond the bulk space, the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority—the center’s landlord—ordered higher-grade flooring, hallway seating with cellphone and laptop stations, and higher-end wallcoverings, lighting and ceilings while elevating the quality of food service in the trade show hall, the hallways and banquet halls. And the convention has installed public art and focused on quality service to soften the feel and raise customer service throughout the center to four-

“This is our opportunity to show these [association] executives the sort of community we have. This is as big as the stage gets.” Brian Ross, CEO, Experience Columbus

The national, Columbus-based AmericanHort trade association has renewed its contract to hold its meetings in its hometown of 90 years as it continues to grow along with the local convention facility. AmericanHort Vice President Sherry Johnson says the group uses the entire facility, except for the Battelle Grand banquet hall. The association’s trade show and education sessions attracted 10,200 attendees during its four-day Cultivate 2018 event in July, including those from 50 other countries. “The show grows every year,” Johnson says. “We continue looking at how we can use the space here and maximize the space.” The horticultural venues at Ohio State University and other cities a short drive from Columbus will keep the association here through at least its contracted 2021 annual event in part because of easy drives and adequate flights, as well as the social amenities Columbus offers. Attendees

Aerial views of the Greater Columbus Convention Center, the Hilton Downtown hotel and the area for the hotel expansion (across the street from the original hotel) “really love the Short North and the vibe it gives us,” says Johnson, who reigns over the association’s event and exhibition management operations. Regionally, “there’s always something new and different.” While Johnson says AmericanHort is the only top 250 national association that thus far has chosen Columbus as its convention destination, that could change in a few years after Experience Columbus, the convention facilities authority and a group of civic and business leaders banded together to woo the American Society of Association Executives’ meeting here for its August 2019 confab. About 6,000 trade association executives and meeting planners will gather here not only to talk about their industry, but to get a sales pitch on why each attendee should consider Columbus for their conventions and trade shows. ASAE President and CEO John Graham IV says the group of association executives typically go to first-tier or larger second-tier cities for their conventions. Nashville, one of 10 peer markets Columbus most often competes against for conventions and trade shows, is perhaps the smallest city the association executives have ever ventured to. Graham notes Nashville had just expanded its convention center when it lured his group’s meet-

ing a decade ago. That expansion and subsequent ASAE meeting “paid off in spades for them” as several of the associations took notice of Music City. Graham lauds the Columbus bid for its unified effort of the public and private sectors and the improving inventory of hotel rooms in and around the convention center. “We like to have a variety of hotels in the [lodging] bloc,” he says, “because some people don’t like to spend the money, while others do” for the full-service host hotel. He says some groups representing nurses are more price sensitive while others spend more freely. “Columbus is very affordable; the hotel rates aren’t what they’d be in Chicago.” He says the city’s location and accessibility by car and air, as well as a deep amenity base, likely will prove attractive to ASAE attendees from 150 cities. “Columbus is not well known,” Johnson says. “This is an opportunity to make Columbus a destination.”

Circle of Investment The association’s upcoming meeting in Columbus follows the 2018 meeting in Chicago and precedes the 2020 event set for Las Vegas. “We’re bookended between the No. 1 and No. 2 [convention] destinations,” says Experience Columbus’ Ross. Thus, it’s hard to overstate the potential impact of the ASAE

meeting as community leaders work to finalize the financing for the Hilton expansion and prepare to start construction about the time the ASAE comes to the city. “This is our opportunity to show these [association] executives the sort of community we have,” he says. “This is as big as the stage gets.” Ross says the real payoff of the ASAE meeting begins in a few years ahead of the expected August start of construction for the Hilton expansion, which is set to open in early 2022. “You’re either working on additional convention space or convention hotel rooms,” he says, noting the first phase of the Hilton project opened in 2012, following the 2001 expansion of the convention center along North High and the 2010 expansion of Battelle Hall into a first-rate ballroom and convention hall. Those projects—along with the 2017 completion of the latest convention center improvements and ongoing parking garage projects—have pushed Columbus to No. 4 in its competitive set of markets that includes Indianapolis, St. Louis, Charlotte and Milwaukee. “But our hotel portfolio is dead last,” Ross says. “That’s the imbalance. So our focus now is to grow the convention hotel to support the convention and meeting space we’re offering.” Brian Ball is a freelance writer. January 2019 l ColumbusCEO



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Milestones S p e c i a l

A d v e r t i s i n g

S e c t i o n

These central Ohio companies have gone the distance—and they’re not done satisfying their customers and helping them succeed.

