by Melissa Bilancini, Chief Strategy & Resource Officer, CEOs for Cities //
Recently, CEOs for Cities National Meeting Director Brittany Scheckelhoff and I visited Columbus, Ohio to meet with members of our City Cluster that are planning our 2016 National Meeting. We were so excited by discussions of the city’s commitment to increasing access to education and economic opportunity for all residents, the thoughtfully prepared field trips, and the entrepreneurship that we just had to tell you about it.
Take, for example, The Roosevelt Coffeehouse.
Yes, they sell a great pour over, but they are also so much more. Part of the larger non-profit Redeeming Injustice, this social enterprise guides all of its profits to organizations that are working to offset the injustices of unclean water, hunger and human trafficking. The more coffee that they sell, the more they can contribute to the community.
Or the North Market, which was established in 1876. Featuring more than 30 merchants vending fresh, local food – it is Columbus’ only remaining true public market. We are beyond excited to showcase this great establishment as one of our Reception venues during our National Meeting.
Vendors who began at the Market include Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream – some of the best stuff you’ll ever eat (my favorite is the bourbon salted pecan). Jeni’s is also endorsed by the international nonprofit B Lab, for meeting rigorous social and environmental performance standards, and excelling through accountability and transparency.
A recent addition to the Market is Hot Chicken Takeover, a community-focused, Nashville-inspired fried chicken restaurant. Yes, the line is very long, but it’s well worth the wait. In addition to tasting great, Hot Chicken Takeover provides supportive jobs to individuals who need a second chance at work.
Our home base for the National Meeting will be the Short North. Named such because it had fallen “just short” of the central business district’s northern boundary – both physically and economically – the Short North is one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods. Packed full of restaurants, pubs, specialty stores, and art galleries, there is always something going on.
We’re still working on the agenda, but rest assured that the 2016 National Meeting in Columbus, Ohio – the Opportunity City – is not to be missed. Columbus boasts more than the state capital. It’s a city of visionary, entrepreneurial, community-minded leaders who are working to build a vibrant city, and to make sure that every resident benefits from the city’s growth.
Join us – as we strengthen ourselves, communities and partnerships at this exciting event!