The Central Ohio business community was humming with energy Thursday morning at the Battelle Grand for the Columbus Chamber 2016 Annual Meeting. Drive Capital Co-Founder and CEO Mark Kvamme delivered his keynote speech, commending the advantageous position the region finds itself in.
“Five years ago I came to Columbus—quite frankly I knew very little about the city,” Kvamme said. “What I found here was something really, really special. Within the first couple of weeks, I found wonderful entrepreneurs and a caring business community. I saw a group of businesses and people that truly cared about what they did.”
Past Board Chairman John McEwan got things underway, providing opening remarks as members and guests settled in from a busy networking session. With the drones landed and spotlights shining, McEwan, recently having stepped down from his position as Chairman, introduced Jeff Sopp, president and Chief Executive Officer of Privit, as the next Chamber Board Chairman.
“I’ve enjoyed my service to the Chamber and look forward to continuing to serve as a Board member, but it’s time to hand the reins over to our incoming Chairman of the Board and I could not think of a more engaged, enthusiastic and inspiring business leader to take my place,” McEwan said.
“I am eager to lead the Board and am honored to accept this position,” Sopp said. “I am equally honored to work with these outstanding leaders who make up your Columbus Chamber Board of Directors.”
The meeting theme—pivot—materialized in the opening minutes, as attention shifted to the newly appointed Columbus Chamber President & CEO, Don DePerro, who is set to take office March 1.
“To say I am thrilled about this opportunity is an understatement,” DePerro said. “I have many ideas that will benefit our members…In the coming months, I hope to bring these ideas forward and build on the economic vitality I see every day.”
David Blom, president and chief executive officer of OhioHealth, received the 2016 Columbus Award for his dedication to the health and wellbeing of Columbus, in all facets.
“OhioHealth is committed to promoting the civic and economic vitality in this city,” Blom said. “The spirit of collaboration over the past several years is really quite remarkable and not found in too many cities in this nation.”
President and Owner of Feazel, Leo Ruberto, won the Small Business Leader Award. Faze CEO Ross Appeldorn accepted the honor on Ruberto’s behalf.
Kvamme was then introduced, giving his speech before sitting down with Beam Dental CEO Alex Frommeyer to discuss the region’s vitality and what it needs from entrepreneurs and businesses to take the next step forward.
“All great companies are started with little insights,” Kvamme said. “I truly believe Columbus is the best place to do business, but we’ve got to keep risking.”
Kvamme frequently alluded to Columbus’ growing business community, and emphasized the idea of risk and failure as a means for achieving something greater.
“You have to try big things to find big rewards,” Kvamme said.
It was meeting of award and recognition, as well as a time of forward-looking discussion. Leaders united under one roof to show why Columbus is set to undertake a pivot for growth and success in the coming future.
Check out photos from the event and the #PIVOT2016 conversation on Twitter.
Read Columbus Chamber Annual Meeting Recap: PIVOT 2016 on Columbus Chamber of Commerce.
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