Columbus Named Indiana Community of the Year

Columbus, Indiana is the complete package. A robust business climate, philanthropic spirit, exceptional workforce and quality of life opportunities illustrate what a thriving place it is. One that’s punctuated by magnificent architecture, which makes it a destination for visitors and attraction for residents. In recognition, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce is honoring Columbus as its 2022 Cummins Community of the Year.

With a population of approximately 50,000, Columbus is home to a booming manufacturing industry, which employs 39% of the city’s workforce in areas ranging from automotive, electronics, aerospace and more. It’s also full of diversity, with one of 10 residents born elsewhere. Throughout the schools, 54 different languages are spoken.

“Columbus possesses the rural feel of a small, Midwestern community along with the talent, innovation and culture typically found in large cities. The mix is dynamite,” says Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar. “The Indiana Chamber is delighted to acknowledge the employers and individuals there who are driving progress and positively impacting lives.”

Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop offers, “We want to be the best community of our size in the country. You may be familiar with the notion of a BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goal – that’s what we more or less adopted here in Columbus. It’s the kind of thing that, while different people may define it differently, everybody understands that what we’re after here is excellence.”

“Receiving this honor is validation that our many efforts are having the impact we intended. I’m so pleased to accept this recognition on behalf of every business and every citizen in Columbus.”

Columbus was selected earlier this summer by a five-person Indiana Chamber panel after a thorough review of all cities under consideration. Those nominations came from the communities themselves or through individuals recognizing an area’s progress and commitment to its businesses and citizens.

Columbus was one of the Indiana Chamber’s first community of the year recipients – back in 1992. The city will be presented the latest honor at the Indiana Chamber’s 33rd Annual Awards program on Nov. 16 at the Indiana Convention Center. A table of 10 in the Columbus Community of the Year section is $1,650 and individual tickets are $165 each. All can be purchased online at or by calling (800) 824-6885.

The ceremony will feature three other statewide honors: the Ogletree Deakins Business Leader of the Year, Birch Bayh-Richard Lugar Government Leader of the Year and the NextEra Energy Resources Dynamic Leader of the Year. The awards for government and dynamic leaders will be announced in September.

The most recent Indiana Chamber Community of the Year recipients are: 2021: Greater Lafayette; 2020: Fort Wayne; 2019: Plymouth; 2018: Jasper; 2017: Goshen; 2016: Fishers; 2015: Carmel; 2014: Bloomington; 2013: Bedford; 2012: Indianapolis; 2011: Kokomo; and 2010: Terre Haute.