Miles of Success 2019

M January 2019 l ColumbusCEO



Milestones Special Advertising Section

Metro Development Building on a Legacy That Started 55 Years Ago


etro Development LLC is building on a legacy more than 55 years in the making. A unit of the Donald R. Kenney Company, Metro was formed in 2008 to develop multifamily com-


munities and extended stay projects, since then delivering some of the region’s most reputable projects such as Lincoln Pointe, Gage Crossing and Emerson Park. Just recently, the organization’s student housing project T-H-E GRIFF received the

Lincoln Pointe

Emerson Park clubhouse

58 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

Multifamily Development Project of the Year Award from the Central Ohio Chapter of the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties. “Metro Development is instrumental to the overall vision and success of our full-service commercial real estate company,” says founder Donald R. Kenney. “With an attention to detail and dedication to service, we are proud of the reputation we’ve built and the results that have consistently placed us among the top commercial real estate companies in Central Ohio over the years.” With more than 1,500 units under construction at any given time, Metro creates developments of all sizes to fit the unique needs of communities and specific sites. It is

particularly innovative in its approach of “condominiumizing” individual developments in order to sell blocks of units to fit the needs of individual investors. And Metro ensures the highest quality through its affiliated construction management unit, while providing excellent services by keeping property management and maintenance services in-house through its Ardent Property Management affiliate. “They handle all of the important details and they do a tremendous job,” Tre’ Giller, CEO of parent organization DRK, says of the collaborative relationship. “They understand what the customer is looking for and what should be the customer experience


throughout our communities. In order to deliver an exceptional customer experience you need to have a group of individuals dedicated to the customer experience.”

Rich History A native of Columbus, Kenney attended The Ohio State University before founding Donald R. Kenney & Company Realtors in 1966 and, since then, has overseen the development of more than 50,000 multifamily and extendedstay units. He’s seen the ups and downs of the real estate market—and evolved to continually provide the product that’s in demand. “It’s unmistakable that Don is the driving force of our organization,” Giller says. “The fact that we have continued to grow

and add new offerings like Metro Development speaks to his entrepreneurial spirit, and how we view ourselves as an organization—his business acumen pushes us forward and shapes great customer experiences.” Today, DRK provides a full suite of real estate services including development, investment, sales and leasing, buyer and tenant representation and property management, operations and maintenance. The services extend to a wide array of markets such as

Metro Development LLC 470 Olde Worthington Road # 100 Westerville, OH 43082 (614) 540-2400

industrial/flex, medical, multifamily, office, retail, commercial condominiums and commercial owners associations. It was a strategic play to formalize the multifamily and extended stay unit in 2008. “Right after the downturn, we formed Metro Development to help address what we viewed as a lack of supply in the multifamily market,” Giller says. “What we found is there’s a niche in the market for highly amenitized yet affordable workforce housing—and we believe it still is underserved.” In addition to building high-quality homes for renters, Metro offers a stable product to investors with a sound ROI, having a proven track record of helping clients reduce the

costs and risks associated with their real estate. “While we’re a development company with a property management arm, we construct our buildings in such a way that we do draw interest from owner/investors looking for high-quality multifamily opportunity,” Giller says. “In those cases, our in-house sales team expertly handles asset sales.” The organization’s agents and managers partner with clients and invest the time and resources to learn their businesses and fully understand their specific goals and needs. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, DRK and its affiliates, including Metro, strive to produce the highest level of consumer satisfaction, which drives the overall success of the organization.

January 2019 l ColumbusCEO



Milestones Special Advertising Section

The new Cleary Company office on Old Henderson Road - Coming Spring 2019

The Cleary Company Treating Clients Like Family For 25 Years


here’s an unexpected relationship that forms when working with The Cleary Company. “Once clients hire us, they become part of our family,” says owner George Cleary, CR. The Cleary Company was founded in 1994 remodeling homes in Upper Arlington and Clintonville. Its focus started and continues to be on building a client base through personal relationships. The truth about home remodeling is that it can be a hard, messy process,

60 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

but treating clients like family helps ensure the final product and the client experience is exceptional. The Cleary Company’s ability to stay connected, coupled with an incredible team of skilled professionals, helps create client satisfaction and, in most cases, clients for life. In fact, over 60 percent of the company’s projects built in 2018 were from George Cleary with his dog Russell

repeat clients and referrals. A vital part is learning about clients’ personal tastes, budgets and lifestyles. The Cleary Company gains in-depth understanding of clients’ greater visions for their homes and their lives. The mission of The Cleary Company ensures that each client has the opportunity to have a better life through our unique remodel-designbuild process while also taking the time to have fun while doing each project. Part of that fun factor is including every family member when remodeling. Russell, George’s golden retriever and best buddy, is always the official greeter at the office. He inspires creative ways to ensure each member of a family has a positive experience with Team Cleary. George sums up these first 25 years in just three words: Thankful, grateful and blessed. As The Cleary

Company celebrates its 25th anniversary milestone, the business is excited to announce it will move to 989 Old Henderson Road in the spring of 2019. The Cleary Company has been bursting at the seams in its current location and is thrilled that when construction is complete at its new building, employees will have a new design library with more products and finishes from our most trusted partners. The Cleary Company appreciates all of the relationships built these past 25 years. It is our clients who provide us the purpose and opportunity to share our craftsmanship to enhance their lives!

