COLUMBUS – Experience Columbus introduced numerous changes to its board of directors at the organization’s board meeting, held this morning via Zoom.
Janelle N. Coleman, vice president, corporate philanthropy and community engagement at American Electric Power (AEP), and president of the AEP Foundation, is the new chair of the destination marketing organization’s board of directors. Coleman has more than 20 years of experience in community engagement and corporate philanthropy, having served at the helm of several major organizations including the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and L Brands, Inc.
Coleman has served on the Experience Columbus board of directors since 2016, and her term as chair succeeds that of Cathy Lyttle, senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Worthington Industries, who has served as chair since 2018. Lyttle joined the Experience Columbus board in 2014 and will conclude her term in 2022.
“Experience Columbus’ work is vital to the success of our community and I am looking forward to building on Cathy’s achievements as we continue to raise the profile of Columbus across the country,” said Coleman.
“I can’t thank Cathy enough for her leadership, advocacy and mentorship. Cathy led Experience Columbus through our record-breaking year in 2019 as well as the devastation the pandemic has wrought on the travel economy with unwavering grace,” said Brian Ross, president and CEO of Experience Columbus.
Additional changes to the Experience Columbus board include welcoming three new members:
- Paul Patton, senior advisor to the president and interim senior vice president for talent, culture and human resources at The Ohio State University: An accomplished executive with a strong background in human resources, labor relations, operations, government affairs and communications, Patton has held a number of leadership roles in both the public and private sector. Before The Ohio State University, he has had positions at The State University of New York, Yale New Haven Health, OhioHealth, MetroHealth and the City of Cleveland. With extensive community and civic involvement, Patton is committed to helping others achieve their full potential.
- Yohannon Terrell, CEO of Warhol & WALL ST.: An award-winning marketing professional with over 15 years of progressive experience in all aspects of successful traditional, nontraditional, experiential and digital marketing and multi-media. In addition to running his marketing firm, his latest endeavor has been founding and directing the Columbus Fashion Alliance, which seeks to empower Columbus in being a world-renowned fashion capital and the number one place in which brands and creatives come to start and/or grow their fashion based businesses. Education and exposure are just a couple of words that describe Yohannan’s passion for impacting his community.
- Shereen Khanuja, vice president of business development at Root Insurance: With nearly 15 years of experience, Khanuja has honed skills in financial modeling, forecasting and cross functional team leadership from major tech firms including Intel Corporation and Twitter.
Bruce Harkey, president and CEO of Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, has concluded his time on the board following eight years of service.
“We’d like to thank Bruce for his dedication and leadership as our organization experienced strong growth in the years prior to the COVID-19 crisis,” stated Ross.
Experience Columbus is the destination marketing organization for the Columbus region, dedicated to growing visitor spending and enhancing the visitor experience. Annually, visitors make 43 million trips to Greater Columbus for conventions, trade shows, sporting events and leisure visits, spending $7.6 billion and supporting nearly 78,600 jobs. For more information, visit experiencecolumbus.com.