In the mid-2000's, controversial projects caused the community to question and offer opinions. Now, they are well in place.
In 2005, Columbus State Community College had a strong leader who wanted to expand. But President Val Moeller was met with opposition about her plan for a second campus in Delaware County by people who thought the new location would create a racial and socio-economic divide in the student body. The new campus opened in June 2010. CSCC says its total student body has grown more diverse, but school officials say they don't keep data on the racial makeup of each campus.
Fixing the Farm
In 2005, no one knew what might happen to the careworn restaurant and packaged food brand, but by now we know the ending. At the time of the article, the company was hunting for a new leader while Larry Corbin filled in. Bob Evans himself said in reference to maintaining quality: “If the biscuits are bad, throw them out the back door, pan and all.” Evans died in 2007 at age 89, but his company heeded his advice—in a way—by selling off the restaurant arm of
the Bob Evans brand in January for $565 million to concentrate on its packaged food operations.
The Ty That Binds
Ty Marsh came to the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce's aid in 2003 as president and CEO and left a mark on the Chamber in permanent ink. First order of business: Get rid of “Greater” and “Commerce” in the Chamber's name. Also on the docket: Create an economic-development entity named CompeteColumbus with the Columbus Partnership. Although the latter initiative failed, it was reloaded as Columbus 2020, which is still going strong. Marsh resigned in 2010 and is now executive director of SWACO.
Jim Hagedorn is still the outspoken leader of ScottsMiracle-Gro. In the article, the son of Miracle-Gro founder Horace Hagedorn said being CEO interested him primarily because of the power that comes with the job. Leadership does seem to suit him: In 2001, when Hagedorn took over, net sales were $1.7 billion, and by 2005 they were $2.4 billion. Last year, sales were $2.84 billion, and earnings per share set a company record. Although ScottsMiracle-Gro is a family business, Jim Hagedorn had to earn his title. He's credited with building Scotts' business both in the US and abroad. Now, Hagedorn is pursuing revenue growth by entering the growing cannabis industry.
City Center Mall
Some people thought building a casino inside the struggling City Center mall was a jackpot idea. They argued it would give people from outside Columbus a reason to visit and consequently revitalize Downtown. But civic leaders got their way and City Center cashed in its chips in 2009, to be transformed into the Columbus Commons. The greenspace was renamed May 11, 2017, for John F. Wolfe, the late publisher of The Columbus Dispatch, philanthropist and local business leader. It is now called the John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons.