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Columbus 2020 Team


Kenny McDonald, CEcD

Chief Economic Officer


Phone: 614-225-6060
Emailkm@columbusregion.com
 
Kenny McDonald, CEcD, serves as the primary leader of all economic development and business attraction efforts for the 11-county Columbus Region in his position as chief economic officer of Columbus 2020. McDonald has an extensive background in site selection, regional economic development, community marketing, business recruitment and international business development.
 
He holds the professional designation of Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and serves as an elected member of the Board of Directors for the International Economic Development Council. In addition, McDonald serves locally on the boards of Columbus Crew, MidAmerican Global Ventures, NAIOP, SciTech and Transportation Research Center.
 
Previously, McDonald served as the executive vice president of the Charlotte Regional Partnership, a public-private economic development organization covering a 16-county region in North and South Carolina. McDonald's 16 years of economic development experience also include leadership positions at the Albuquerque Economic Development Corporation, Fluor Daniels Global Locations Strategies and the Savannah Economic Development Authority. McDonald received a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Dickinson State University and a Master of Public Administration from Georgia Southern University.

Becky Blatt

Executive Assistant to the Chief Economic Officer


Phone: 614-225-6067
Emailbb@columbusregion.com

Becky Blatt joined Columbus 2020 in January 2012 and serves as executive assistant to the chief economic officer. Prior to joining Columbus 2020, Blatt worked for the Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission and spent seven years as the associate director of the Conway Center for Family Business in Columbus. She understands the economic impact family-owned businesses have on the Columbus Region as well as the value arts and culture play in making communities desirable places to work, live and visit.
 
During her career, Blatt has worked for SSTI, Columbus Urban Growth Corporation, the Ohio Department of Development and the Ohio House of Representatives. She serves as a member of the Advisory Board of the Conway Center for Family Business and holds a Bachelor of Arts in public administration from Miami University.

Matt McCollister

Vice President, Economic Development


Phone: 614-225-6953
Email: mm@columbusregion.com

  
Matt McCollister joined Columbus 2020 in November 2010 as vice president of economic development. McCollister brings more than 14 years of regional economic development experience to the team.
 
Prior to joining Columbus 2020, McCollister served as vice president of economic development for the Columbus Chamber, business development manager for the Zanesville-Muskingum County Chamber of Commerce, and also worked as a licensed real estate professional.
 
McCollister is engaged with the International Economic Development Council, the Ohio Economic Development Association, the Ohio Sales Partnership, the Central Ohio Chapter of NAIOP and the Central Ohio Commercial Information Exchange. McCollister earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of South Carolina and is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute. 

Patty Huddle

Vice President, Existing Business Services


Phone: 614-225-6065
Email: ph@columbusregion.com


 
Patty Huddle joined the Columbus 2020 team in September 2011 as vice president, existing business services. In her capacity as vice president, she is responsible for leading initiatives to retain and expand businesses in the 11-county Columbus Region.
 
Huddle has extensive economic development experience. Prior to joining Columbus 2020 she held positions at TechSolve, the Ohio Department of Development and the City of Upper Arlington, where she served as deputy city manager – economic development.
 
Huddle earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and international business from The Ohio State University. She is a certified Economic Development Finance Professional and has been active in numerous economic development-related associations.

Deborah Scherer

Director, Global Markets


Phone: 614-225-6096
Email: ds@columbusregion.com

 
Deborah Scherer, CGBP, is responsible for leading Columbus 2020’s international strategy through worldwide marketing and business development efforts.
 
Scherer brings more than 15 years of global business development experience from both the private and public sectors. Previously, Scherer was the director of the Ohio Department of Development’s Global Markets Division. In that role, she was responsible for the programs and operations of the Global Markets Division’s headquarters in Columbus, and the state’s network of 11 international offices. While director, Scherer developed and implemented a foreign direct investment strategy and supported initiated investments from foreign-owned companies. Scherer’s private-sector experience as an international sales manager includes sales and marketing on five continents, territory development, and mergers and acquisitions.
 
Scherer holds a professional designation of Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) accredited by the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE). She serves locally on the boards of JASCO (Japan America Society of Central Ohio), Greater Columbus Sister Cities International, and the Fisher College of Business, Office of Global Business and Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER).
 