The Cleary Company 4766 Kenny Rd, Columbus, OH 43220 (614) 459-4000


Milestones Special Advertising Section

25 years of Delivery Done Right

HMB Founders Mark 25 Years Since Their Leap


he information technology (IT) industry was growing and in the early stages in the 1990s. Tom Harris (H), John Mackessy (M) and Patrick Brennan (B) worked together at a central Ohio consulting firm, bonding over their belief in the future of technology and the idea that “we can do this better.” The three technologists took the leap in 1994 and formed HMB, a technology solutions company. “It was a big risk in terms of our careers and the fact that we all had young kids at the time,” Mackessy says. “But the need for technology solutions done right and done well was in demand. Armed with faith, trust and

a strong work ethic, we were confident we would be successful.” One of the things they knew they could do better was to create a company that employees wanted to be a part of. “One of our founding statements is we’re an employee-focused

company; our people are our greatest product,” Harris says. This combination of expertise in cutting-edge technology, the ability to find solutions for a growing number of clients, and empowering team members has proven to be a winning formula. HMB is celebrating its 25th anniversary and is one of central Ohio’s largest and most highly regarded technology solu-

tions companies. What began as three people in 1994, HMB now employs more than 260 and is headquartered in Westerville, with a satellite office in Louisville, Kentucky. HMB had record revenues of almost $60 million in 2018. HMB was built upon a foundation of “finding solutions,” Harris says, adding this began with developing custom application systems for companies. “We have continued to expand our service offerings over time and now, for example, infrastructure services is a big part of what we do.” Harris adds, “At the end of the day, our clients engage us to deliver professional and effective solutions. Winning for our clients is what motivates us, it is how we are measured.” One might say they have “done it better”. They are doing something right and the future looks bright for HMB.

HMB Inc. 570 Polaris Pkwy #125, Westerville, OH 43082 (614) 221-6831 January 2019 l ColumbusCEO



Milestones Special Advertising Section

Holbrook & Manter A Century of Trust


hat began as a single office accounting firm in Marion is now a five-office operation. Holbrook & Manter is proudly celebrating its centennial. In addition to still being in Marion, you can also find them in Columbus, Dublin, Lewis Center and Marysville. Serving family-owned and closely-held businesses has been a specialty of the firm since day one. H&M attributes its longevity to the relationships it shares with its clients. The firm’s expertise in accounting, assurance and all things financial is well-known, but its relationships set it apart. H&M’s Managing Principal, Bradley Ridge, reflects, “what a terrific feeling it has been to be a part of many client successes over the decades. We are grateful for our client’s loyalty, and when we thoughtfully consider that they have placed a century’s worth of trust in us, it is overwhelming.”   Clients across a wide range of industries work with the firm. H&M is skilled at serving those in agribusiness, construction, healthcare, manufacturing, nonprofit and professional services. No matter the industry, H&M leans into its 10 decades of insight while

62 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

Principals of Holbrook & Manter serving its clients. H&M’s growth is also reflected in the way its service offerings have evolved. While traditional accounting remains at the core, H&M is an industry leader in several services that many believe are only offered by larger firms, such as SOC Reporting & Family Office service. “We can serve small local companies, to large

multinational corporations,” says H&M principal, Justin Linscott. “No matter the company or service, our clients can count on us to fit their mold. We don’t expect them to fit ours. We customize what we do to meet their needs.” H&M is proud of its team. The firm hires professionals who exude a certain level of grit and an unmeasurable amount of passion for what

they do. H&M invests in its employees by offering continuing education, flexible scheduling and a chance to serve the community. H&M staffers support and volunteers for various charities—they most recently prepared a meal for families at the Ronald McDonald House. This milestone anniversary also serves as a catalyst for H&M’s refreshed look. New logos, colors and brand messaging usher the firm into the next century. “This was the appropriate time to reflect, capture and embrace a new look that uniquely represents who we are,” states H&M principal, Stephen Smith. “We are approachable, experienced and committed to client satisfaction.”

