The 2013 Class of Power Players in Columbus

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Smart Business Columbus would like to recognize
The 2013 Class of Power Players in Columbus.

This year long luncheon series featured the most influential business leaders in the region sharing their perspective on why Columbus is such a great place to live, work and visit.

Meet this year’s Power Players!


Janet E. Jackson

president and CEO
United Way of Central Ohio

Janet E. Jackson is president and CEO of United Way of Central Ohio, one of the largest United Way organizations in the country. Under her leadership, United Way is mobilizing the central Ohio community to accomplish concrete goals, addressing the root causes of issues facing the community in order to create lasting change.

Jackson also serves as vice chair of the Central Ohio Workforce Investment Board, and as vice chair of Learn4Life. She is a board member of The Center for Family Safety and Healing, and served on the City of Columbus 2012 Bicentennial Planning Commission.

Her work earned her an induction into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame in 2001, and this year Jackson was named the “2013 Professional Woman of the Year” by The Women of Color Foundation. 


Michelle Heritage

executive director
Community Shelter Board

Michelle Heritage has served as the executive director of the Community Shelter Board since April 2010, providing leadership to the nonprofit by achieving community-wide objectives focused on ending homelessness.

She is responsible for strategic planning and collaborative efforts, private-sector fundraising and resource development, effective government systems and private-sector relationships. Heritage has extensive nonprofit and public sector experience, including more than 20 years in leadership roles in the homeless system, mental health, child welfare and the alcohol and drug system.

She serves on national, statewide and local boards and committees for human services, diversity, homelessness and community research. In 2010, WELD calendar featured Heritage as one of the “12 Women You Should Know.” The Better Business Bureau, United Way and Mid-Ohio Foodbank have recognized the Community Shelter Board for its accomplishments under Heritage’s leadership. 


Sheri Tackett

founder and CEO
Delta Energy

As the organization’s founder and CEO, Sheri Tackett is responsible for the strategic direction and overall business management of Delta Energy and its related companies. Prior to forming Delta, Tackett held senior management positions within Ashland Inc.’s chemical and energy exploration divisions.

With 27 years of experience in the energy industry, Tackett was recently named to the 2012 class of “Enterprising Women of the Year” by Enterprising Women Magazine. She is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners, the Women’s President’s Organization and the United Way Women’s Leadership Council.

She is an advisory board member for Women for Economic and Leadership Development; a board member for Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; and chair for the Tiffany Circle Society of Women Leaders of the American Red Cross. 


Jack Partridge

Columbia Gas of Ohio

Jack Partridge has been president of Columbia Gas of Ohio since 2003. In 2011, he assumed the role of chief regulatory officer of Columbia Gas of Ohio, a subsidiary of the NiSource Gas Distribution Companies. Partridge began his career with Columbia Gas in 1977 as a government affairs representative at the company’s local distribution company in Pennsylvania. Partridge served as a member of the Ohio Governor’s Workforce Policy Board and as chairman of the Goodwill Columbus board of directors. He and his wife, Anne, are co-chairs for the United Way of Central Ohio’s 2013 fundraising campaign. 


Dr. Steven Gabbe

senior VP for health sciences/CEO
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

Dr. Steven Gabbe arrived as plans for the largest physical expansion project in the history of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center were being developed. The $1 billion expansion project is expected to be finished in 2016. Gabbe is the author of more than 160 peer-reviewed papers and is senior editor of the leading textbook in his field, “Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies.” He has held leadership positions with the Association of American Medical Colleges and National Institutes of Health. Gabbe is co-chair of the Liaison Committee for Medical Education and is a member of the Institute of Medicine. 


Jordan A. Miller

president and CEO, Central Ohio
Fifth Third Bank

Jordan A. Miller began his career at Fifth Third Bank in 1998. He was serving as senior vice president and manager of Fifth Third Investment Advisors for the bank’s Cincinnati affiliate when he was chosen to head up Central Ohio operations. Before joining Fifth Third Bank, Miller was chief financial officer and business manager for Huntington Investment Co. in Columbus. He is a past member of the Bank Broker Dealer Committee for the National Association of Securities Dealers in Washington, D.C. In 2011, Miller was honored as a member of the Bank Insurance & Securities Association Circle of Excellence. 


Kelly Borth

CEO and chief strategy officer,

Kelly Borth co-founded GREENCREST, a brand development, strategic and interactive marketing and public relations firm, in 1990 and has received numerous honors for her business and community leadership. GREENCREST specializes in unique communications programs that begin with a solid marketing foundation and result in increased market penetration and awareness. Borth’s background includes experience as a marketing specialist, marketing director and public relations director. She is a sought-after business adviser and serves on numerous community and business advisory boards. Borth has received accolades ranging from one of Columbus’s top “Forty Under 40” to the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year, Supporter of Entrepreneurship Award finalist. 


Chuck Gehring

president and CEO
LifeCare Alliance

LifeCare Alliance, launched in 1898, administers health and nutrition services to older adults and chronically ill or homebound residents of Central Ohio through programs ranging from Meals on Wheels to Visiting Nurses. Chuck Gehring serves as president and CEO of the organization. Gehring’s background includes an impressive list of service in both the private and not-for-profit sectors. A member and board member of numerous not-for-profit organizations, he was executive vice president and COO for Catholic Social Services before joining LifeCare Alliance, and has worked for Sanese Services and Anheuser Busch. Gehring is also an adjunct professor at Franklin University in the Master of Business Administration program. 


Kenny McDonald

chief economic officer
Columbus 2020

As chief economic officer of Columbus 2020, Kenny McDonald, CEcD, oversees the economic development and business attraction efforts for the 11-county Columbus Region. McDonald’s extensive experience helps guide Columbus 2020 to be instrumental in forming private/public partnerships that help develop the company’s growth and innovation plans. He also serves as an elected member of the board of directors for the International Economic Development Council, and serves on the boards of NAIOP, SciTech and the Columbus Crew. McDonald’s previous experience includes executive vice president of the Charlotte Regional Partnership and leadership positions at the Albuquerque Economic Development Corp., Fluor Daniels Global Locations Strategies and the Savannah Economic Development Authority.