While we are not solely motivated by the possibility of awards, the fact that Columbus CEO won some for 2016 doesn't bother us one bit.

I wasn't in 4-H as a kid, competing for blue ribbons at the county fair. I didn't grow up as a Girl Scout, either, earning merit badges to prove my worth. I did like gold stars, though, whenever they appeared on a school paper or home calendar to commemorate a job well done.

However it's noted, we all like to be recognized for doing things well. And it's especially sweet to be honored among your peers.

So allow me to brag a bit on behalf of Columbus CEO and our great staff, current and former. It's been another successful year for us in terms of raking in journalism and design awards from national and statewide contests.

Nationally, Columbus CEO belongs to the Alliance of Area Business Publishers and enters its competition, pitting our work against that of other business magazines as well as some business weeklies around the country.

Art Director Yogesh Chaudhary is a persistently strong contender whenever we enter his work in design contests, and this year he came through again. He won gold from AABP for best magazine cover—our April 2016 featuring Drones at Work—and contributed to the success of another gold award from AABP for best recurring feature, Tech Talk.

Other top honors for Chaudhary's work include first-place awards for best business cover—the April 2016 drone issue again—in a statewide competition held by the Press Club of Cleveland. He also came in first in Ohio's Best Journalism awards sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists as best graphic designer and for best special publication, honoring our special supplement on the executive MBA program of the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business.

Photo Editor Tim Johnson shares the glory for the AABP gold and Cleveland press club awards, having shot the photograph of a Columbus firefighter carrying a drone that Chaudhary used to finish the photo illustration.

The other AABP gold for Tech Talk is especially gratifying, given it is for a feature created for Columbus CEO by former staff writer Julie Bhusal Sharma when she was still our editorial assistant in early 2016 and known as Julie France. Her concept of conducting a monthly mini-shark tank review of new technology developed in central Ohio was unique and immediately attracted reader attention. She later married and followed her spouse to Chicago but still writes the feature for us.

Another former staffer, then-Associate Editor Jennifer Wray, won us a first place SPJ award for explanatory journalism in a piece breaking down the business structure and focus of cooperatives. Wray is now writing for the marketing department at Columbus College of Art & Design, where I'm sure she continues to win accolades.

I grabbed a first-place SPJ award of my own in this year's contests for best newsmaker profile, a feature on media-shy Abercrombie & Fitch executive Fran Horowitz.

Bhusal Sharma also won a second-place, and the rest of us—Chaudhary, Johnson, Wray and me—received third-place awards in statewide contests this year for our work in 2016.

Looking back, it is worth noting that some of the custom publications we create several times a year have won first-place honors from the Society of Professional Journalists each of the last three years, either for best special publication or best special section. The awards in 2016 and 2015 were for inserts featuring Columbus 2020 and the Better Business Bureau, respectively.

We don't do what we do for the plaques that sometimes follow, but the recognition is nice.

And if you ask me, 2017 is already shaping up to be another award-winning year.