Don DePerro: CEO of the Year 2019 finalist
Large nonprofit finalist: Don DePerro, president and CEO, Columbus Chamber of Commerce
After a long career as president and publisher of Columbus Business First, Don DePerro joined the Columbus Chamber of Commerce in 2016. Since then, he and his team have grown paid membership by more than 57 percent and the organization has created new programming around the topics of leadership development, succession planning and peer-to-peer mentoring. Under DePerro’s leadership, the chamber also has expanded its role in education and workforce development. The organization also has partnered with Cleveland’s Council of Smaller Enterprises to launch a new health insurance plan for chamber members. His other accomplishments include the creation of a strategic plan to guide the chamber through 2020 and the attraction of four new managers to help advance a clear direction for the organization. DePerro’s community engagement has involved several organizations, including Leadership Columbus, the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Recreation Unlimited and Action for Children. He also served as chairman of the Mid-Ohio Foodbank’s largest fundraiser for nearly two decades.