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February 22, 2017


Contact: Carol Harmon, charmon@columbusfoundation.org614/251-4000


Celebrating Columbus' National Number Ones

COLUMBUS, OH (February 22, 2017)—The Columbus Foundation celebrated the outstanding work of our business and nonprofit leaders and innovators who were named the best in the United States for their accomplishments over the past year. The individuals and organizations were honored at the annual National Number Ones event held at the Foundation.


Pictured with Nancy Kramer (far right), Vice Chairman of The Columbus Foundation Governing Committee and Mayor Andy Ginther. First row (l-r): Maximilien Chastanet, Elaine Roberts, Angela Mingo, Wendy Bowles, Karen Days, Beth A. Gibson. Second Row (l-r): Phil Heit, Brian Ross, Tom Walker, Guy Worley, Peter Bruce, Andrew Huster.

“Columbus is full of remarkable visionaries and people working together for the betterment of everyone—that’s why we celebrate our National Number Ones,” said Douglas F. Kridler, Columbus Foundation President and CEO. “Together we are building Columbus’ reputation as a place distinguished by both its knowledge resources and its openness to new ideas.”


The National Number Ones include:

Downtown Columbus Riverfront
Guy Worley, Columbus Downtown Development Corporation
2016 National Planning Excellence Award for Implementation by American Planning Association

Mayor Andrew Ginther / Columbus,
Winner of the Smart City Challenge,
Department of Transportation

Steve Allen, M.D., CEO,
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
America’s Largest Pediatric Hospital

Columbus, Nation’s Top City to Watch for Real Estate Growth
Emerging Trends in Real Estate Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Urban Land Institute

Elaine Roberts, Columbus Regional Airport Authority
Top in the nation for Total Value Textiles and Footwear imported into the U.S.

Simone Biles 
Columbus Born, Olympian Gymnast,
4 Gold Medals

Tom Walker, Rev1Ventures,
#1 City for Scaling Startups in U.S.
Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship

Phil Heit, The New Albany Walking Classic
#1 Largest Walking-only Race in North America

Twenty One Pilots,
Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance
for “Stressed Out”

Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, Dean, Ohio State College of Nursing
RN to BSN Program Nation’s Best for 2016 by

New Albany Classic, 4th consecutive year
In support ofThe Center for Family Safety and Healing, Karen Days, President
#1 Specialty Equestrian Event North American Riders Group

Julia Bray, Ashton Cofer and Luke Clay, Gahanna students
Scientific American Innovator Award 2016 Google Science Fair

Beth A. Gibson, Buddy Up Tennis, Inc.
2016 USTA National Adaptive Tennis Community Service Award

Brian Ross, Experience Columbus
JD Power Award for Number One Destination in the Midwest Region

EcoCAR, The Ohio State University
Year Two of North American EcoCAR 3 Competition

Venturi Buckeye Bullet 3 Team, The Ohio State University
All-electric Landspeed Record

Kyle Snyder,
The Ohio State University Wrestling
Youngest Wrestling World Champion in U.S. History

Gene Smith, The Ohio State University, Athletic Director
Athletic Director of the Year Sports Business Journal

Francesca Di Lorenzo,
The Ohio State University Tennis
Repeat Singles Champion in the USTA/ ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships

Maximilien Chastanet,
The Ohio State University Fencing Team
National Title in Men’s Foil

The Ohio State University Football
Number 1 All-time Football Program over 80 years
Associated Press

The Ohio State University Men's Volleyball
2016 NCAA National Champions,
tournament MVP Miles Johnson, National Player of the Year Nicolas Szerszen, and National Coach of the Year Pete Hanson


About The Columbus Foundation
The Columbus Foundation is the trusted philanthropic advisor® to more than 2,500 individuals, families, businesses, and communities that have created unique funds to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. More than 70 years strong, The Columbus Foundation is ranked among the top ten foundations in the United States based on asset size. The Foundation’s online giving marketplace makes it possible for everyone to access valuable information about nonprofit organizations in central Ohio. Visit to learn more.