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Community Leaders Honored at Annual MORPC Luncheon

Community leaders who made extraordinary efforts in contributing to the welfare of Central Ohioans were honored by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) at the State of the Region Luncheon held April 20th at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Smart Columbus was the recipient of the William C. Habig Collaborative Achievement award.  The William C. Habig Collaborative Achievement award is annually presented to an individual or individuals who have achieved an effective effort or innovative collaborative in Central Ohio.  

The City of Columbus won the U.S. Department of Transportation $40 million Smart City Challenge in June 2016 after competing against 77 cities nationwide to become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self-driving cars, connected vehicles, and smart sensors – into their transportation network. Columbus was also awarded an additional $10 million grant from Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Inc. to accelerate the transition to an electrified, low-emissions transportation system. The City of Columbus, Columbus Partnership, OSU, COTA, Battelle, Franklin County, Resource/Ammirati, Nationwide, AEP Ohio and Honda were major partners that participated in the project.

Gahanna City Councilmember Karen Angelou was recognized with the William H. Anderson Excellence in Public Service Award.  The William H. Anderson Award recognizes a current or past board member who exemplifies outstanding leadership, a vision for the community and the region, and commitment to MORPC. William H. Anderson, a longtime MORPC board member, was the epitome of a civic volunteer who is remembered for his zeal with which he championed MORPC's mission and goals.

Angelou was elected to Gahanna City Council in 1981 and has served for 22 years.  Angelou has been a member of MORPC’s board since 2012.  She served on the Executive Committee in 2014 and has been a member of the Executive Search Committee, the Boundaries Task Force and served as Chair on the Nominations Committee in 2017.

Patrick Losinski, Chief Executive Officer of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, is the recipient of the Regional Leadership Award.  First introduced in 1997, the Regional Leadership Award recognizes individuals in a 15-county region (Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Hocking, Knox, Licking, Logan, Madison, Marion, Morrow, Perry, Pickaway, Ross and Union counties) who make extraordinary efforts to ensure the future viability of the region's communities. The Regional Leadership Award is derived from the Commission's continuing dedication to addressing issues that transcend community boundaries and to stimulating visionary thinking.

Under Losinski’s leadership, Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) has reinvented itself through its 2020 Vision Plan, an ambitious, $130-million capital improvement program currently underway that touches 10 library locations throughout Central Ohio. Recognizing that many CML locations can no longer meet the needs of our growing communities and that library usage has changed, Losinski ensured that CML was positioned to bring 21st century libraries to our region.  Through these new branches, CML is better equipped to serve customers throughout the region, especially the most vulnerable.