Business Drives Government: Navigate. Influence. Connect. 

Business Drives Government was created to help business leaders connect and hear directly from elected officials on issues that impact their business, better navigate government complexity, facilitate connections with key stakeholders and raise the collective voice of the Columbus Region business community at the local, state and federal levels of government.

Wednesday, October 23
Hilton Columbus Downtown (Map)
401 N. High Street Columbus, OH 43215

*Registration for this event is now closed. If you are still interested in purchasing a ticket, please contact events@columbus.org.


Registration before the event is required.
Ticket purchases are considered non-refundable.
For reporting purposes, if you choose to accept a complimentary ticket, you will be included on our JLEC filing as the recipient of a gift from the Columbus Chamber of Commerce in the amount of $129. Municipal elected officials may also have to report the ticket as a gift on your financial disclosure statement.

Pricing

Individual registration: $129
Individual Non-Member registration: $159
Table of 10 – Members: $949
Table of 10 – Non-members: $1,249

REGISTRATION & NETWORKING | 8 – 8:45 AM

WELCOME & GENERAL SESSION | 8:45 – 10 AM

In our morning program, we will receive an update directly from our elected leaders at all levels of government on issues of importance to the business community, including Columbus City Council President Shannon G. Hardin, Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown and video presentations from elected leaders like Senator Sherrod Brown, Senator Rob Portman, Congressman Steve Stivers, Congressman Troy Balderson and Congresswoman Joyce Beatty. The morning session will also include remarks from Mayor Andrew Ginther. 

BREAKOUT SESSIONS | 10:30 – 11:30 AM

The Role of Public Policy Making in Fostering a Competitive Advantage for the Region

With the Columbus region projected to grow by nearly a million residents by 2050, our public policies must keep pace. Laws, regulations and public funding should help us think creatively about how we transport and deliver people, goods and services, as well as attract and house our growing workforce rather than hindering the innovation and advancement that is necessary for the Columbus region to maintain and improve our competitive advantage. Attendees invested in the future success of the region will learn from a panel of experts about currently pending policy proposals and initiatives that will surely impact their business, as well as their own lives and those of their families and workers.  

Panelists

Bill LaFayette, Regionomics LLC (Moderator)
Kenny McDonald, One Columbus
Shayla Favor, Columbus City Council Member
Megan Kilgore, City Auditor

Substance Abuse in the Workplace and Evolving Public Policy Issues

The Columbus region has no lack of job opportunities with record low unemployment levels. However, there is a shortage of skilled and qualified workers to meet the needs of the region’s employers. According to a 2017 study from Ohio State University, the opioid epidemic could account for one-third to more than one-half of the decline in [Ohio’s] workforce participation since 2007. This breakout will focus on public policy solutions for addressing these issues, as well as the impact of Ohio’s medical marijuana program on the business sector, criminal justice reforms underway and reentry initiatives to help more Ohioans rejoin the workforce.  

Panelists

Chad Jester, Nationwide (Moderator)
Dr. Terrence Welsh, Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
Amy O’Grady, Columbus City Attorney’s Office
John Rush, CleanTurn
Kathleen Herath, Nationwide Insurance

Game of Zones: Opportunities for Businesses to Take Advantage of a New Tax Incentive

The Columbus region is ripe for development, and our desire to pursue inclusive growth makes the newly created Opportunity Zones an exciting vehicle to jumpstart development, while also lifting up distressed neighborhoods. This breakout will take a deep dive into the federal opportunity zone program created under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and the state incentive recently enacted by the Ohio General Assembly under H.B. 166, and learn how businesses spanning various industries can engage with and potentially utilize this initiative to make long-term investments in their business and our community.

Opening

Catherine Lyons, Economic Innovation Group
Mark Lundine, City of Columbus Department of Development

Panelists

Mike Flowers, Steptoe & Johnson LLP (Moderator)
Darci Congrove, GBQ
Erin Herbst, Kegler Brown
Catherine Lyons, Economic Innovation Group
Mark Lundine, City of Columbus Department of Development

Political Engagement: Looking Ahead to 2020 and the Pivotal Role of the Business Vote

While the Chamber has served as the voice of the Columbus Region business community for over 135 years, the engagement of our members is an instrumental part of the political process. The strong representation of our Chamber community is essential in advancing business-friendly policies at all levels of government, and the election of individuals that align with our pro-growth strategy is more vital than ever. This panel of politically savvy experts will help our members prepare for the contentious 2020 election season, discuss the importance of gathering accurate Census data to ensuring our state’s top-tier representation in Congress and receipt of federal funding, and highlight ways for the business community to effectively participate in the political process to ensure their voice is heard.

Panelists

Derrick Clay, New Visions Group (Moderator)
Doug Murray, City of Columbus
David Pepper, Ohio Democratic Party
Jane Timken, Chairman – Ohio Republican Party
Merle Madrid, Office of the Ohio Secretary of State

LUNCH PROGRAM | 11:45 AM – 1:15 PM

Frank LaRose is Ohio’s 51st Secretary of State and took office in January of 2019. In his role as Ohio’s chief elections officer, he’s working to ensure Ohio’s elections are accessible, accurate and secure. He supports Ohio entrepreneurs as the sole authority to receive and approve articles of incorporation for Ohio businesses. Secretary LaRose will talk about the challenges facing Ohio as we approach 2020 and what his office is doing to prepare for them.

*Registration for this event is now closed. If you are still interested in purchasing a ticket, please contact events@columbus.org.

Ticket purchases are considered non-refundable. This is a ticketless event.
For reporting purposes, if you choose to accept a complimentary ticket, you will be included on our JLEC filing as the recipient of a gift from the Columbus Chamber of Commerce in the amount of $129. Municipal elected officials may also have to report the ticket as a gift on your financial disclosure statement.

If you any questions, please feel free to contact events@columbus.org.

Parking

Please view additional parking details and map here.
Alternative transportation options can be found here.

 

Partner Opportunities

Contact Nancy Brantner directly via email or at 614-560-4260 for options that fit your budget and goals.
View our 2019 partner packet here.

Thanking our partners

Signature partners

Leaders

Benefactors

Patron

Media

GASC Patron

Alignment Government Strategies

Coffee Partner