Holbrook & Manter, CPAs 775 Yard St Suite 160, Columbus, OH 43212 (614) 494-5300 Also with offices in Dublin, Lewis Center, Marion & Marysville.


Milestones Special Advertising Section

Healthcare Warriors making a difference for over 20 years.

Quantum Health Helping Consumers for 20 Years


ara Trott is a pioneer. “There wasn’t anything else like this at the time, there were no other consumer healthcare navigation companies in 1999,” says Trott, the founder and CEO of Quantum Health. The concept of navigating and guiding employees through an increasingly complex and expensive healthcare system to improve experiences and outcomes and the bottom line for the employers providing healthcare benefits, was just that: A concept. And an unproven one at that. Trott, who has a background in both retail planning and law, founded Quantum Health based on this idea. “We mapped

out the critical points on a consumer’s healthcare journey to identify where and how people became lost in the healthcare system” Trott says. This included intercept points, information flow and most importantly, where specially trained patient navigators can engage with the consumer. The result was improved efficiencies, reduced healthcare costs and healthier, happier employees. Jump ahead a couple of decades and Trott and Quantum Health are celebrating their 20th anniversary. The Columbusbased company has more than 900 employees and has changed the way healthcare is delivered. “On an annual basis,

we help nearly 1.3 million people navigate their way through the healthcare system, which represents about $7.5 billion a year in medical expenditures,” Trott says. “We’re the first and largest consumer healthcare navigation company. As employers recognize this as an essential part of their benefit solution, the space is becoming more defined and all support for patients is improving.” Kara Trott, CEO

Quantum Health’s clients are self-insured companies, ranging from Fortune 500 to mid-market to smaller, privately held companies. These 161 companies save an average of 5 percent to 6 percent on healthcare costs their first year, followed by average cost reductions of nearly 12 percent by the third year. Quantum Health has a Net Promoter Score of 74 from their members and 77 from their clients; both well above health insurance industry norms of 20 for consumers. “Everything will continue to change around us, medical care, technology, behavioral health, but what doesn’t change is the human healthcare experience,” Trott says. With an average growth rate of 30 percent per year, Quantum Health will continue to be on the forefront of connecting consumers with the right solutions during their healthcare journeys.

Quantum Health 7450 Huntington Park Dr # 100, Columbus, OH 43235 (614) 846-4318 January 2019 l ColumbusCEO



Milestones Special Advertising Section

ReVision LASIK & Cataract Surgery enjoys 20 years of success


trong and enduring are characteristics of platinum, a symbol used to commemorate 20th anniversaries. It’s also a fitting description for ReVision LASIK & Cataract Surgery, a central Ohio ophthalmology practice celebrating this impressive milestone. ReVision began serving patients in Mansfield in 1993 under the direction of Dr. James Schumer, an ophthalmologist at the forefront of cataract, LASIK and vision correction surgery. As the practice quickly grew, Dr. Schumer recognized the need to expand. He opened the doors to a new practice in Columbus located on Polaris Parkway in the spring of 1999. “The Polaris area—and our practice—have grown so much in 20 years,” Schumer says. “I’m glad ReVision was one of the first businesses to call this thriving community home.” Giving patients a fresh outlook on life is a lifelong passion for Dr. Schumer. He is fellowship trained, a global teacher and lecturer in his specialty.

64 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

Surgical suite at ReVision LASIK & Cataract Surgery But Dr. Schumer’s most distinguishing characteristic is his devotion to patient experience and care. This commitment defines ReVision and sets the expectation for the team surrounding Dr. Schumer every day. ReVision takes pride in

Dr. James Schumer

utilizing the most advanced laser technology to provide patients with the highest degree of safety, accuracy and customizable visual outcomes. This technology, paired with new advancements in vision correction options, allows Dr. Schumer to provide solutions to patients who have dealt with poor sight for many years. A patient’s personal lifestyle and vision goals are primary considerations at ReVision when discussing treatment options. Many choose vision correction procedures—such as LASIK and implantable contact lenses—because it brings added comfort and convenience to daily life. Keeping track of glasses, re-ordering contacts and buying cleaning solution becomes a distant

memory. For others, vision correction is vital to reclaim personal independence and safety. “We can actually help patients see better than they’ve ever seen in their entire lives,” Dr. Schumer says. As ReVision commemorates its 20th anniversary, Dr. Schumer continues to look ahead with plans for an exciting remodel of the Columbus practice. “It’s exciting to be part of the continued evolution of Ophthalmology in Central Ohio,” Dr. Schumer says.

