Dan Sharpe

Photo by Matt Reese |

Commons Studio © 2016


Vice President, Community Research and Grants Management at The Columbus Foundation

I love Columbus because…

We’re still on the rise. And part of the energy in Columbus is tied to its accessibility and authenticity. Engaging in our diverse neighborhoods, arts, recreation, economies, social services, and networking – Columbus is a city that welcomes and encourages the participation of our residents. I’ve heard it said by transplants and boomerangs that “people in Columbus are not done making friends” especially as it compares to other cities where “breaking into” scenes and circles is difficult. In Columbus, we’re still on the rise because of new ideas, fresh perspectives, and because of passionate people who have historically engaged, and those who continue to engage, to make our community better. Emphasis on community.

I believe young professionals are important to our city because…

It’s a unique station in life. Young professionals bring new eyes, a different perspective, and a whole lot of passion to the city. Specifically to civic pride, but also to any cause we care about. We, as a demographic, expect results and are not afraid to put in work—to hustle—to see the outcomes we desire. We’re also at a point in life where we have a tremendous amount to still learn—specifically from those who have come before us, paved the way with good examples, and whose leadership and legacy we have the duty of honoring. While also welcoming new, talented, and passionate peers to help us co-create the future for our community.

Community Involvement

As a young professional, I’ve been involved as a past Commissioner and co-chair of the Create Columbus Commission, heavily involved with Ohio Wesleyan University’s Alumni Board and young alumni network, committees at the Athletic Club of Columbus, my church, and with the Central Ohio Sigma Chi alumni network. I’m also a proud graduate from Leadership Columbus and YALP, the Young American Leaders Program at the Harvard Business School’s U.S. Competitiveness Project.