CEO of the Year 2021 finalists announced

Jess Deyo
Columbus CEO
CEO of the Year 2021

The team at Columbus CEO asked Columbus region business leaders responding to our 2021 Columbus CEO Survey, which was conducted in October, to vote for the CEO of the Year in four categories: Large and small business and large and small nonprofit. The slate of candidates was compiled though recommendations from chambers of commerce and other business organizations and Columbus CEO’s editorial staff.

The executives they chose—four winners and 12 finalists—represent the best of the region as we know it in 2021.

We are thrilled to present the 2021 CEO of the Year finalists.

Large Business Finalists

Corrine Burger, managing director, JPMorgan Chase

Corrine Burger

Managing director, JPMorgan Chase

Corrine Burger is a managing director at JPMorgan Chase and serves as the chief control manager, responsible for overseeing operational risk for the firm.

In addition to that role, Burger also serves as the Columbus Strategic Hub location leader and represents the 18,000 employees in central Ohio. For the past 15 years, Burger has held senior roles in the consumer business including controller of JPMorgan Chase’s retail division for nine years. Early in her career, she served as an audit manager with Deloitte in their Phoenix office as a Certified Public Accountant. She is a graduate of Ohio State University. Burger is a member of the One Columbus board of directors and serves on the Columbus State Community College board of trustees. Burger lives in Dublin with her husband and has four children.

Dr. Bill Wulf, CEO, Central Ohio Primary Care

Bill Wulf

CEO, Central Ohio Primary Care

Dr. Bill Wulf is the first physician CEO of Central Ohio Primary Care since 2013. Prior to the role, he served as the corporate medical director of COPC for seven years. Bringing over 30 years of leadership in primary care delivery, Wulf is a leader among the founding physicians that helped establish COPC, an independent, physician-owned organization in 1996. Since, it has grown to over 480 physicians and 83 locations in central Ohio. Wulf is also a member of the COPC board of directors and serves on the board of Agilon Health. He is also on the board of directors and is board chair of America’s Physician Group. As a board-certified internist, he received his Doctor of Medicine from the Medical College of Ohio. Dr. Wulf previously operated a private practice in Columbus.

Large business winner:Cardinal Health CEO Mike Kaufman leads with intention and perspective

Large Nonprofit Finalists

Robert "Bo" Chilton, CEO, Impact Community Action

Robert Chilton

CEO, Impact Community Action

Robert “Bo” Chilton is the CEO of Impact Community Action. With an annual operating budget of $24 million and a staff of 150 employees, Impact has served as a leading organization by providing rent, mortgage and utility assistance to over 25,000 households during the pandemic. The organization also won the Columbus Foundation Award for 2021. Chilton’s passion for building community is reflected in his service on the Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio, the Ohio Community Development Corporation, Homeport, and the African American Leadership Academy, and he lives by the value that for those who have had much given, much is required. Chilton is a veteran of the Army Reserves and received the C Suite’s Most Admired Award in 2020.

Joanna Pinkerton, president and CEO, Central Ohio Transit Authority

Joanna Pinkerton

President and CEO, Central Ohio Transit Authority

Joanna Pinkerton is the president and CEO of Central Ohio Transit Authority, the regional mobility organization that covers over 560 miles across five counties and serves 1.4 million residents. Since joining COTA in 2018, Pinkerton has focused on providing innovative mobility solutions and spearheaded the organization's first strategic planning process, a new customer experience center, recruitment of the organization’s first chief innovation officer, chief people officer and chief equity officer. She also helped launch COTA//Plus, Mainstream On-Demand and Bus On-Demand, the first on-demand public microtransit in Ohio. Currently, COTA has more than 1,100 team members and provided more than 19 million passenger trips in 2019. Pinkerton has her bachelor of science degree in civil engineering and is a professionally licensed engineer in Ohio. In 2020, she co-chaired the American Public Transportation Association Mobility Recovery and Restoration Task Force.

Stephanie Hightower, president and CEO, Columbus Urban League

Stephanie Hightower

President and CEO, Columbus Urban League

Stephanie Hightower, the first female president and CEO of Columbus Urban League, is an advocate for social justice and racial equity. Under her leadership, the organization has expanded its focus on economic mobility, transformed an abandoned building into an economic hub in the King Lincoln District and hosted the National Urban League conference—the nation’s largest annual civil rights gathering. Columbus Urban League made 70,000 community connections in 2020 alone, serving 14,000 people at risk of eviction and more than 7,000 Black businesses striving to survive. Hightower, a world-class athlete, is also a leader in the U.S. Track & Field Association, chairs the World Athletics Gender Leadership Task Force, is a member of WA Human Rights Working Group and previously served on the Columbus school board. She also serves on the boards of Celebrate One and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and was recently honored for exceptional leadership by the Columbus Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Stephen Markovich, president and CEO, OhioHealth

Stephen Markovich, MD

President and CEO, OhioHealth

Dr. Stephen Markovich is a health care executive, physician and military leader. He was named OhioHealth CEO in 2019. Markovich retired as a major general after 38 years of military service, most recently serving as the commander of the Ohio Air National Guard. He earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from the Ohio State University College of Medicine. He has practiced as a family and emergency physician at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital and served as clinical assistant professor at Ohio State. Markovich also served as president of OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital and previously held roles including executive vice president, senior vice president and chief operating officer. Dr. Markovich earned a bachelor of science degree in engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Wright State University. He is a member of the boards of the National Veterans Memorial and Museum and the Columbus Symphony and has been active in the past with JobsOhio, the United Way of Central Ohio and the Simon Kenton Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Large nonprofit winner:Nationwide Children's 127-year-old mission gets CEO Tim Robinson out of bed each day

