NextGen

Columbus’ commitment to building a talented workforce of the future means celebrating the excellence of the young people already striving to make our community exceptional. The Columbus Young Professionals (CYP) and the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce are proud to host the NextGen Awards in an effort to raise the visibility of emerging talent and highlight individual achievement this year at the NextGen Awards Ceremony Luncheon. The awards will recognize four deserving individuals and one business selected for their selfless leadership, intelligence, exuberance and dedication to improving the community.

Finalists and winner will be announced at the NextGen Awards Ceremony Luncheon on Friday, September 7, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. at The Commons in downtown Columbus. We welcome Keynote Speaker Max Yoder, Co-founder and CEO of Lessonly. Ticket sales will begin in July – details coming soon!


Online nominations will be accepted beginning Friday, June 1, 2018 thru Friday, July 27, 2018 at 11:59 p.m.

Nomination Form

An award winner is selected for each of the following categories:

  • YP Volunteer of the Year – This award is presented to a young professional whose extraordinary civic engagement, philanthropy, volunteerism, and public service has benefited the community.
  • YP Innovator of the Year – This award is presented to a young professional whose innovation, entrepreneurial vision, courage, and leadership has made a positive impact in the community.
  • YP Educator of the Year – This award is presented to a young professional who has demonstrated initiative, creativity and excellence in an education role, has taken on leadership roles in the community and acted as role model to those around them.
  • Unsung Hero – This award recognizes a public service leader who has operated behind the scenes, silently working in a dedicated and committed fashion, without the limelight, who has laid the foundation for stellar public service results and has created positive change in their organization and community.
  • NextGen Business of the Year– This award is presented to a Columbus business or organization that complements workplace culture among millennial employees with a commitment to attracting, retaining and developing the young, professional workforce.

  1. For each category, nominees must:
  • Be age 21-40 and living/working in Bartholomew County
  • Have made an impact on their work or their colleagues
  • Continue to strive for excellence and advance their organization’s mission in a positive manner
  1. Anyone can submit a nomination, and self-nominations are permitted.
  2. For the individual categories, nominees should be between the ages of 21 and 40, and must be living and/or working in Bartholomew County.
  3. For the business category, the business must operate within Bartholomew County.
  4. A nominee can be submitted in multiple categories, but cannot win in multiple categories.

Each nominee will be thoughtfully considered for the award by a selection committee made up of members from the Columbus Young Professionals and Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Finalists and winners will be announced at the NextGen Awards Ceremony Luncheon on Friday, September 7, 2018 at The Commons in downtown Columbus.

The selection committee will score each nominee based solely on what is provided via the nomination form and finalists will be selected based on:

  • The impact they have made on their work or their colleagues
  • Their leadership qualities
  • Their commitment to continuously improve the quality of life in our community
  • Their ability to make positive change happen

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have questions? Please contact the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce:

  • Director of Marketing and Programs: Liz Worthington, liz@columbusareachamber.com
  • Phone: 812-379-4457
  • Address: 500 Franklin St. Columbus, IN 47201

2017 NextGen Leader of the Year, Josh Burnett

2017 NextGen Awards Ceremony Luncheon Photos

Photo Credit: Ali Elizabeth Photography