The Greater Ohio Sustainable Development Awards

Greater Ohio Policy Center congratulates the following individuals and organizations who were chosen as finalists and winners for the Greater Ohio Sustainable Development Awards. All of our finalists and winners have made outstanding contributions to achieving vibrant and prosperous communities in Ohio. Award winners were announced at the 2017 Summit during the Awards ceremony breakfast.

2017 Private Sector Champion Award Finalists

This Award recognizes an entity or individual operating in the private sector who has demonstrated a commitment to and excellence in existing communities and strengthening local economies in Ohio.

  • WINNER: ProMedica is a nonprofit health system serving northwest Ohio that will move its headquarters to downtown Toledo in summer 2017, bringing 1,000 jobs and a $60 million investment.
  • CareSource is a managed health care organization that is making major investments that are leading the rejuvenation of Downtown Dayton.
  • Scott Ziance is a Partner at the Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, LLP, who led the charge to preserve the Ohio Historic Tax Credit in 2015.

2017 Nonprofit Sector Luminary Award Finalists

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.

  • WINNER: Jeanne Golliher is President and CEO of Cincinnati Development Fund, a nationally recognized Community Development Financial Institution that provides much-needed credit and investment capital in Cincinnati’s underserved neighborhoods.
  • Dayton Children’s Hospital serves as one of the DaVinci Partners that is leading the redevelopment of the Old North Dayton and McCook Field Neighborhoods.
  • Yay Bikes! is a nonprofit organization that advocates for safer conditions for bicyclists in Central Ohio and statewide, including the recently-enacted 3-foot passing law. YayBikes organizes professional development rides with local officials to give them a “bike’s view” of local roads.

2017 Public Sector Leader Award Finalists

This award recognizes 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.

  • WINNER: Darryl Rush, being honored posthumously, served as the City of Cleveland’s Director of Community Development for 13 years. He is remembered for his dynamic leadership and dedication to serving the people of Cleveland.
  • Rep. Jonathan Dever sponsored House Bill 463, passed by the Ohio General Assembly in 2016, which contains new provisions that will help Ohio’s communities mitigate and prevent blight.
  • Rep. Kirk Schuring has authored dozens of legislative initiatives to improve community development, including the establishment of Joint Economic Development Districts and the recent enacted of House Bill 233, which created Downtown Redevelopment Districts.

2017 Catalytic Partnership Award Finalists

This Award recognizes a cross-sector partnership that has had a positive impact on a community or region, and represents a model for creative and effective collaboration.

  • WINNER: Link Lima/Allen County is an employer-centric workforce development strategy taking on the most daunting workforce challenges of employers in the Greater Lima Region through a private/public partnership among Allen Economic Development Group, OhioMeansJobs-Allen County, and many hundreds of employers.
  • The Downtown Akron Vision and Redevelopment Plan identified 10 planning priorities to shape Akron’s future. The Plan was shepherded by the Downtown Akron Partnership and City of Akron with support from the Knight Foundation and GAR Foundation.
  • Cleveland 2016 Host Committee is a multi-sector nonprofit corporation comprised of leaders from across Cleveland who dedicated themselves to ensuring that the 2016 Republican National Convention was a success and highlighted the positive work taking place in the city.

2017 Lifetime Achievement Award

  • WINNER: Douglas A. Garver has served as the Executive Director of the Ohio Housing Finance Agency since 2004. Under his leadership, OHFA has provided assistance to first-time homebuyers, homeowners, renters, seniors, and others who might not otherwise be able to afford quality housing.


2015 Sustainable Development Award Winners and Finalists:

2015 Public Sector Leader Award Winner:

Senator Bill Beagle is in his second term in the Ohio Senate, representing all or part of Darke, Miami, Montgomery, and Preble Counties, and is a recognized advocate for workforce development, community and economic development.


2015 Public Sector Leader Award Finalists:

  • Mayor Georgine Welo, City of South Euclid
  • Ohio Department of Transportation Statewide Transit Needs Study

2015 Private Sector Champion Award Winner:

The Model Group is an integrated property development, construction, and management company working Cincinnati. 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.


2015 Private Sector Champion Award Finalists:

  • PNC Bank
  • Wagenbrenner Company

2015 Nonprofit of the Year Award Winner

University Circle, Inc. 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.


2015 Nonprofit of the Year Award Finalists:

  • Downtown Dayton Partnership
  • Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation

2015 Catalytic Partnership Award Winner:

The City of Kent and Kent State University 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.


2015 Catalytic Partnership Award Finalists:

  • The City of Hamilton and Hamilton Mill
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Community Development for All People