Nov. 6, 2016

Josh Burnett has been named the October winner in the Next Generation Leadership program sponsored by the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce and the Columbus Young Professionals group. One young professional from the Columbus community is chosen each month of 2016 in the areas of life, community and work as someone who exemplifies leadership skills. Burnett was nominated in the “life” category. The Republic is introducing the winners each month through this column.

Name: Josh Burnett

Age: 28

City of residence: Columbus

Family: Wife, Katie; two sons, Will and Ryan

Education: Columbus East High School and Cincinnati Christian University with a bachelor of science in biblical studies.

Your job: I am the communications director at The Ridge. I lead our social media presence, email marketing and our promotional calendar. I also own Burnett Collective, a social media marketing company committed to helping people grow their social influence.

How many years have you lived in Columbus?

I was born in Columbus and have lived in the Columbus area almost all of my life.

What are your activities and interests in Columbus?

I enjoy volunteering at my church (The Ridge), watching our children participate in Columbus activities and attending local events that celebrate Columbus.

The Columbus Young Professionals say you were nominated in the life category. Give us some examples of ways you lead in the Columbus community through your life and activities.

Over the last few years, my wife has struggled with chronic health problems. As a way of handling the pressure of taking care of my wife and our sons, I started a web show on Facebook called The #celebratecolumbus show, highlighting special people, places and businesses/organizations in our community. It has been viewed over 400,000 times. These episodes have made a direct economic impact on local businesses, brought awareness to causes and celebrated individuals that are making a positive difference in our community. The positive theme in the show has encouraged many in our community who are often brought down by the negative nature of news sources. It is my way of focusing on the good in spite of the struggles my family has been facing.

What types of volunteer activities are you involved in? Why were you attracted to those volunteer opportunities?

I currently volunteer at our church (The Ridge) and with Columbus Young Professionals (CYP). Our family has always valued faith and serving our community.

If you could change Columbus in any way, what would that change be?

I would encourage Columbus to set the bar for the nation to make the city 100 percent accessible to people with disabilities. Currently 17 percent of Bartholomew County have disabilities.

What do you think shouldn’t change about Columbus, and why?

I would like to see Columbus continue to strive for excellence in all we do. This approach will continue to prepare our youth for the future and push our current leaders to continue to build on our existing legacy.

When you talk about Columbus to those who don’t live here, how do you describe it?

I talk about how it is the best place in the world to raise a family. It has a small town feel with access to big cities in every direction. More than anything, it’s home.

If someone asked you what they could do to help the community of Columbus, what would you advise them to do?

I would encourage them to look at their passions, skills and current realities that frustrate them. With these three in mind, I would ask them to be the change they want to see in our community. In Columbus, there will always be a place for people who want to make a positive impact on our community.