ReVision LASIK and Cataract Surgery 1080 Polaris Pkwy Columbus, OH 43240 (614) 781-0499


Milestones Special Advertising Section

Standley Law Group 25 Years of IP Legal Expertise


ince 1994, Standley Law Group LLP has always focused on helping clients with their intellectual property needs, whether that be in the form of patents, trademarks, copyrights, computer system contracts and other instances where technology and law intersect. The firm has six paralegals and 11 attorneys plus staff members and has been a proud resident of central Ohio since inception. Clients range in size from individual inventors to Fortune 100 companies. Due to the varied scientific backgrounds of each

Trisha Beachy-Bryant of the firm’s attorneys (including mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, chemical engineers, software engineers and biotech), they are able to assist clients in practically

all technical fields. The firm is managed by Managing Partner Jeff Standley and an executive committee of attorney partners. Day-to-day operations are administered The office located on Riverside drive.

by General Manager Trisha Beachy-Bryant. The firm has responsibilities for client matters in the U.S. and over 100 foreign countries, where it helps U.S.-based clients obtain foreign protections for their inventions and their brands. Firm litigators have represented clients in federal and state courts in at least 18 different states. The firm has been responsible for helping clients obtain and maintain thousands of patents and trademarks and hundreds of copyright registrations. The firm has enjoyed helping many clients with royalty-generating license agreements. “We are so appreciative of reaching this 25-year milestone, and we look forward to continuing to help clients for many years to come,” BeachyBryant says. Standley Law Group has been listed as a top IP firm in national magazines and by Columbus CEO. The firm wishes to thank all of its clients and suppliers. With technological innovation, brand marketing and overall creativity continuing to be major driving forces in the economy, the future appears bright for IP law, and Standley Law Group is well situated to help clients with these needs.

Standley Law Group LLP 6300 Riverside Dr. Dublin 43017 (614) 792-5555 January 2019 l ColumbusCEO


Balance Your MBA With Your Life

Oyauma President and CEO, A Kid Again Franklin University MBA Graduate


Boost Your Professional Value With An MBA From Franklin Take charge of your career with an accredited MBA from Franklin University. With our faculty of in-field experts from well-known organizations, you’ll gain knowledge you can put to use right away. A top choice for ambitious adults for more than 115 years, Franklin’s convenient course options enable you to complete your degree in as few as 14 months, and there’s no GRE or GMAT required for qualified applicants. Apply today and start classes this winter. Franklin Makes It Possible. Franklin Makes It Personal. Franklin University is nonprofit and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission ( Franklin University’s MBA is accredited by the International Accreditation Council for Business Education.

MASTER’S PROGRAMS MBA M.S. in Accounting M.S. in Human Resource Management M.S. Marketing + Communication BACHELOR’S PROGRAMS Accounting Applied Management Business Administration Business Forensics Energy Management Entrepreneurship Financial Management Financial Planning Forensic Accounting Human Resources Management Logistics Management Management + Leadership Marketing Operations + Supply Chain Management Risk Management + Insurance

Central Ohio MBA Programs Ranked by central Ohio enrollment

School 1

Ohio State University Fisher College of Business 2100 Neil Ave., Columbus 43210 614-292-8511


Franklin University 201 S. Grant Ave., Columbus 43215 614-797-4700


Ashland University 401 College Ave., Ashland 44805 419-289-5242


Capital University 1 College and Main, Columbus 43209 614-236-6011


annual Tuition

credit hours

year established

Program Length

varies 1933 $670 pch 1992 $24,900 1978

varies varies

Format Daytime, evening, weekend, full-time, part-time

36 14 months and up

Evening, full-time, part-time

30 1

Evening, weekend, full-time, online


Online application & fee,

academic record, GMAT or GRE, letter of recommendation, resume, essay/personal statement, video interview, TOEFL for international applicants Emphasizes academic ability, contributory work experience, personal qualities & characteristics—bachelor’s degree from accredited institution with 2.75 GPA on a 4.0 scale or entrance exam, work history, references

2.75 cumulative GPA with 2 years professional experience

A 3.00 GPA in the last 60 semester hours of an undergraduate degree from a regionallyaccredited institution or a 2.75 GPA in the last 60 credit hours; applicant must meet other criteria as well

CONCENTRATIONS OFFERED Accounting, consulting, entrepreneurship, finance, human resources, international business, marketing, operations, real estate, strategy, supply chain, make your own major

Not provided

Accounting, business analytics, entrepreneurship, financial management, global management, health care management and leadership, human resource management, project management, sport


$10,800 2002

36 2 years

Evening, online


$650 pch 1973

36 2 Years

Evening, part-time

Minimum three years professional working experience, undergraduate degree with a minimum of a 3.2 GPA; two professional references

Advanced topics offered in finance, leadership, marketing & entrepreneurship

Weekend, online

At least two years of professional experience; Bachelor’s degree from accredited institution; official transcripts from all institutions of higher education; GPA of 3.0 or above.

