Create Columbus Visionary Award

To raise the profile of young professionals (YP) making a difference in our community, the Create Columbus Commission started a quarterly YP recognition program with Columbus City Council called the Create Columbus Visionary Award.

Outstanding YPs are selected by the Create Columbus Commission and honored with a resolution by Columbus City Council. Each quarter an honoree is identified by current commissioners and submitted to council for recognition at a pre-determined council meeting. See below for past honorees whose efforts are helping create a better Columbus.

  • Q1 2016 – March 14 | Suzy Bureau, Founder, GiveBackHack
  • Q2 2016 – May 16 | Blake Compton, CEO and Founder of Compton Construction
  • Q3 2016 – September 26 | Dr. Chenelle Jones, Assistant Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Ohio Dominican University
  • Q4 2016 – November 21 | Benjamin Buckner, Integrated Marketing Specialist for Radio One & Robert Bickis, Jr., Realtor/Catalyst & Broker for
  • Q1 2017 – March 13 | Reese Neader, Founder, Forge Columbus and Organizing Fellow, Kiva Columbus
  • Q2 2017 – June 12 | Andrew Levitt, Artist and fundraiser known as Nina West
  • Q3 2017 – October 23 | Dan Sharpe, Vice President, Community Research and Grants Management at The Columbus Foundation
  • Q4 2017 – December 11 | Calvin Cooper, Sr. Director, NCT Ventures
  • Q1 2018 – March 12 | Kelsie JohnsonManaging Director, She Has A Name Cleaning Services
  • Q2 2018 – June 11 | Siobhan Boyd-Nelson, Development Director, Equality Ohio
  • Q3 2018 – October 22 | Aslyne Rodriguez, Co-founder & CEO of EmpowerBus
  • Q4 2018 – December 10 | Mike NicholsonFounder – M. Nicholson Hip Hop Fitness
  • Q1 2019 – May 20 | Amber Evans, Activist with People’s Justice Project
  • Q3 2019 – September 16 | Cristyn A. Steward, Columbus Black International Film Festival
  • 2020 – Shelbi T. Harris-Roseboro | Community Programs Manager for Ohio Alliance for Arts Education
  • 2020 – Karen Hewitt (Ze/Hir/She/Her) | Deputy Director, Kaleidoscope Youth Center

Reese Neader Memorial Award for Entrepreneurship and Social Change

Reese Neader was a staple of the Columbus community who rallied entrepreneurs to create their own small businesses. Reese founded organizations that connect startups to capital and networking with a long-term goal of creating jobs and improving neighborhoods. Reese passed away on December 14th, 2016 at Grant Hospital in Columbus at the age of 34. To carry on the legacy of Reese Neader and recognize entrepreneurs working towards the common good, Columbus City Council established the Reese Neader Memorial Award for Entrepreneurship and Social Change. The Reese Neader Memorial Award is presented to a small business or entrepreneur in Columbus working to improve neighborhoods, create jobs, and boost the quality of life for the people of our city. In 2018 the Create Columbus Commission took over administration of the awarding of this honor.


Do you know a young professional deserving of recognition? Put a YP on our Radar!