CRITICAL NEED ALERT Our Kids: Early Childhood Education & Youth Homelessness GET INVOLVED
Skip to Content
February 19, 2016


Carol Harmon, The Columbus Foundation, charmon@columbusfoundation.org614/251-4000

Celebrating Columbus' National Number Ones



COLUMBUS, OH (February 19, 2016)—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 on February 19.

“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:

Gene Smith, The Ohio State University Athletics
National Champions in Multiple Sports, including Football, Wrestling, Pistol, Rowing, Synchronized Swimming,
and Ohio Stadium – #1 in U.S. in Average Football Game Attendance

Ann Hamilton,
National Medal of Arts – United States Government

Tom Stalf, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium,
Top Honor, Best Zoological Exhibit in U.S. – Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Jane Grote Abell, Donatos,
#1 Fast Casual Restaurant, Pizza Division – Technomic

Nannette Maciejunes, Columbus Museum of Art,
Michael Bongiorno, DesignGroup,
Robert and Peggy Walter Wing of Columbus Museum of Art:
Best of Architecture – Wall Street Journal

Elaine Roberts,
Transportation Champions of Change Award – The White House

Brutus Buckeye,
Division 1A Mascot of the Year – Universal Cheerleaders Association

Nancy Ferguson, former Mayor, New Albany,
America’s Number One Suburb – Business Insider 

Centennial High School STEM Club,
National Champions – Rube Goldberg Machine Contest

Greg Ubert, Crimson Cup,
#1 Large Coffee Roaster in North America – Roast Magazine

Mayor Andy Ginther,
Excellence in Sustainability Award – National Environment Health Association,
and #1 Big City to get a Fresh Start in America – Credit Sesame

New Albany Classic,
In support of The Center for Family Safety and Healing,
Karen Days, President,
#1 – Specialty Equestrian Event – North American Riders Group

Tom Walker, Rev1 Ventures, Columbus,
City with Greatest Increase in Start-ups in the U.S. –
Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship

Twenty One Pilots,
#1 Album Debut – Billboard 200 Chart,
and Ranked #1 – Essential Records of 2015 – Alternative Press


About The Columbus Foundation
The Columbus Foundation is the trusted philanthropic advisor® to 2,400 individuals, families, and businesses who have created charitable funds and planned gifts to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. Serving the region for more than 70 years, The Columbus Foundation is the seventh largest community foundation in the United States. The Foundation’s online marketplace, PowerPhilanthropy,® makes giving mobile, easy, and smart. For more information, visit or call 614/251-4000.