Business analytics, executive management, finance, healthcare, accounting, business venturing, strategic selling & sales leadership, operations & supply chain management

3.0 GPA (GMAT required if less than 3.0), transcripts, professional resume, personal essay, on-campus interview, application fee

Healthcare administration, financial economics, actuarial science

Official transcripts from previous degree-granting institution(s), completed & signed application and nonrefundable application fee

Digital marketing, finance, healthcare management, organizational leadership, human resources


$17,010 2009

36 2 years


$11,700 1997

36 2 Years



$530 pch 2011

36 2 years

Daytime, evening, weekend, full-time, part-time

Ohio Christian University 1476 Lancaster Pike Circleville 43113 877-762-8669


Otterbein University 1 South Grove St. Westerville 43081 614-823-1095



Ohio University College of Business Annex 351 Athens 45701 740-593-2053



Ohio Dominican University 1216 Sunbury Road Columbus 43219 614-251-4500



The CEO Leaderboard features selected topics each month. The April Leaderboards will feature central Ohio employee benefits firms, family law firms and commercial real estate brokers. The deadline for inclusion in those surveys is Feb 8. If you want your central Ohio company to be considered for an upcoming CEO Leaderboard, contact Columbus CEO at 614-461-5109 or Information included in this survey was provided by companies listed and was not independently verified.

Accounting, data analytics, finance, leadership, risk management, sport management

na = not applicable pch = per credit hour *Estimate of 2017-18 enrollment **Fall 2016 Source: Survey of MBA Programs

Information compiled by Chloe teasley

January 2019 l ColumbusCEO






Cardinal Hall

12 & 13   

Ohio Expo Center 717 E. 17th Avenue

11am – 5pm








JEWELERS #CbusWeddingsShow Official Show of Columbus Weddings Magazine




ctor Fashion Director TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta� nta�



Central Ohio Hotels

Ranked by total number of guest rooms and suites








6 415

12,500 16

200 200 200

1989 $189

Juan Laginia Rebecca Gorman Melissa Spiers


7 338

39,000 20

1,200 700 na

2000 $186

Carrie Richards Wendy Nicodemus Adam Yezzi


6 294

20,000 18

500 500 1,000

1983 Varies

Steve Petrucelli Pete Kandra Sandy Muncy


284 0

13,500 16

400 400 1,100

2000 $109

Becky Miller Rachel Stuart Jana Nethers


259 na

2,363 6

50 80 100

1991 $129

Vipin Moolchandani Laurie Hess Laurie Hess


25 227

15,500 15

600 600 950

2008 $129

Nancy Howard Jason Martin Madison Martin


3 237

4,200 4

250 250 300

1960 $129-$159

E. Tyson Swietzer Gene Minnich Heather Jones


70 122

40,000 35

440 400 600

2003 $139

Sue Bellan Mike Moseley Bryan Wright


na 158

2,900 5

70 65 100

2007 $129

John Businger Lauren Kupper Maggie Mungai


16 135

18,000 16

256 256 300

2002 varies

Eric Adelman Kelly Mulhern Amanda Parry


1 Crowne Plaza Columbus Downtown

33 E. Nationwide Boulevard Columbus 43215 • 614-461-4100

2 Hilton Columbus at Easton 3900 Chagrin Drive, Columbus 43219 614-414-5000

3 Crowne Plaza Columbus North-Worthington

6500 Doubletree Avenue, Columbus 43229 614-885-1885

4 Embassy Suites Columbus Dublin

5100 Upper Metro Place, Dublin 43017 614-790-9000

5 Sheraton Suites Columbus

201 Hutchinson Ave., Columbus 43235 614-436-0004

6 Hilton Columbus Polaris 8700 Lyra Drive, Columbus 43240 614-885-1600

7 Holiday Inn Downtown Capitol Square

175 E. Town St., Columbus 43215 614-221-3281 •

8 Nationwide Hotel and Conference Center

100 Green Meadows Drive S. Lewis Center 43035 • 614-880-4300

9 Hilton Garden Inn Columbus University Area

3232 Olentangy River Road Columbus 43202 • 614-263-7200

10 The Blackwell Inn & Pfahl Conference Center

2110 Tuttle Park Place, Columbus 43210 614-247-4000

The CEO Leaderboard features selected topics each month. The April Leaderboards will feature central Ohio Employee Benefits Firms, Family Law Firms and Commercial Real Estate Brokers. The deadline for inclusion in those surveys is Feb 9. If you want your central Ohio company to be considered for an upcoming CEO Leaderboard, contact Columbus CEO at 614-461-5109 or Information included in this survey was provided by companies listed and was not independently verified.



