CEO Live

Breaking business news and updates in and around Columbus

  • AEP to match donations to Ronald McDonald House

    Posted on Dec 16, 2014

    From this week's announcement:

    This holiday season your donation can make an even greater impact in the lives of families staying at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House. American Electric Power will match up to $10,000 in donations made before December 31, 2014 to RMHC of Central Ohio. Please make your donation today and double your support for families of seriously-ill children in need of a place to call home.

    To make a financial contribution, or volunteer, visit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio online. 

      Blaze Keim, 7, and his sister Harmoni Keim, 8, enjoy themselves as they pound on the keyboards at the newly expanded and renovated Ronald McDonald House music room on August 26, 2014. Blaze is being treated for leukemia and his sister will be donating her bone marrow to help her brother. (Chris Russell/Dispatch Photo)

  • Bob Evans' CEO resigns after long battle with activist investor

    Posted on Dec 15, 2014

    In an announcement issued early Monday morning, Bob Evans Farms (BOBE) reported the resignation of embattled CEO Steve Davis “by Steve Davismutual agreement with the Bob Evans Board of Directors.”

    CFO Mark Hood and Mike Townsley, president of BEF’s business unit, will fill in as interim chiefs until a new CEO is selected. Davis will assist in the transition.

    In August, activist investor Sandell Asset Management prevailed in its effort to win seats on Bob Evans’ board. The investment fund had long been at odds with Davis on Bob Evans’ operational strategies--including a proposed sale of the frozen food/restaurant company’s real estate holdings.

    For a look at Bob Evans under Davis’ leadership, check out Davis' Q&A interview with Columbus CEO from March 2014, and his 2015 outlook in the current issue of Columbus CEO, on newsstands now.

  • Partridge named Columbus Award recipient

    Posted on Dec 11, 2014

    Since 1964, the Columbus Chamber has honored central Ohio’s business and civic leaders with the Columbus Award. Jack Partridge, president of Columbia Gas of Ohio and chief regulatory officer of the NiSource Gas Distribution Companies, will be the 52nd recipient at the Chamber’s 2015 Annual Meeting on February 12.

    The Chamber’s announcement praised Partridge’s accomplishments:

    “Whether it’s in a highly visible role or one where he works quietly behind the scenes, Jack’s strategic and collaborative leadership approach has made a tremendous impact across the Columbus Region,” said John McEwan, chairman of the Columbus Chamber Board of Directors and managing partner of the Columbus Office of Deloitte & Touche.

    Partridge served on the Columbus Chamber Board of Directors for nine years, including two years as its chairman.

    In addition, he is a member of The Ohio Business Roundtable, the Columbus 2020 board of directors, the Columbus Partnership, the Columbus Club board of directors, co-chair of the 2013-2014 United Way Campaign of Central Ohio and a member of the Muirfield Village Golf Club board of trustees.

    Partridge also served as a member of the Ohio Governor’s Workforce Policy Board, Chairman of the Goodwill Columbus Board of Directors and the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA) board of trustees.

    The past recipients of the Columbus Award:

    2014: Tanny Crane

    2013: Michael Coleman

    2012: John P. McConnell

    2011: Michael Curtin

    2010: Michael Morris

    2009: Carl Kohrt

    2008: David Meuse

    2007: Alex Shumate

    2006: Jerry Jurgensen

    2005: Don M. Casto III

    2004: William Lhota

    2003: Dimon McFerson

    2002: E. Linn Draper, Jr.

    2001: Robert D. Walter

    2000: Ronald Pizzuti

    1999: Paula Spence

    1998: Jo Ann Davidson

    1997: Bob & Dorothy Teater

    1996: John B. Gerlach

    1995: John B. McCoy

    1994: Leslie Wexner

    1993: John F. Wolfe

    1992: Vern Riffe

    1991: Richard Moore Ross & Elizabeth McKeever Ross

    1990: Robert M. Duncan

    1989: Melvin Schottenstein

    1988: Daniel Galbreath

    1987: John "Jack" Kessler

    1986: John E. Fisher

    1985: Robert Lazarus, Jr.

    1984: Frank Wobst

    1983: Chalmers P. Wylie

    1982: German Village Society

    1981: John H. McConnell

    1980: Dr. Joseph L. Davis

    1979: C. Kenneth Smith

    1978: Roland C.W. Brown, Tom Moody

    1977: Walter English, Robert S. Crane, Jr.

    1976: Walter C. Mercer, Clair E. Fultz, John G. McCoy

    1975: Sherwood L. Fawcett, Dean W. Jeffers

    1974: C. William O'Neill, John C. Elam

    1973: Edward F. Wagner, James Ralph Riley, Robert K. Levy, Sr.

