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Commissioners’ Economic Development and Planning Team Wins Multiple Awards

Thursday, April 19, 2018
Tyler Lowry, Franklin County Commissioners, 614/525-6630
Jodi Andes, Franklin County Commissioners, 614/525-5273

At its annual State of the Region luncheon this afternoon, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) awarded county Economic Development Director, James Schimmer, its William H. Anderson Excellence in Public Service Award.  This annual honor recognizes a past or present MORPC board member who has made a significant contribution to MORPC, the community, and our region.  Director Schimmer’s nomination highlighted his leadership in particular, including having served in multiple important roles within MORPC, including as Chair of the Sustainability Advisory Committee, which coordinated the efforts of 31 Central Ohio communities for the Sustainable 2050 initiative.  Schimmer has also had significant leadership roles with the Mid-Ohio Economic Development Exchange, the annual Franklin County Retail Summit, and the yearly ED411 event that showcases public and private efforts to foster economic success in the region.  The video showcasing Director Schimmer and his accomplishments for the luncheon audience can be seen here.

Earlier this month, Director Schimmer’s team at the commissioners’ department of Economic Development and Planning was announced as the recipient of a National Planning Achievement Award for a Best Practice by the American Planning Association.  The award, shared with the Columbus City Council, honored the two teams’ collaborative initiatives to support a healthy, strong, and resilient local food system.  The creation of the Columbus & Franklin County Local Food Action Plan and the Green Business and Urban Agricultural Strategic Plan aims to advance a range of healthy, economic, and environmental benefits for Central Ohio residents, nearly a quarter of whom have difficulty accessing traditional grocery stores.

The commissioners and city council also established the Columbus & Franklin County Local Food Board to prioritize, and guide implementation of these cross-sector local food system initiatives.  The two plans and the Local Food Board are the result of close collaboration among the city, county and other local partners, and create a foundation for ongoing investment in the local agriculture and food systems to benefit residents, the environment, and the economy of Franklin County.

April is National County Government Month, and this year’s nationwide theme is “Serving the Underserved”.  These two awards showcase the Franklin County Board of Commissioners’ commitment to doing just that, working to ensure that all county residents are able to share in the economic success that our community enjoys.  Throughout the month, the commissioners will be working to bring attention to all of the work the county does each day for its 1.3 million residents, including via the annual State of the County Report due out next week.

To learn more about the commissioners’ commitment to job creation and economic development, visit  For more information about the commissioners’ Economic Development and Planning department, visit, and to keep up with all of the exciting local National County Government events, follow the Board on Twitter.

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