na = not applicable Source: Survey of Hotels Information compiled by Chloe Teasley

January 2019 l ColumbusCEO


Central Ohio Independent Insurance Agencies Ranked by 2017 central Ohio premium volume, or for ties, by number of carriers represented



1 USi Insurance Services 5455 Rings Road, Dublin 43017 614-340-6178

$972 m

Commercial P&C, construction, pension services, professional liability, personal lines, employee benefits, workers’ compensation

$239 m

Commercial P&C, construction, pension services, professional liability, personal lines, employee benefits, workers’ compensation

2 Willis Towers Watson 775 Yard St., Suite 200, Columbus 43212 614-457-7000


3 Gallagher 545 Metro Place S., Suite 150, Dublin 43017 614-761-2901

$196.6 m

4 Huntington Insurance 37 W. Broad St., Columbus 43215 614-899-8500

$127 m

Commercial P&C, construction, professional liability, personal lines, employee benefits, workers’ compensation

$119.6 m

Commercial P&C, construction, professional liability, personal lines, employee benefits, workers’ compensation

$111.2 m

Employee benefits

5 Oswald Companies 353 W. Nationwide Blvd., Columbus 43215 614-246-8787

Pension services; employee benefits

6 ClearPath Benefit Advisors LLC

300 Spruce St., Suite 250, Columbus 43215 614-857-6444 •

7 Smith & Leavitt

Insurance Service 4942 Reed Road, Columbus 43220 614-451-2232 •

$57.2 m

Commercial P&C, construction, professional liability, personal lines, employee benefits, workers’ compensation, financial services

$54 m

Commercial P&C, construction, professional liability, personal lines, employee benefits, workers’ compensation

8 Insurance Office of Central Ohio

165 W. Main St., New Albany 43054 614-939-5471 •

9 Barton & Associates, Inc. 945 River Road, Granville 43023 740-587-1105

$26.3 m

Employee benefits

$14.1 m

Commercial P&C, personal lines, employee benefits

10 Hummel and Plum

Insurance Agency, Inc. 116 W. Franklin St., PO Box 877 Circleville 43113 • 740-477--3311

na=not applicable wnd=would not disclose m=million Source: Survey of Independent Insurance Agencies

Information compiled by Chloe Teasley

70 ColumbusCEO l January 2019


50+ $1.6 b 100+ wnd 36 wnd 238 $49.3 m 86 $82.6 m 55+ $3.4 m 43 wnd 25+ wnd 17 wnd 15 wnd

TOP CARRIERS REPRESENTED Anthem, UHC, Liberty Mutual, Medical Mutual, Aetna


65 2,000


52 5,000+


5 wnd

Medical Mututal, United Healthcare, Anthem, Cincinnati, Westfield

49 106

Anthem, United Healthcare, Medical Mutual, Aetna, Guardian

14 230

Anthem, UHC, Medical Mutual of Ohio, American United Life, Aetna

7 7

Travelers, Nationwide, FCCI, Chubb, EMC

41 na

AIG Private Client, Chubb, Cincinnati, Pure, Westfield

16 16

Aetna, Unum, Pacific Life, John Hancock, Anthem

4 4

Westfield, Celina Group, Cincinnati, Hastings, and Safeco

12 14

The CEO Leaderboard features selected topics each month. The April Leaderboards will feature central Ohio Employee Benefits Firms, Family Law Firms and Commercial Real Estate Brokers. The deadline for inclusion in those surveys is Feb 9. If you want your central Ohio company to be considered for an upcoming CEO Leaderboard, contact Columbus CEO at 614-461-5109 or Information included in this survey was provided by companies listed and was not independently verified.

Wouldn’t you like to be looking at your home? Ask your Realtor to market your home in the Executive Living section of Columbus CEO Magazine! East of I-71 call Telana Veil at (614) 469-6106 or e-mail at West of I-71 call Amy Vidrick at (614) 461-5153 or e-mail at



Al Waddell (614) 832-4079 al.waddell@

Al Waddell (614) 832-4079 al.waddell@

HIDDEN CREEK AT THE DARBY - Large foyer leads to impressive 3 sty staircase & stone elevator tower. Magnificent great rm w/ soaring ceilings, walls of glass & massive stone frplc 1st flr In-Law suite w/ private entry. Finished walkout LL. Secluded on 4.8 acres. Visit Offered at $1,999,900