Scherer holds a Bachelor of Business from Ohio University where she majored in international business and marketing and minored in Spanish.

Matt McQuade

Director, North American Business Development


Phone: 614-225-6920
Emailmmq@columbusregion.com

Matt McQuade joined Columbus 2020 in January 2011 as director of North American business development. In his capacity as director, he is responsible for leading the Columbus Region’s prospect identification strategy in the United States and Canada. 
 
Previously, McQuade was the Ohio sales manager for the Ohio Business Development Coalition (OBDC). In that role, he was responsible for the State of Ohio’s proactive sales strategy, which included the execution of domestic business development missions and international and domestic tradeshows. Prior to his work at the OBDC, McQuade was a site selection specialist at the Ohio Department of Development.
 
McQuade holds a Master of Public Administration from the John Glenn Institute of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from The Ohio State University.

Katie Hamilton

Project Manager


Phone: 614-225-6945
Emailkmh@columbusregion.com

  
Katie Hamilton joined the Columbus 2020 team in November 2010 as project manager. Prior to joining Columbus 2020, Hamilton spent a year and a half at Columbus Downtown Development Corp. and Capitol South working on projects such as Columbus Commons and the Scioto Mile. She has also worked with the City of Columbus in both the City Planning Division and the Economic Development Office.
 
Hamilton serves as vice president of professional development for the Ohio Economic Development Association and sits on the Developing Leaders Planning Committee for NAIOP. She holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University with concentrations in both economics and real estate and urban analysis, and is a 2012 graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute.

Archit Dhir

Project Manager, International Lead


Phone: 614-225-6083
Emailad@columbusregion.com

Archit Dhir joined Columbus 2020 in March 2014 as project manager, international lead. Dhir brings prior experience with Otsuka Pharmaceutical Development & Commercialization, Indian Ocean and Grail Research. Most recently, Dhir worked as a consultant, pitching new product ideas to U.S.- and Canada-based importers and retailers and coordinating between buying teams and Indian suppliers and exporters. He received his Bachelor of Business Studies in marketing from University of Delhi and Master of Business Administration from the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University.

Chris Strayer

Client Solutions Officer


Phone: 614-225-6905
Emailcs@columbusregion.com

Chris Strayer joined the Columbus 2020 team in November 2011. He is the primary contact for many top executives, business owners and community and government leaders in the Columbus Region. Strayer has extensive knowledge in economic development and processes to attract and retain businesses.
 
Strayer has economic development experience in positions with the Ohio Department of Development, the City of Canal Winchester, the Village of Granville and HNTB Corporation. Strayer earned a Bachelor of Science in urban and regional planning from Michigan State University.

Stephanie I. Bosco

Economic Development Coordinator


Phone: 614-225-6935
Emailsb@columbusregion.com

Stephanie Bosco joined the Columbus 2020 team in August 2010 as economic development coordinator and administrator for the Mid-Ohio Development Exchange. Bosco brings ten years of professional experience from a variety of industries.
 
Previously, Bosco held positions in both membership and economic development at the Columbus Chamber. Earlier in her career, Bosco worked in publishing as an editor for McGraw-Hill Education, and worked closely with the public as the vanpool coordinator for the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission. Bosco holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Cincinnati.

Karin Redelberger

Economic Development Coordinator


Phone: 614-225-6088
Emailkr@columbusregion.com

Karin Redelberger joined Columbus 2020 in February 2012. As an economic development coordinator, Redelberger supports Columbus 2020’s projects team and connects with local economic development organization professionals, business leaders and government officials.
 
Redelberger is a client services professional of 18 years whose previous industry experience includes legal, telecommunications and higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Dayton and is currently enrolled in the University of Oklahoma’s Economic Development Institute.

Irene Alvarez

Director, Marketing and Communications


Phone: 614-225-6941
Emailia@columbusregion.com

  
Irene Alvarez leads the planning, management and execution of all marketing, communications and media relations programs for Columbus 2020, with the goal of increasing the visibility of the Columbus Region on a local, national and international level.
 
