Greater Ohio Policy Center Announces Winners of the First Annual Greater Ohio Sustainable Development Awards (6/15/15)

Greater Ohio Policy Center announces the winners of the first annual Greater Ohio Sustainable Development Awards. The Awards recognize individuals and entities working to create vibrant and sustainable communities, cities, and regions in Ohio. Winners were selected from a statewide public nomination process by Greater Ohio Policy Center staff and an independent advisory committee.

"Greater Ohio Policy Center believes the leaders, institutions, and initiatives that have won these first-ever awards are moving Ohio towards a more sustainable and prosperous future, which is what we are hoping to promote and encourage over time," said Lavea Brachman, Executive Director of the Greater Ohio Policy Center.

Winners were unveiled at an Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, June 10th at Restoring Neighborhoods, Strengthening Economies: A Summit on Innovation & Sustainable Growth in Ohio’s Cities & Regions at the Westin Hotel in Columbus. The conference featured cutting-edge tools and practices, effective partnerships, and policy solutions for comprehensive and sustainable growth in Ohio.
The Public Sector Leader Award, recognizing a public sector individual or entity exemplifying outstanding leadership and innovation in advancing policies or programs that incentivize and enable community reinvestment and sustainable development in Ohio’s cities and regions, went to Senator Bill Beagle (R). Senator Beagle, who is in his second term in the Ohio Senate and represents all or part of Darke, Miami, Montgomery, and Preble Counties, is a recognized advocate for workforce development, community and economic development. Runners up were the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Statewide Transit Needs Study and Mayor Georgine Welo of South Euclid, Ohio.
The Private Sector Champion Award recognizes a private sector individual or entity that has demonstrated a commitment to and excellence in investing in existing communities and strengthening local economies in Ohio. Their contributions foster a holistic approach to sustainable development, leading to environmental, social, and economic prosperity. The award went to Model Group, which is an integrated property development, construction, and management company working primarily in the Cincinnati region. Partnering with a variety of funding sources, local municipalities, and community stakeholders, Model Group builds and redevelops housing and mixed-used developments that revitalize and transform urban neighborhoods. Runners up were PNC Bank and Wagenbrenner Development.
The Nonprofit of the Year Award recognizes a nonprofit individual or entity in Ohio that works with communities to identify local needs and addresses them through innovative community solutions. The award went to University Circle, Inc. (UCI), which is responsible for the growth of Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood as a premier center of innovation in health care, education, arts, and culture.  Utilizing real estate development, business services, and advocacy, UCI has helped to create a vibrant urban district that is a national model. Runners up were Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation and the Downtown Dayton Partnership.

The Catalytic Partnership 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. The award went to the City of Kent and Kent State University, which have brought together city, university, and business assets to catalyze economic revival in downtown Kent.  With the local Regional Transit Authority and private developers, the revitalization plan has attracted $130 million in investments. Runners up were Nationwide Children's Hospital and Community Development for All People on the Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy Families initiative in Columbus' South Side and the City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Mill on the "City as a Lab" initiative.

More information about the 2015 Summit and Greater Ohio Sustainable Development Awards is available at