Franklin Park Conservatory is saved from AmeriFlora failure; Anheuser-Busch InBev begins a program to target harmful alcohol consumption nine years after its sale to AB InBev.
Franklin Park Conservatory
In February 2007, Bruce Harkey stepped into leadership over a venture that finally was operating on its own. Franklin Park was the victim of a failed project via AmeriFlora in 1992 and required city and county bailouts until the debut of Butterflies and Blooms in 2003. Success continued to grow through a partnership with artist Dale Chihuly and the display of his glass sculptures, which eventually were purchased for permanent display. Harkey joined the budding project and continued cultivating with a three-phase plan. Today, Franklin Park Conservatory is a community landmark. Its current project is to build the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children's Garden, opening in May 2018. The Children's Garden will focus on fostering the connection between children and nature.
Before Saed Mohseni joined Bob Evans Farms, he replaced the Doody brothers to lead Bravo! Development Inc. (now Bravo Brio Restaurant Group) in January 2007, following the sale of the company for about $200 million. Nine years later, in January 2016, he was tapped to head up the restaurant portion of Bob Evans after the role had changed hands several times and the restaurant division was sold to Golden Gate Capital for about $600 million.
In 2008, business leaders were talking about how Columbus could emulate the success of Silicon Valley. Ted Ford, then president and CEO of TechColumbus—since rebranded as Rev1 Ventures—had plans to garner the city a more high-tech reputation. The nonprofit was an incubator with the goal of tech development. Columbus is still working toward becoming a Midwestern Silicon Valley but has gained attention for its startup culture and winning the 2016 Smart City Challenge. Rev1 has shifted its focus from technology to local startups, but it remains a contributor.
The 2008 article outlines the sale of the brewery to Belgian InBev. Some people wondered how that would change the all-American libation, which has been brewed in Columbus since 1968. Now, Anheuser-Busch InBev is operating much the same as always, with some new initiatives that benefit the local community. It teamed up with the City of Columbus to reduce harmful alocohol consumption by 10 percent in Columbus by 2020. A pilot program that works to decrease binge and underage drinking was launched in 2017.
When Denvy Bowman took Capital University's ragged reins from Theodore Fredrickson in June 2006, he inherited an institution in dire need of help but had no experience as a university president. He aggressively fought to help Cap by shrinking a $12 million deficit to less than $1 million a year later and by cutting extraneous positions and programs, among other healing initiatives. In 2016, Bowman retired and left a thriving Capital to be led by Elizabeth Paul, the unanimous choice of the Board of Trustees.