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Champion honored at 2014 Smart 50 Awards

Champion Real Estate Services’ co-founder and chief operating officer, Michelle Yeager-Thornton, has been named a Smart Business Magazine Smart 50 Award honoree. The Smart 50 Awards, presented by Oswald Companies, recognizes the top executives in Central Ohio for their ability to effectively build and lead innovative and smart organizations.

Yeager-Thornton was honored among 49 other business leaders, joining Central Ohio’s inaugural Smart 50 class.

“I am humbled to be recognized alongside some of Columbus’ most prominent leaders,” Yeager-Thornton said. “The 2014 Smart 50 class includes some of the most accomplished company executives in Central Ohio, many of whom focus on providing for those less fortunate in our community.”

This year’s honorees were chosen for their ability to make a difference within their organizations and the region through their focus on innovation, impact and sustainability. The Smart 50 award honorees represent organizations of all shapes, sizes and industries, with leaders who have proven they can motivate and inspire people.

Earlier this year, Champion introduced a new philanthropic initiative, the Champion Cares Foundation, which gives residents at Champion apartment communities the option to round up their rent $1 each month. Champion then matches each one dollar donation and donates the proceeds to four Central Ohio charitable organizations.

“As the Central Ohio community has embraced our company, we have continually looked for ways to give back, which is why we launched the Champion Cares Foundation,” Yeager-Thornton said. “We wanted to build a program that would engage our residents and result in a greater impact on the community.”

Champion has been one of the fastest-growing companies in Central Ohio for the last three years. The company’s expansion has given it access to a large audience, and full-participation from Champion residents could result in over $72,000 a year to be split between the four charities.

“I am excited that our company is being recognized for its innovative strategies and efforts to impact the Central Ohio community,” Yeager-Thornton said.

“Moving into 2015, my goals as a business leader will remain the same. As we grow and scale our business, we will continue to make giving back to those in need a primary focus,” she added. “Because at the end of the day, making an impact on those less fortunate is really what it’s all about.”

About Champion Real Estate Services

Founded in 2010, Champion is a privately-held, fully-integrated, multi-family real estate firm. Champion is family-owned and operated and specializes in investment sales, property management and brokerage services in Central Ohio. Champion currently manages more than 4,100 apartments across 15 communities in the growing cities of Canal Winchester, Delaware, Dublin, Gahanna, Grove City, Hilliard, Lewis Center (Polaris), New Albany, Powell and Westerville. Champion has been recognized three years in a row as one of Central Ohio’s fastest growing companies by Columbus Business First’s Fast 50 list, ranking third in 2012, fifth in 2013 and ninth in 2014.