The Create Columbus Commission, in conjunction with City Council, is paying tribute to civic innovator Reese Neader with the Commission’s Visionary Award. The Visionary Award is a quarterly initiative honoring young professionals who are making an impact and helping create a better future for Columbus. Reese, a former Commission grant recipient, and close friend of the Commission passed away this past December at the young age of 34. However, his contributions to building community here in Columbus, OH will have impact that will last for years to come. Honoring Reese with the Visionary Award is just one of a few events to honor Reese and his contributions to Columbus.

Reese’s father, Jim Neader will accept the award and resolution for his son at the upcoming City Council meeting on Monday, March 13, 2017.

Reese was a civic innovator and founder of Forge Columbus, an initiative that helped low-income residents start small businesses and receive transportation to work. Forge also established the Kiva small-business microloan program and worked with the city on transit planning.

A Lancaster native, Reese’s passion for community organization began to flourish after working as a community organizer in Washington, DC and in Egypt. Reese came back to Columbus and founded Forge in 2014. Along with working with the city on transit, Reese also lobbied Columbus City Council and Mayor Andrew Ginther to reach new goals in economic development by creating programs focused on economic empowerment. Friends of Reese describe him as a “Jeffersonian.” “It was like I knew him my whole life from the time I met him,” said Andrew Dodson, close friend of Reese. “He wasn’t just a natural leader in that people would follow him, but he would inspire them to be better just by being who he was.”

Reese’s friends and colleagues recently honored him at an event that bore his name, Reese-a-palooza. Reese-a-palooza was a night full of live music, some of Reese’s favorite foods, and even a DJ set from his father Jim. The event also raised money for the Reese Memorial Fund held at the Columbus Foundation.

Reese Neader has impacted many lives here in Columbus, OH and the Create Columbus Commission is honored to have worked with such a visionary.

Contact Anna Sanyal:

Event Date: Monday March 13, 2017
Time: 5:00pm
Location: City Hall, 90 W. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215