    1972: Charles Y. Lazarus, William S. Guthrie

    1971: Novice G. Fawcett

    1970: Harrison M. Sayre, raul R. Gingher

    1969: W.W. "Woody" Hayes

    1968: Everett D. Reese

    1967: James A. Rhodes

    1966: M.E. Sensenbrenner

    1965: Bertram D. Thomas, Jack Nicklaus, William E. Knepper

    1964: Jerrie Mock, Robert Lazarus, Sr., John W. Galbreath

    Register for the Columbus Chamber's 2015 Annual Meeting featuring keynote speaker Jamie Dimon at The meeting will be held Feb. 12 at 7a.m. at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

  • Columbus CEOs offer lessons in leadership

    Posted on Dec 9, 2014

    Lessons in leadership from our 2014 executive Q&As


  • A&F under CEO Michael Jeffries

    Posted on Dec 9, 2014

    A look back at the career of Columbus' most controversial CEO


  • Appointments: OhioHealth names hospital presidents

    Posted on Dec 8, 2014

    Appointments through the week of Dec. 8


  • Guest Blog: Putting Family Business in Perspective

    Posted on Dec 5, 2014

    (Editor’s Note: This is the twelfth column in a series by family business leaders and advisors with information and ideas about topics unique to family businesses, developed in conjunction with the Conway Center for Family Business.)

    By Jeffrey S. Rinkov

    Any fly on the wall inside a family business will tell you that it’s a complex situation that must be handled with care. When the first generation invites the second generation into the family business, it’s good to have an honest conversation about roles and expectations and follow a couple rules to help maintain relationships—inside and outside of the office.

    Family businesses who work well together often attribute their success to some basic guidelines: 1) family is first, no matter what; 2) understand who is boss; and 3) embrace change—continually and relentlessly push for progress and growth.

    Rule #1: Family is first, no matter what

    It’s important for the two generations to sit down together and lay out some ground rules to make sure the business relationship doesn’t jeopardize the familial relationship. First, try hard to not discuss business outside of the office. Granted, this rule often gets broken, but it’s beneficial to continuously try. Bringing up the family business outside of the office—especially with family members who do not work there—has the potential to spoil good relationships. Second, make sure all family members understand that the family relationship is the priority—always. It’s best to keep it all in perspective and remember what truly matters.

    Rule #2: Understand who is boss

    At the end of the day, the second generation needs to understand that they are employees at a company. Granted, they have a very special relationship with the owner, but they’re still just employees. Just like any executive or senior level employee, the second generation needs to understand their role in relation to the owner and make decisions and push agendas that are in the owner’s best interest.

    Rule #3: Embrace change

    The second generation brings a different perspective and set of experiences to draw upon. They may have a lot of ambitious goals and can help steer the first generation and the company in a new direction. Although business and management styles can be very different, it’s important for both generations to respect and appreciate each other’s methods and differences.

    Jeffrey S. Rinkov is a second generation family business member and is president of Rinkov Eyecare Centers, an eye care company with nine optometrists and eight office locations throughout central Ohio. His father, Dr. Mark H. Rinkov, founded the company in 1977 with the philosophy to improve each of his patient’s lives through outstanding quality eye care. Learn more about Rinkov Eyecare Centers at

  • CEO Insights recap: Jane Grote Abell on promoting goodwill through pizza

    Posted on Dec 3, 2014

    One of our CEOs of the Year, Donatos' Jane Grote Abell, was the featured speaker at this month's CEO Insights event, presented by the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. Abell shared stories about growing up in the family-owned pizza business; the turbulent time when McDonald's bought Donatos (and when her company bought it back); and “having the courage to live your character out loud.” 

    Here’s our Twitter recap of Abell's interview:

    To learn more about CEO Insights events, visit the Columbus Chamber here.

  • Santa likely to bring kids iPads over bikes, stuffed animals this Christmas

    Posted on Dec 2, 2014

    The National Retail Federation asked parents what they're buying this year for their children. High tech gadgets edged out more traditional gifts, while some favorites remain on kids' wishlists for Christmas 2014.

    These are the top toys parents are buying for their sons this year (by percentage of survey respondants):

    #1 LEGO 14.2%

    #2 Cars & Trucks 8.1%

    #3 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 7.7%

    #4 Video Games 7.5%

    #5 Hot Wheels 4.6%

    #6 Xbox One 4.4%

    #7 PlayStation 4 4.2%

    #8 Transformers 3.5%

    #9 Remote Controlled Vehicle 2.7%

    #10 (tie)Marvel Action Figures 2.3%

    #10 (tie) Tablet/Apple iPad 2.3%

    #11 (tie) Bicycle 1.8%

    #11 (tie) Skylanders 1.8%

    #12 (tie) Action Figures 1.5%

    #12 (tie) Nerf 1.5%

    #13 Athletic Gear 1.4%

    #14 Minecraft 1.3%

    #15 Star Wars 1.2%

    Other 28%


    And for their daughters:

    #1 Disney Frozen 20.0%

    #2 Barbie 16.8%

    #3 Dolls 10.7%

    #4 Monster High 5.2%

    #5 American Girl 3.8%

    #6 LEGO 3.1%

    #7 Tablet/Apple iPad 3.0%

    #8 My Little Pony 2.1%

    #9 Disney Doc McStuffins 1.9%

    #10 Apparel 1.8%

    #11 Disney Princess 1.5%

    #12 Make-up and Hair Accessories 1.4%

    #13 Smartphone/Apple iPhone 1.1%

    # 14 Stuffed Animal 1.0%

    #15 (tie) Hello Kitty 1.0%

    #15 (tie) Lalaloopsy 1.0%

    Other 24.8%


  • Guest blog: Attracting and retaining the right talent

    Posted on Nov 25, 2014

    The days of “be happy you have a job because no one is hiring” are gone. Employees are looking over the fence and finding better opportunities.