People to Watch 2011

From the 08/03/2011 edition

Six weeks ago, the Alive team gathered around a long restaurant table to make some tough decisions: We had created an intimidating list of 40 inspiring people, and we needed to whittle the group down to about a dozen People to Watch. And this is after we sorted through dozens of enthusiastic nominations from readers. This is after staffers made heartfelt, often repeated, sometimes emphatic statements in support of specific candidates.

In short, you all impress the heck out of us.

I am struck daily by the entrepreneurial spirit of this city and by the ability of ambitious young people to launch and sustain efforts across a spectrum of business, culture and community.

Folks, it just ain't like this in other cities. Similar efforts elsewhere are stymied by a saturated market or a crushing cost of entry. Voices get lost. Here, they are heard, and often they are echoed and encouraged by the very people for whose business or attention they compete. The spirit of collaboration in Columbus is no myth.

You'll find that spirit in each of the 11 people we've named as People to Watch this year. Page after page, you'll encounter individuals who are reaching outside of their own interests to grow something bigger than a single person or a single business. We'll be watching them, and you should, too.