Collaboration highlighted in Who to Watch list

Columbus continues to outdo itself, from winning the Smart City Challenge to the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 16-game win streak that ignited even the hearts of causal hockey fans.

With new development and public/private partnerships the hallmark of many community initiatives, it’s an exciting time to be living and working in Central Ohio.

In this month’s issue, we share our thoughts on the leaders we expect to play a pivotal role in shaping the new year with our Who to Watch list. This sampling of the people or projects that are driving positive momentum in Columbus’ growth and development are an exciting group.

At the same time, I got to know Lynnette Cook, executive director of Community Research Partners for our Building Stronger Communities feature. If you’ve never heard of the nonprofit, you’re not alone. But you will have heard of their work.

Just like many of the people and organizations on our Who to Watch list, CRP was formed from a partnership. The United Way of Central Ohio, the City of Columbus, Franklin County and The Ohio State University all appoint members to CRP’s board.

Because so much of the work that they do is jointly funded across the community, they wanted to create an entity that could speak to those needs, and Cook says that’s how CRP was formed.

“It is a great thing in my experience because it means I have all four of them at the table at least at some point to talk about their common interests,” she says. “And they at least once a year, and often more than that, will talk among themselves, even without staff in the room, around the issues they are facing and the upcoming projects, in terms of research they think they need to have done.

“I think that’s a real benefit to the community that they try to coordinate like that.”

When you read over the Who to Watch list, don’t forget to look for all of the joint partnerships that are mentioned, just like CRP’s. This strength of Columbus is something that I see again and again — and it certainly helps drive the region’s economic development.