CEO of the Year

Kitty McConnell

What makes a good CEO? Many executives would cite the ability to multitask and prioritize must-dos from wish-list items. Grace under pressure. The ability to motivate employees and get them on board as organizational ambassadors. The fortitude to make the tough calls that are sometimes necessary to keep the doors open.

Those qualities are shared by many good leaders. But the best leaders take things even further, immersing themselves in the communities where they do business, getting down in the trenches with employees and finding ways to make meaningful change both internally and externally.

For the second year, Columbus C.E.O. and Capital University partnered on a CEO of the Year project. We wanted to learn more about the Central Ohio business climate, how the economy is affecting local organizations and what top-ranking executives think of the region as a place to do business.

The Capital University School of Management and Leadership mailed the 2012 Central Ohio CEO Survey to more than 4,000 C-level and other top officers in businesses and nonprofit organizations throughout the region. We asked for their opinions in five business climate categories: the economic outlook, their organization, company practices, perceptions of the Central Ohio area, and leadership issues.

We also asked them to nominate their peers for CEO of the Year honors in four categories: large for-profit (more than 500 employees for manufacturers, more than 100 for wholesalers or at least $7 million in annual receipts for most other companies), small for-profit, large nonprofit (more than $4 million in average annual gross receipts) and small nonprofit. Last year's winners were not eligible. None of the top vote getters in the small for-profit category met the survey criteria, so no winner was named there.

Our four 2012 winners were honored Nov. 1 at an invitation-only reception at the Ohio Statehouse, where survey result highlights also were debuted.

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