Small Business Finalists

Mark Daniels, president, M+A Architects

Mark Daniels

President and principal, M+A Architects

Mark Daniels, president of M+A Architects, has worked with the firm for more than 33 years and has served as president for the past 21. Daniels leads the company’s mission to design for the future, with specialties in multi-use projects, multifamily housing, urban infill, walkable neighborhoods and responsible planning. M+A’s signature projects include work at Easton Town Center, the Pointe at Polaris, Capital Park South Industrial Park, The Lane and Xander on State. Daniels is a member of the American Institute of Architects and the U.S. Green Building Council. He is a former advisory board member for Urban Land Institute-Columbus and was recognized with a lifetime achievement award from Vistage Worldwide. Under Daniels’ leadership, M+A formalized a corporate and social responsibility partnership with Habitat for Humanity, Dress for Success and A Kid Again. Daniels holds a bachelor of science in architecture from Ohio State University and is a registered architect in Ohio.

Brent Crawford, founder and principal, Crawford Hoying

Brent Crawford

Founder and principal, Crawford Hoying

Brent Crawford, founder and principal of Crawford Hoying, created his real estate firm in 1994 with a vision for success. Starting as a single investment property, Crawford Hoying has since become one of the largest real estate firms in Columbus. Crawford oversees various aspects of the business including raising private equity for specific investment into income-producing properties, securing debt financing, managing relationships with equity investors, monitoring new acquisitions, ground-up development and debt placement for all projects and guiding all new developments for the company. In the past, Crawford taught property management and real estate trends at the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University and regularly returns as a guest speaker. He’s also president of the Center for Real Estate at OSU and a member of the Columbus Partnership. Crawford serves on the boards of Sophisticated Systems, Ohio State Sports Medicine Center and the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Dee Haslam, owner/operator, Columbus Crew SC

Dee Haslam

Owner/operator, Columbus Crew SC

Dee Haslam is the CEO of Haslam Sports Group and the investor-operator of Columbus Crew SC.

Haslam’s family company championed the creation of Lower.com Field, a stadium that also served as the catalyst for reimagining the Arena District. She and her husband, Jimmy, also launched a diversity and opportunity fellowship designed to improve the pipeline of diverse future sports industry leaders. They also donated $1.5 million to COVID-19 relief efforts throughout Ohio. Haslam is involved in creating impactful solution-based programs to promote school attendance and has led the Stay in the Game initiative to increase attendance for all students. She currently sits on the MLS Board of Governors and the Columbus Partnership board. The Haslams have three children and six grandchildren.

Small business winner:Columbus architecture firm Moody Nolan sees continuous success with father-son duo

Small Nonprofit Finalists

Michael Corey, executive director of Human Service Chamber of Franklin County

Michael Corey

Executive Director, Human Service Chamber of Franklin County

Michael Corey is the executive director of the Human Service Chamber of Franklin County, which strives to provide “one voice” with more than 15,000 employees for thousands of people by its 130 member agencies. The organization has provided government relations, shared professional services and over 750,000 masks to the nonprofit community since the pandemic, during which time membership has grown by more than 50 percent. Corey holds a bachelor of arts from Duke University, a master’s in education policy from Ohio State University and a law degree from Ohio State Moritz College of Law, where he was executive editor of the Ohio State Law Journal. After practicing health care law at Bricker & Eckler for three years, Corey worked as a policy analyst at the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio and as a regional voter protection director for the Clinton campaign. He lives in Columbus with his wife, Lori; their son, Elijah; and their rescue dog, Ruby.

Oyauma Garrison, president and CEO, A Kid Again

Oyauma Garrison

President and CEO, A Kid Again

Oyauma Garrison serves as the president and CEO for A Kid Again, a nonprofit organization that provides ongoing adventures for children facing life threatening conditions. With his 2017 appointment, the agency established a new national headquarters in Columbus with plans for growth. Prior, Garrison gathered over 20 years of experience in insurance, working with State Farm, Nationwide, Allstate and Jacobson. He serves as a director on the board of Buckeye Insurance, executive in residence at Denison University, and has been recognized for his civic contributions by the Ohio General Assembly and Columbus City Council. He also is the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree from Franklin University and the United States of America Presidential 2014 Gold Standard Award. Garrison holds a bachelor’s degree from Denison University and an MBA from Franklin University. A Kid Again served over 4,700 families across multiple states and generated over $3.5 million in revenue.

Colin McGinnis, CEO, South Side Early Learning

Colin Page McGinnis

CEO, South Side Early Learning

Colin Page McGinnis, 27, serves as the CEO of South Side Early Learning, an organization that has been dedicated to serving children and families on the south side of Columbus for nearly 100 years.

Named one of Columbus’ 19 nonprofit innovators and a member of Columbus CEO’s inaugural class of Future 50, Page McGinnis is reimagining how early childhood can be used as a key component of community development. Page McGinnis earned his bachelor’s degree in human development and family sciences from Ohio State University, master’s degree in educational psychology at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln and is working to obtain his Ph.D. from OSU.

Small nonprofit winner:Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO enables youth to reflect, grow and prosper