Alvarez previously led Columbus branding and advertising initiatives through her work at marketing agency Fahlgren Mortine, along with clients that included Experience Columbus, 200Columbus The Bicentennial, Columbus 2020, the Columbus Chamber, the City of Columbus, the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, TechColumbus and others. Prior to that she held the position of marketing manager for Experience Columbus, where she managed a variety of marketing projects and launched the organization’s award-winning social media strategy, a first of its kind. 

Alvarez recently served as board member and marketing committee chair for Available Light Theatre, and is on the board and marketing committee of Dine Originals Columbus. She also serves as a member of the Columbus Brand Marketing Committee and the Experience Columbus Marketing Committee. Alvarez holds a B.S. in communications from Ohio University.

Nick Reshan

Marketing Coordinator


Phone: 614-225-6085
Email: nr@columbusregion.com

Nick Reshan joined the Columbus 2020 team in February 2013. As marketing coordinator, he is largely responsible for fulfilling internal and external marketing requests and maintaining collateral.

Reshan has prior experience in public relations and events from his time at Prabal Gurung, and in tourism from his time at Experience Columbus. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication and studio art from Denison University.

Jung Kim

Director, Research


Phone: 614-225-6913
Emailjung_kim@columbus.org

Jung Kim joined the Columbus 2020 team in November 2010 to direct economic and business research. His prior experience includes Community Research Partners, a nonprofit research center based in Columbus; the State of New Jersey’s Office of Smart Growth; and Strategic Planning Advice, an economics and planning consulting firm in the UK. He is a member of the American Planning Association and the Urban Land Institute.
 
Kim has a Master of Science in regional and urban planning from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and urban studies from Northwestern University.

Laura Hess

Research Analyst


Phone: 614-225-6087
Email: laura_hess@columbus.org

Laura Hess joined the Columbus 2020 team in March 2014 as research analyst. Hess brings experience in market research and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with a client services focus. Previously, Hess worked in commercial real estate at Cassidy Turley and Grubb & Ellis where she leveraged GIS application in the real estate transaction process and assisted brokers with site selection requirements. She received a Bachelor of Arts in geography from Bowling Green State University and Master of Business Administration from University of Phoenix.

Jay Knox

Research Analyst


Phone: 614-225-6937
Emailjay_knox@columbus.org

Jay Knox joined the Columbus 2020 team in January 2011 as a research analyst. Knox brings market research and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) experience, including the GIS department of Ohio Army National Guard and business research for Nextedge Applied Research and Technology Park.
 
Knox holds a Bachelor of Arts in geography and urban planning from Wittenberg University and a Master of Arts in geography from The Ohio State University, concentrating in urban geography and GIS.

Chip Holcombe

 

Director, Investor Relations


Phone: 614-225-6067
Email: ch@columbusregion.com

Chip Holcombe joined Columbus 2020 in January 2014 as director, investor relations. Holcombe works with current and prospective investors to build upon the public-private partnership focused on regional growth. He served as campaign director of the original Columbus 2020 fundraising campaign in 2010-2011.

Most recently, Holcombe was a principal officer of Resource Development Group. Holcombe has 20 years of experience managing economic development funding campaigns and has managed dozens of strategic planning projects, conducted more than 800 leadership assessment interviews and solicited more than 5,000 business leaders in support of local and regional economic development programs.
 
Holcombe received his Bachelor of Arts in political science and economics from Ohio Wesleyan University.

Victor Thorne

Managing Director, Strategic Development


Phone: 614-961-7805
Email: vt@columbusregion.com

  
Victor Thorne brings a background of both investment and operating management experience to his role at Columbus 2020, spanning Fortune 500 corporations to entrepreneurial ventures. He is co-founder of Broadline Capital, a global investment management firm. Thorne's mission within Columbus 2020 is to grow the Columbus Region’s reputation as the optimal location for the world’s most promising researchers and entrepreneurs to launch innovative ventures and grow them into profitable and sustainable enterprises.

Thorne began his career at Morgan Stanley, has consulted for Lucent Technologies’ Supply Chain Networks, and Coffou Partners, a retainer-based executive search firm. In 2000, Thorne co-founded and led business development and sales for the leading SaaS provider of supply chain management and intelligence solutions to the trillion-dollar food system. In 2007, the company was sold to Accel-KKR and Abry Partners. Thorne most recently worked with TechColumbus and joined the Ohio TechAngel Funds, the largest angel investment network in North America.

