Now that’s impressive

Going from $6 million in annual revenue to $75 million is a big jump. It’s the difference between a small community organization and one that’s approaching 350 employees. But what’s even more impressive is that Equitas Health went through that much growth since 2011.

The nonprofit, featured in Building Stronger Communities, transformed itself to better meet the needs of its customers — people who are HIV positive or at risk of becoming HIV position — because the marketplace demanded a change.

What it didn’t expect was to fill such a large need in another disenfranchised community, the transgender community. Equitas Health serves between 700 and 800 trans patients, who often drive three or four hours to find culturally competent care.

“The organization we were in 1984 or 2010 is not the organization that we are today,” says President and CEO Bill Hardy. “It is certainly critical that we remain nimble, in responding to the needs of the communities we’re serving.”

Hardy, in his 26th year with the organization, is one of the nation’s longest serving directors of an organization like Equitas Health. He has a social work and mental health/behavioral health background, so he’s had to improve his management skills on the job.

“Every day I’m learning new skills, and it does keep me on my toes, to make sure that I’m providing and am able to provide the vision that we need for the organization and the leadership,” he says.

In addition to discovering the story of Equitas Health’s growth, as you read about the 2018 Smart 50 — the executives leading the smartest 50 organizations in Central Ohio — I want to point out one fact. This year’s class, which is the fourth one we’ve featured in our magazine, has only a few people who are prior winners. That’s pretty impressive, and I think it points to the great things business leaders and their organizations are doing in the region.

I always learn a lot as I get to know the winners throughout the judging process, but this year, it’s been especially interesting to see so many new names.