Greater Ohio Policy Center Announces Winners of 2017 Greater Ohio Sustainable Development Awards (4/9/17)

Greater Ohio Policy Center announced the winners of the 2017 Greater Ohio Sustainable Development Awards in a ceremony on March 8, 2017. The Awards recognize individuals and entities working to create vibrant and sustainable communities, cities, and regions in Ohio.
“The people and organizations honored through the Sustainable Development Awards are helping to ensure a bright future for Ohio’s communities," said Alison Goebel, Executive Director of Greater Ohio Policy Center.  “We are proud to highlight the important work that the award winners and finalists are doing in in their communities across the state.”
Public Sector Leader Award
The Public Sector Leader Award was awarded posthumously to Daryl Rush. This award recognizes an individual or entity in the public sector that exemplifies outstanding leadership and innovation in advancing policies or programs that incentivize and enable community reinvestment and sustainable development in Ohio’s cities and regions. Rush served the City of Cleveland for 13 years as Director of Community Development, where he supported community development corporations and other neighborhood-based organizations in stabilizing and revitalizing the city’s neighborhoods. Runners-up for this award were Representative Kirk Schuring for his sponsorship of HB 233 to create Downtown Redevelopment Districts and Representative Jonathan Dever for championing HB 463 to assist Ohio’s communities in containing and mitigating blight.
Private Sector Champion
The Private Sector Champion Award was given to ProMedica. This award recognizes an entity or individual operating in the private sector who has demonstrated a commitment to and excellence in investing in existing communities and strengthening local economies in Ohio. ProMedica is a health system serving Northwest Ohio whose decision to move their headquarters to downtown Toledo will result in $60 million of new investment and 1,000 new jobs in the city’s core. Runners-up in this category were CareSource for its investments in downtown Dayton andScott Ziance for his leadership in the campaign to preserve the Ohio Historic Tax Credit in 2015.
Nonprofit Luminary Award
The Nonprofit Luminary Award went to Jeanne Golliher. This award recognizes an entity or individual operating in the nonprofit sector that has employed innovative thinking in working with communities to identify and address local needs and opportunities with distinction. Golliher is the President and CEO of the Cincinnati Development Fund, a nationally-recognized community development financial institution. Under her leadership, CDF has invested in catalytic projects like The Kitchen at Findlay Market in Over-the-Rhine and the Incline Theater in the Price Hill Entertainment District. The runners-up in this category were Dayton Children’s Hospital for its investments in the neighborhoods surrounding its Old North Dayton campus and YayBikes! for its advocacy to protect cyclists on Ohio’s roads.
Catalytic Partnership Award
The Catalytic Partnership Award was awarded to Link Lima/Allen County. This award recognizes a cross-sector partnership that has had a measurable, positive impact in a community or region in Ohio, and represents a model for creative and effective collaboration. Link Lima/Allen County is a partnership among the Allen Economic Development Group, OhioMeansJobs Allen County, and hundreds of regional employers that is focused on solving the region’s workforce challenges by engaging, training, and preparing jobseekers to fill the needs of local employers. Runners-up in this category were the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee for its success in highlighting positive work going on in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention and the Downtown Akron Vision and Redevelopment Plan, a partnership of the Downtown Akron Partnership, the City of Akron, the Knight Foundation, and the GAR Foundation, for its initial work in shaping the future of downtown Akron.
Lifetime Achievement Award
A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Douglas A. Garver. Garver has served as Executive Director of the Ohio Housing Finance Agency since 2004 and will retire from his post this summer. Under his leadership, OHFA expanded its programming to offer competitive mortgage loans for veterans and recent college graduates, funding tools to rehabilitate and build affordable rental housing, foreclosure prevention programs to help stabilize and protect existing neighborhoods, and creative and much needed resources for developers, renters, and buyers.
Winners were announced at Greater Ohio Policy Center’s Summit, Investing in Ohio’s Future: Maximizing Growth in Our Cities and Regions in Columbus. The conference included panels on trends and best practices in neighborhood revitalization, transportation and infrastructure modernization, and regional economic competitiveness in Ohio. It also featured a keynote address by former Pittsburgh mayor Tom Murphy and a plenary discussion by former legislators on Ohio’s biennial budget process.

More information about the 2017 Summit and Greater Ohio Sustainable Development Awards is available at
About Greater Ohio Policy Center
The Greater Ohio Policy Center (GOPC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization with a mission to champion revitalization and sustainable growth in Ohio. GOPC uses education, research and outreach to develop and advance policies and practices that create revitalized communities, strengthen regional cooperation, and preserve Ohio’s open space and farmland.