The Columbus Partnership is a non-profit, membership-based CEO organization of more than 70 CEOs from Columbus’ leading businesses and institutions. The Columbus Partnership’s primary goal is to improve the economic vitality of the Columbus Region.
In 2002, the Columbus Partnership was founded as a 501(c)(3), membership-based organization of CEOs from Columbus’ leading businesses and institutions. What began as eight CEOs in the early years of the organization has evolved into the Partnership’s current membership base of more than 70, providing broad representation across Columbus’ diverse business community. The primary purpose of the Partnership is to be thought leaders – strategically considering how to position our community for the future. To accomplish this purpose, the Partnership convenes leaders from its member organizations and other sectors within the community to thoughtfully discuss the economic issues facing Columbus and the needs that will positively impact the entire Region. The Partnership is also actively engaged in civic projects related to smart mobility, public policy, education, leadership development, philanthropy, arts and culture, and downtown development.
In 2010, the Columbus Region started a journey to transform the way Columbus addresses economic development in the 11-county region in central Ohio. The Columbus Partnership commissioned an assessment that benchmarked the Columbus Region against peer communities throughout the United States. As a result of these studies and benchmarking efforts, the Partnership led the engagement of more than 1,500 individuals representing big business, small business, government officials, young professionals, and many other civic organizations. This community-wide collaboration of both people and resources resulted in the creation of an aggressive new economic development strategy for the region called Columbus 2020. By engaging the Region’s public and private-sector leaders, Columbus 2020 has emerged not only as the most successful economic development strategy in Ohio, but also a leading agency of its kind in the country.
In 2016, Columbus beat out 77 cities across the U.S. to win the U.S. Department of Transportation’s coveted first-ever Smart City Challenge which awarded $50 million in grant funding and the designation as America’s Smart City. Led by the City of Columbus and the Columbus Partnership, in partnership with The Ohio State University, American Electric Power and many others, the initiative was branded Smart Columbus. Together, we are dedicated to transforming our city into the national leader in mobility innovation.
To learn more about our economic development strategy and civic efforts, visit the Community Impact section of our site.