Central Ohio’s Smart 50 make success happen by being on target

 

col_ElfiDiBellaElfi Di Bella
President and CEO
YWCA Columbus

Elfi Di Bella began her journey as president and CEO of the YWCA Columbus in January 2010. As large corporations and individual donors began to tighten their budgets, Di Bella was charged with providing services to a growing sector of the population who found itself hitting rock bottom.

As Central Ohio’s only emergency shelter for families, the YWCA Family Center has seen its highest number of homeless families these past few years, yet it has maintained an average length of stay at between 18 and 20 days before families move into permanent housing.

Di Bella also oversees a Women’s Residency program, leadership programs and racial justice programs.

While demand for the YWCA’s services has increased, Di Bella has spurred revenue growth. The organization’s annual fundraising events have seen record numbers of attendees and funds raised, which is sparking plans for a major transformation of the historic Griswold Building.


 

RicDillon_2014Ric Dillon
CEO
Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc.

At the height of the dot-com bubble investors gravitated towards short-term market success. Ric Dillon, however, believed in value investing.

In 2000, he formed Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. with a mission to invest with discipline, maintain a long-term focus and align the firm’s interests with its clients.

As CEO Dillon has made substantial contributions to the firm’s use of technology as a business tool through two separate, patent-pending innovations. The Diamond Hill Investment Model is a tool used to assist the investment team in estimating the value of stocks, while the Valuation-Weighted 500 Index is Dillon’s newest innovation. Back in the early ’80s, at the beginning of his career, Dillon theorized that a portfolio of securities weighted according to their intrinsic value, rather than market capitalization, was likely to produce superior returns. After back testing his idea, he applied for a patent and launched the index in 2013.


 

col_TomFeeneyTom Feeney
President and CEO
Safelite Group

Tom Feeney was promoted to president and CEO of Safelite Group in 2008, just one year after being acquired by the international vehicle glass company, Belron. That year, the economy crashed, consumer confidence was low and companies were suffering.

In addition, top-of-mind awareness of the Safelite AutoGlass brand was less than 5 percent. Yet, Feeney saw these challenges as an opportunity and took control of Safelite’s culture, service and brand positioning.

In 2009, he led a four-year strategy called Destination 2012 to double business by 2012 and become the natural choice for vehicle glass repair and replacement services in the U.S.

The philosophy was simple — happy, talented people create happy customers that tell others about the company’s service, which improves brand image and sales.
Initiatives in culture, service and advertising helped build brand awareness, and boosted sales and profits by 85 percent and 140 percent, respectively.


 

col_MaryLynnFosterMary Lynn Foster
President and CEO
Children’s Hunger Alliance

Mary Lynn Foster took over the helm of Children’s Hunger Alliance as its president and CEO in September 2013.

From the start she met with valuable members of the CHA family to introduce herself and gain a clear expectation of their important relationship to the agency’s viability.

Since CHA is a statewide organization, Foster also attended quarterly meetings of the governing board and separate quarterly meetings of five regional boards. As she listened, assessed, learned and asked questions, Foster began understanding the landscape and framework of CHA.

By the end of her first quarter, Foster had completed a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis of the organization, determining that CHA needed to develop a multiyear strategic plan.

By the end of her first year, a process was in place to get CHA where it needed to be within a three-year time frame.


 

col_StevenGabbeDr. Steven Gabbe
CEO
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Dr. Steven Gabbe was named CEO of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in 2008. Since then, he has focused his vision on smart strategies and innovative approaches to patient care, research and teaching.

Gabbe’s guidance has led to significant growth for Wexner Medical Center, including more than $263 million per year in biomedical research funding; designation as one of 12 sites in the nation to host an Albert Schweitzer Fellowship program to help address local unmet health needs; and much more.

Gabbe is also guiding the Wexner Medical Center’s $1.1 billion expansion, the largest construction project in OSU’s history, which is expected to support 15,000 local jobs.

One of Gabbe’s main focuses is talent management and development. His strategy is designed to increase innovative research, advance personalized medicine and speed technology transfer to the marketplace.