Thorne serves on the boards of directors of several early stage technology companies in Central Ohio and on the board of trustees of the Columbus Academy. He is a lead mentor for the 10Xelerator, and previously served as an EIR for the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. Thorne received his AB from Harvard University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He also participated in Harvard Business School’s Executive Program on Supply Chain Management. 

Jeff Zimmerman

Director, Columbus Region Logistics Council


Phone: 614-225-6086
Emailjeff_zimmerman@columbus.org

Jeff Zimmerman joined the Columbus Chamber of Commerce team in February 2012 as director, Columbus Region Logistics Council. He contributes to the Columbus 2020's initiatives by serving as a staff member to the Council as both administrator, chief advocate and steward of the CRLC mission supporting infrastructure, workforce, technology and business environment issues.
 
Previously, Zimmerman held positions as an independent business development consultant and sales/sales leadership roles with Boise Cascade Office Products/OfficeMax and Moore Business Forms. He earned a bachelor's degree in business from Buffalo State College and holds a Certified Logistics Associate certification from Columbus State Community College.

Sean Grant

Chief Administrative Officer


Phone: 614-225-6931
Emailsg@columbusregion.com

Sean Grant joined Columbus 2020 as chief administrative officer in May 2013. Grant is responsible for providing executive oversight of the accounting and budget, human resources, insurance and real estate, information technology and investor relations operations.
 
Previously, Grant served as senior manager of operations support for PharmaForce, Inc., a multi-facility specialty pharmaceutical company founded in Columbus. As a member of the senior management team, he was tasked with maintaining the fiscal health and overall well-being of the organization, by providing both business insight and management of operational issues. Grant's experience also includes a 16 year banking career, in which he was responsible for providing lending expertise and financial services to businesses large and small. His broad experience includes traditional commercial banking with middle market and multinational corporations, as well as structured financing for mergers and acquisitions and real estate ventures.
 
He has been involved in several community and civic organizations, including the United Way, YMCA, Material Assistance Providers and the United Negro College Fund. Sean has also served previously as a mentor in the Big Brothers / Big Sister program. He serves as a board member for Imagine Schools. Grant received his Bachelor of Arts in business management and marketing from Simpson College.

Jennifer Fruchey

Staff Accountant


Phone: 614-225-6904
Email: jf@columbusregion.com

Jennifer Fruchey joined Columbus 2020 in October 2011. In her role as staff accountant, Fruchey is responsible for the preparation of financial statements, accounts payable, accounts receivable and other various accounting duties. Prior to joining the Columbus 2020 team, Fruchey has worked in accounting roles for Citigroup and Twenty First Century Communications. Fruchey holds a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from the University of Toledo.

Board of Directors

Alex Fischer, Chairman
President and Chief Executive Officer
The Columbus Partnership



Jack Partridge, Treasurer
President
Columbia Gas of Ohio




Eric Phillips, Secretary
Executive Director
Union County Economic Development Partnership
Chief Executive Officer
Union County Chamber of Commerce


Marilyn Brown
County Commissioner
Franklin County Board of Commissioners




Michael Coleman
Mayor
City of Columbus





John C. Fisher
Executive Vice President
Ohio Farm Bureau




Michael Keller
Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Nationwide



Michael W. Louge
Executive Vice President
OhioHealth




Gregory R. Overmyer
Chief Executive Officer
Overmyer Hall Associates




Mark Patton
Managing Director, Information Technology and Logistics
JobsOhio



Ellen Power
Center Director and Heath Site Executive Strategic Missile & Defense Systems
Boeing Defense, Space & Security

Dr. Mark Smith
President
Ohio Christian University




Pablo A. Vegas
President and Chief Operating Officer
AEP Ohio, American Electric Power



Dr. David Williams, Ph.D., Sc.D.
Dean and Presidential Professor
College of Engineering, The Ohio State University



EX-OFFICIO
Laing Akers
Senior Attorney
Squire Sanders (US) LLP




Sean Grant, 
Chief Administrative Officer
Columbus 2020




Kenny McDonald, CEcD, President
Chief Economic Officer
Columbus 2020






 
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