A look back at the first two decades of Columbus C.E.O.

By
From the October 2012 issue of Columbus CEO

Columbus C.E.O. magazine published its first issue in October 1992—the same year McDonald’s opened a location in China, Bill Clinton was elected president and the North American Free Trade Agreement was signed.

A lot has changed since then, both in the world around us and with the magazine. Email and the Internet were barely on the radar, and precious few people owned a car phone—let alone a smartphone.

We’ve tried to keep up with the times, too. Our design has evolved over the years, as has the content. We still aim to provide a compelling mix of features and industry-specific content relevant to your business world, but do so in an engaging way that we hope makes you pick up the magazine as soon as it lands in your mailbox.

Over the last 20 years, we’ve had hits and misses. A few cover subjects have switched jobs shortly after—or even before—an issue came out. Some voluntarily, others less so. Like everyone else, we presented urgent advice about coping with the impending Y2K disaster, then shrugged on Jan. 1, 2000 along with the rest of the world.

We hope you enjoy this brief spin back through some of the hot business topics and executives of the last two decades as much as we enjoyed compiling it.

Here’s to another 20 years of Central Ohio business growth.

October 1992

Our debut issue featured Eric Chapman, president and CEO of U.S. Health Corp. (a precursor to OhioHealth), on the cover. Highlights of the magazine’s early years included regular marketing columns by then-Ohio State University professor Roger Blackwell, a monthly Roundtable and a “fax followup poll” where readers could relay their opinions.

May 1993

The third issue of the magazine to feature a woman on the cover, this month featured mother-and-daughter team Barbara Trueman, owner of Red Roof Inns, with Michelle Trueman, vice president of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

March 1994

Local officials were promoting the region’s strength in logistics 18 years ago, and the Columbus Chamber of Commerce even created the Columbus Inland Port Commission. Economic development officials continue to promote Central Ohio’s logistics assets today.

December 1995

Decked in a festive Christmas-themed cover, the issue features Cookie Queen Cheryl Krueger dishing about how she started and grew Cheryl & Co. Krueger sold the business to 1-800-FLOWERS.com in 2005 for $40 million.

July 1996

Did anyone who wore glasses in the mid-1990s not have a pair like the ones Team Rahal owner Bobby Rahal is sporting here?

October 1997

Holy Cow! Former Columbus Mayor Buck Rinehart was one of the panelists for a Roundtable discussion about the role of the media in Central Ohio. Other participants included reps from WCMH, WTVN, WSYX and The Columbus Dispatch.

October 1998

The debate over the Morse-Bethel Connector was a hot political topic. Neighbors opposed the plan, while business owners saw it as a ticket to more customers and better bottom lines. The plan ultimately fizzled out amid a failed ballot issue, lack of consensus and a rare “snail darter” fish that lives in the Olentangy River.

August 1999

The sky is falling! The sky is falling! Oh, never mind.

December 2000

Columbus C.E.O. scored a rare sit-down with Cardinal Health founder Bob Walter. At the time, the company had annual revenue of nearly $30 billion. Today, it’s more than $100 billion.

December 2001

Michael Moritz’s unprecedented $30 million donation to the Ohio State University College of Law, his alma mater, earned him the honor of having the college renamed after him in 2001. Tragically, Moritz died in 2002 at age 68 of complications following a car accident in Naples, Fla.

January 2002

Columbus C.E.O. chatted with power couple Fred and Kathy Ransier, who left their own firm to join Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease. The Columbus Bar Association Managing Partners’ Diversity Initiative had recently been launched to promote diversity at local law firms.

February 2003

We anointed the Arena District as “Central Ohio’s hottest office market.” More than nine years later, it’s still a top contender.

August 2004

A profile of Plain City’s Select Sires, which built a $90 million business selling bull semen, featured this memorable headline.

April 2005

Our list of Central Ohio’s “Best CEOs” included Dan DeLawder (Park National Corp.), Tom Hoaglin (Huntington Bancshares), Jim Hopkins (Hopkins Printing), Michael James (Fireproof Records Center), Jerry Jurgensen (Nationwide), Dwight Smith (Sophisticated Systems), Keith Stevens (ProTeam Resources), Tammy Troilo-Krings (Travel Solutions), Phil Urban (Grange Insurance) and Blane Walter (inChord Communications).

November 2006

We asked local politicians and business leaders whether replacing the ailing Columbus City Center with a casino could save Downtown. We thought it was a novel, yet viable, idea. Turns out, a few folks actually agreed with us.

December 2007

The annual Business Outlook feature included speculation about what would become of Germain Amphitheater, which was shuttered after the 2007 concert season. Nearly five years later, the amphitheater sits empty and vandalized, though there has been progress. NP Limited bought the property for $5.5 million in January and plans to build a mixed-use project on the site.

July 2008

Our most audacious cover ever uses a scene from the CSI: The Experience exhibit at COSI, for a story on David Chesebrough’s efforts to bring the science center back from the brink.

March 2009

City leaders ramped up efforts to attract young professionals to Columbus. The push is still ongoing.

October 2010

Statewide Issue 3, passed by voters in November 2009, ushered in expanded gambling and allowed casinos in Ohio’s four largest cities. Columbus’s casino moved from the Arena District to the West Side courtesy of a May 2010 ballot issue. Government officials and community leaders say Hollywood Casino Columbus could be the area’s savior. With the facility set to open in October, that claim will soon be put to the test.

June 2011

We declared Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority President Charles Hillman, Mayor Michael Coleman and Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee to be a “Triple Threat” for the cooperative plan to resuscitate the Near East Side neighborhood around University Hospital East, seen in the background.

Reprinted from the October 2012 issue of Columbus C.E.O. Copyright © Columbus C.E.O.