1616 HAWTHORN PARK B&B - Turnkey business in historic Woodland Park, Hawthorne Park B&B has 7 + suites w/ private baths. Trip Advisor’s 5-star rating, current #1 of their Top 10! Main house has new kitchen, 2 new baths. Separate carriage house, total reno in 2015, perfect for onsite owner / operator, has 2 BR apt. and 4 car garage. Ideal location. $1,299,000

Debbie Miller (419) 834-0447 deborah@

Al Waddell (614) 832-4079 al.waddell@

6101 BALMORAL DRIVE - Meticulously well cared for custom home in Balmoral at Muirfield. 4 BR, 4.5 baths, Dramatic 2 story great room, private office/den, opulent master with updated spa-like bath. Finished lower level, Stunning professional landscape, 3 car garage. E-Z walk to Muirfield Country Club, elementary and middle school. $724,900

HIDEAWAY COUNTRY INN - Easy To Find.... Hard to Leave! Top Romantic Getaway - Ohio Business Retreat. Central Ohio Full Service Inn. Liquor License w/ 3 Acre patio. 40 Seat Restaurant, 40 Seat Pub N Patio, Outdoor Wedding Venue up to 400. Meeting Venue up to 80 Private ISP. 1601 State Route 4, Bucyrus, OH 44820.



Sherrie Miller (614) 582-5803

Sherrie Miller (614) 582-5803

9125 BASIL WESTERN RD. NW - Happy New Year! Tranquility describes these 11 acres. 5BD, 3.5BA home with a massive 1stfloor Master w/ your own fireplace & private entrance onto the covered Patio & glistening in-ground pool. 9 of the 11 acres are zoned COMMERCIAL- live on 2 sale 9! Canal Winchester $749,900

5962 WATERLOO RD. NW - Start the new year out in style! Private & Majestic describes this 6916 sf home. 4 BR, 3.5 BA home w/32 acres (20% wooded). Solid Cherry wood thru-out home. Serene 1 acre stocked pond, 865sf cabin w/600sf dock. 3868 sf heated pole barn w/ mezzanine. 18 x 40 inground pool! Canal Winchester 1,250,000



Alli Close (614) 726-9070 TheClose

Alli Close (614) 726-9070 TheClose

PRIVATE DUBLIN ESTATE - Pull in to one of your 4 car garages and be welcomed by hardwood floors and 10’ or 2 sty ceilings throughout. Walls of windows let you enjoy the huge bkyd that overlooks the 3rd green of the MVGC. Huge bedrooms with a potential of 8 BRs available on all three levels. Lower level walkout is stunning & opens to a large patio. $1,395,000

TARTAN FIELDS STUNNER! - Half acre cul de sac lot backing to trees with views of the pond and preserve! Sellers recently remodeled the island kitchen to any discerning chefs delight. Huge finished lower level with custom built bar. Plenty of room throughout to play! $1,100,000

Office Space By chloe teasley + Photos by rob hardin

Overmyer Hall 1600 W. Lane Ave. Suite 200 Columbus 43221 Partial Privacy

Overmyer Hall made big changes in its new office, but some of the privacy employees enjoyed in its previous home is still available now.

Insurance Relics

Plaques used for the nation’s original fire insurance plan commemorate how it began.

The Old With the New

A gifted grandfather clock greets visitors upon entry and offers a classic touch in the modern office.

The Big Table

The conference room has a cleaned-up look with slick orange chairs. Available tech in the room is much the same as before—Overmyer Hall didn’t add more than it needed.

Right at Home

Greg Overmyer’s office received an update, but still has a classic look and feel.

An Orange Welcome

The first traces of the office’s orange color scheme can be seen in Overmyer Hall’s reception area. Visit for a full article on the space.

72 ColumbusCEO l January 2019

Posh Digs

A clean and comfy waiting area sits outside of the Overmyer Hall office. In the background, clouded orange glass provides an attractive separator.

Lack of can’t miss it. And you don’t have to accept it. In our 2018 survey of in-house counsel and senior executives at 176 companies, 72 percent said they rarely receive detailed plans or budgets from their law firm. You read that right! At Thompson Hine, our SmartPaTH® way of working ensures that formal, disciplined legal project management strategies are used to effectively scope, plan, execute, and monitor our progress. Clients benefit from greater transparency on pricing, more collaboration between inside and outside counsel, and clearer alignment between client goals and lawyer efforts. You can plan on that.


A Smarter Way to Work – predictable, efficient and aligned with client goals.

Download our 2018 research study on what corporate counsel expect and need from their law firms at ClosingTheInnovationGap

Profile for The Columbus Dispatch

Columbus CEO - January 2019 issue  

Columbus CEO - January 2019 issue

Columbus CEO - January 2019 issue  

Columbus CEO - January 2019 issue