For our latest installment of “Why I Love Columbus,” we speak with Michele Lemmon who is Account Manager and Director of Public Relations at GREENCREST.
I recall writing about the “zeitgeist” of Columbus for a story for an airline’s inflight magazine in early 1994. Back then, the story highlighted some great areas for tourists — the Short North, German Village — and it mentioned spots that no longer exist, namely City Center Mall.
The rise and fall of City Center Mall gets to the heart of what I love about Columbus. When I moved to this city in 1990, the mall was just celebrating its first anniversary. Coming from a rust-belt city in northern Indiana where downtown shopping was noticeably absent, I loved that Columbus had a mall in its core where I could shop and meet a friend for lunch. Jacobson’s and Marshall Field’s ranked among my favorite City Center haunts back then. The mall then represented to me what a downtown could be like in the biggest small town in America.
But the mall’s closure in 2009 — and the rise of Columbus Commons like a phoenix on the former mall site — also represents the best of Columbus, and why I love it here. We don’t give up. We encourage new thinking. We love entrepreneurship.
If I were to write a story today about the “zeitgeist” of Columbus, I would still mention the not-to-miss sites — the Arena District (which was still the site of the old Ohio Pen back in 1994), the Short North and German Village. I’d mention the arts scene in Columbus as well as some of my favorite places to visit – COSI Columbus, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, the Main Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, and — of course — Ohio Stadium when the Buckeyes are playing at home on a beautiful Fall Saturday. But a story about the “zeitgeist” of Columbus must mention the people and the businesses that keep reshaping this city as it grows over time.
Columbus is and always has been a city of smart thinkers — business owners who have a vision for what could be and then set out and build upon that. And, fortunately, this city has enjoyed the benefits of entrepreneurs/philanthropists who have shared their vision — and their wealth — to make the city a better place to call home.
Columbus is also a city of people who care about others and demonstrate that by sharing their talents and treasures. In my role at GREENCREST, I have worked with many small- to medium-sized businesses. While most of these companies don’t have millions to donate to nonprofit causes in the city, they do what they can, where they can. They donate a portion of their company’s profits to local charities; their teams participate in fundraising marathons or build Habitat for Humanity houses. These companies collect food for the local foodbanks, stuff backpacks of school supplies for central Ohio students and bake cookies at the Ronald McDonald House. They do what they can to give back to help life better for others.
So, why do I LOVE Columbus?
I love that we all put the “US” in Columbus!
About Michele Lemmon
Michele Lemmon is an account manager and director of public relations at GREENCREST, a 27-year-old brand development, strategic and online marketing and public relations firm that turns market players into industry leaders™. GREENCREST is located at 120 Northwoods Blvd., Columbus, Ohio 43235. You can reach her at email@example.com; 614-885-7921. www.greencrest.com