Youth seekers

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Three generations of Columbus leaders came together on one panel last week with hopes of encouraging more participation from those in the younger end of that spectrum.

The forum, "The Times They Are A-Changin'," was sponsored by the Columbus Metropolitan Club's CMCpm series for young professionals.

The panelist ranged from established to emerging leaders: Columbus Partnership President Bob Milbourne, OSU's Assistant Vice President of Government Relations Dawn Tyler Lee and Rob Emerich, founder of the Karen Emerich Foundation cancer charity.

Each of them spoke about how it's important to have community leaders from all walks of life, and about what it takes to make a difference.

"There are two sides to being a leader -- privilege and responsibility. It is a privilege to be a leader for a generation, and the other side is the responsibility that involves a lot of sacrifice," Emerich said.

All three panelists agreed the leadership in Central Ohio is positive and well-organized, but said there's always room for improvement. Tyler Lee would like to see more diversity among city leaders, while Milbourne said they could act more quickly when completing a project.

While Emerich admits to the need for a more youthful representation, he said there's great potential for the future. "One of the great strengths [in Columbus] is its size. It allows us to create access for younger people. We can leverage younger people by giving them important roles, putting them in a position to do something important," he said.