Born and raised in Columbus, John F. Wolfe’s deep love for his community was evident in his significant and steadfast commitment to civic engagement. His leadership and collaboration with others throughout his lifetime exemplifies ULI’s mission of creating and sustaining thriving communities. The award will recognize his many contributions to central Ohio’s built environment, as well as the family’s broader commitment to community building and supporting critical civic, charitable, and philanthropic endeavors.
Mr. Wolfe’s legacy will be honored at the ULI Columbus Awards for Excellence dinner on November 20, 2019, at the Columbus Museum of Art. ULI Columbus has emerged as a leading convener of expertise and analysis as well as a go-to source for insight on regional growth and development trends. ULI Columbus is also uniquely positioned to offer recognition and celebrate the region’s extraordinary growth in recent years, exemplified by a pipeline on transformative development projects throughout the region. Additional Information about the event can be found here. 2
John F. Wolfe was elected president of The Dispatch Printing Company in 1973. He served as the leader of The Columbus Dispatch, Dispatch Broadcast Group, and Wolfe Philanthropic organizations, among others, for over 40 years. Wolfe took great pride in the development of Columbus and the central Ohio region as well as the area’s leading institutions.
Through his service on the boards of many nonprofit organizations, in advisory and committee roles, and his philanthropy, Mr. Wolfe was instrumental in advancing community assets, such as The Ohio State University, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Franklin Park Conservatory, The Columbus Metropolitan Library, The Scioto Mile, The Columbus Zoo and many others.
In civic improvement organizations, Mr. Wolfe served as vice chairman of The Columbus Partnership (2002-2016) and vice chairman of The Columbus Downtown Development Corp. (2002-2016). Over his storied career, he served on the boards of more than 20 nonprofit organizations dedicated to improving the quality of life in central Ohio.
He was the recipient of numerous honors, including public service awards from the FBI, the Ohio Newspaper Association, the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, and the Ohio Hospital Association.
“John F. Wolfe was the quiet leader who was content to let others take the credit,” said ULI Columbus chairman Keith Myers. “He approached all community decisions with a north star guiding him, which was to consider the best interests in the long term for the city and those who live and work here.”
Mr. Wolfe’s award will be accepted by Ann Isaly Wolfe, his wife of over 50 years and his daughter, Katie Wolfe Lloyd.
“Our family is grateful and honored to accept the award on behalf of my father, who cared deeply about this community,” said Katie Wolfe. “His days were spent thinking about and working collaboratively on efforts that would advance Columbus and increase opportunity for all of its citizens. He preferred to work behind the scenes in his typical quiet style. Our family celebrates his love of Columbus acknowledged through the ULI Columbus Visionary Award.”
ULI Columbus seeks to advance its mission and continue serving as central Ohio’s most credible and impactful professional organization serving the broader land use and development community. ULI Columbus will also recognize best practices in central Ohio through this awards event with an application and jury review process of the following award types:
Excellence in Development Award – The award recognizes a transformational project that best exemplifies the development process. Winning projects represent the highest standards in the development industry—standards that ULI members deem worthy of attainment in their professional endeavors. Two projects are honored in this category—one with total project costs of less than $15 million, and one with total project costs of $15 million or more.
Community Impact Award – The award recognizes a public, private, or public/private project, building, program, or initiative that has had a measurable positive impact on a community or the central Ohio region. Examples include a civic use or space, park, plaza, infrastructure, or other physical development, or a program or initiative that has been underway for at least one year that has resulted in positive changes to the built environment. 3
About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (www.uli.org) is a global nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the institute has over 40,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.