Columbus Chamber Annual Meeting Set for February 7

The Columbus Chamber of Commerce will bring the business community together at its annual meeting on Thursday, February 7 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Themed InspireUS, the event will feature three keynote presentations from local business leaders and honors for the 2019 recipient of the Columbus Award and the 2019 Small Business Leader Award finalists.

“We’re bringing together leaders from every industry and providing dynamic networking opportunities and thought-provoking presentations,” says Chamber Director of Marketing Cody Blair. “This event gives people the chance to connect with over 1,200 individuals who are focused on one mission, which also happens to be the Chamber’s mission, as well: to advance a thriving Central Ohio Region.”

From social enterprise, to logistics, to innovation, this year’s speakers represent a variety of business styles and stages, and will share their stories and experiences through TED-Style talks. Keynote presenters include:

  • Aslyne Rodriguez, Co-founder & CEO of EmpowerBus
  • John R. Ness, CEO of ODW Logistics
  • Erin Bender, Executive Director of The Point at Otterbein University; Dr. John Comerford, President of Otterbein University; Michael Thornton, Executive Director of JPMorgan Chase

“We wanted our attendees to leave this year’s Annual Meeting feeling inspired, rejuvenated and motivated to tackle whatever opportunity might be on the horizon for their business in 2019,” Blair says. “We selected our keynote presenters with this goal in mind, which is why each of our three keynotes come from a different industry and have unique lessons to share with our greater business community.”

During the event, Cathy Lyttle, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Worthington Industries, will also be honored as the 2019 recipient of the Columbus Award, an honor that recognizes business success and outstanding community leadership.

Recognitions continue with the 2019 Small Business Leader Award finalists. The awards recognize businesses for a diverse range of qualities, including leadership, business excellence and contributions to the community, in addition to factors like business size. This year’s finalists include:

  • Rachel Friedman, TENFOLD
  • Lori Kaiser, Kaiser Consulting
  • John Roush, Moo Moo Express Car Wash

“Virtually everything we do at the Columbus Chamber is aimed at supporting the small business community,” says Chamber President & CEO Don DePerro. “Rachel, Lori and John epitomize what it takes to be a leader in the small business community, and we’re proud to honor their determination and tenacity.”

Doors open for InspireUS at 7 a.m., with a welcome and interactive networking showcase from 7 – 8 a.m., and program and breakfast from 8 – 9:15 a.m.

Tickets are $135 for individual members and $1,000 for a member table of eight. Non-members can purchase tickets for $185 for an individual and $1,400 for a table.

Registration for InspireUS closes on Thursday, January 31. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Learn more about the Columbus Chamber of Commerce at and stay up to date on other events here.