New Albany Company Cofounder Receives COSI Award

Jack Kessler, owner of the John W. Kessler Company and co-founder and chairman of The New Albany Company, was honored with the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) John Glenn Inspiration Award at the organization’s annual spring fundraiser. The award recognizes “individuals who dedicate their lives to inspiring others for the benefit of humankind.” Kessler, who cofounded The New Albany Company with Les Wexner, is one of central Ohio’s most accomplished real estate developers and influential civic leaders.

COSI honored Kessler for his role in helping to found and lead the Columbus Partnership, his development of New Albany into a perennial top-five best place to live in the United States and his community engagement, “really embodying what the great John Glenn was,” COSI President and CEO Frederic Bertley said. For Kessler, the award is especially personal because of his decades-long friendship with Glenn. “Anything connected to John in that manner is a compliment, and it’s a great honor,” Kessler said.

Kessler single-handedly secured state action to rename Columbus’ airport as John Glenn International Airport, and he worked with The Ohio State University after Glenn left the Senate to help create the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, initially an institute dedicated to developing public service professionals.

When COSI decided to create the John Glenn Inspiration Award, the science museum secured Kessler’s input and service as the first chair of the committee governing the program. Kessler called COSI a community treasure and is pleased the award named for Glenn “will help keep his legacy alive.”