News & Press
WESTERVILLE, OH – The Champion Companies along with Columbus Business First Magazine, announced that Michelle Yeager-Thornton, Champion’s co-founder and COO, has been selected as a 40 Under 40 program honoree for 2017.
The longest-running program at Business First, 40 Under 40 is in its 25th year and recognizes individuals under the age of 40 who are making great strides as community leaders to shape the future of Central Ohio. The 40 Under 40 program is a highly selective annual program and the 25th class was chosen from a field of more than 280 nominations.
“I am very honored to have been selected as a 40 Under 40 recipient,” Yeager-Thornton said. “To be included among some of the most accomplished community and business leaders in Central Ohio is humbling.”
“We are fortunate to work every day in such a vibrant, forward-thinking city,” she added. “Participating in the growth and progress of Columbus is important to me, because it’s not only where we do business, but it is where I was raised, and am raising my own family.”
In her role at Champion, Yeager-Thornton is responsible for setting the operational strategy, driving execution and creating best practices for Champion. In just seven years, she has overseen the growth of Champion from only 128 apartment homes in two locations, to its current portfolio of nearly 5,000 apartments across 13 different locations.
Her leadership at Champion has resulted in Yeager-Thornton being acknowledged by Smart Business Magazine as a Smart 50 award winner and has also led Champion to becoming a Columbus Business First Fast 50 company for five consecutive years.
In addition to her professional contributions, Yeager-Thornton prides herself on leading Champion’s philanthropic initiatives, namely The Champion Cares Foundation.
The Champion Cares Foundation has received recognition several times for its contributions to those in need. It earned a Corporate Caring Award in 2015, as well as a Medical Mutual Pillar Award for Community Service in 2015 and 2017.
“I attribute all of these achievements to the amazing support system that I have around me,” Yeager-Thornton said. “I share this 40 Under 40 honor with my family and the hard-working, passionate team that we have at Champion, who are the backbone of our growth and success.”
Yeager-Thornton will be honored at the Columbus Business First 40 Under 40 awards ceremony on May 25, 2017, at the Hollywood Casino Columbus. The 25th class of honorees will also be featured in the May 26, 2017 issue of Columbus Business First.
About The Champion Companies
Founded in 2010, Champion is a full-service, multi-family investment and management firm. Champion currently owns and manages nearly 5,000 apartments within Central Ohio, with 13 communities in the growing cities Columbus (Easton), Delaware, Dublin, Hilliard, Lewis Center (Polaris), Westerville and Worthington. Champion has been named a Columbus Business First Fast 50 company for five consecutive years. Champion has also been recognized for its philanthropic efforts, receiving a Columbus Business First Corporate Caring Award in 2015 and a Medical Mutual Pillar Award for Community Service in 2017.