Future 50: John Rush, CleanTurn

Katy Smith
2020 Future 50 class member John Rush.

Future 50 Class of 2020

John Rush

President and CEO, CleanTurn

About: John Rush has launched multiple social enterprise ventures in Chicago and Columbus. Franklinton-based CleanTurn offers commercial cleaning services and employs people with barriers to employment such as incarceration and addiction. Since its 2012 founding and with support from investors and the Columbus Foundation and Tony Wells Foundation, it has provided supportive employment to nearly 800 people in the Columbus region. Rush also launched sister enterprise She Has A Name Cleaning Services to employ survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, which it later merged into the CleanTurn brand. The organization also operates the Third Way Café in the Hilltop neighborhood. “Leveraging the market demand for our services, we are seeking to dismantle the idea that a person’s past dictates their future,” Rush says. “We must reconsider conceptions of justice that are limited to retribution and punishment and instead further ideas of justice that include reconciliation, rehabilitation and restoration.”

Outside work: Rush serves on multiple nonprofit boards, teaches classes in the local jail and state prisons and enjoys spending time with his eight kids and their many activities. Rush loves reading, biking, swimming, basketball, art, music and old and foreign films. He holds five graduate degrees (theology, philosophy, history, nonprofit management and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University).

50 ideas to move the region forward. Here's who else is in the Future 50 Class of 2020.

What does Columbus need to thrive? “Walkable communities; urban farming; a thriving arts collection reflecting history and a diversity of traditions; respect and appreciation for religious ideas (including non-Western traditions and atheism); a strong focus on education in the humanities and arts at the grade school and high school levels coupled with intense appreciation for the trades, technology and other fields in need of labor; and creative and supportive employment models for individuals impacted by the criminal justice system, generational poverty and addiction.”

Rush’s idea: “[We could create a] Humanities and the Trades conference attracting high school, college and grad school students and professionals from every community (including prison) with global speakers, practical workshops, music, art and books.”

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