Community relations chief, Columbus Recreation and Parks Department
About: Sophia Fifner has been with the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department since 2017 where she manages a team of 13 community relations professionals and leads the team’s approach to attract, retain and grow nearly 150 corporate and athletic sponsors. She’s held previous roles at I Know I Can, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Nationwide Insurance and as a staff assistant to former Senator George Voinovich. Fifner has a B.A. in organizational communication from Miami University and a M.S. in marketing and communication from Franklin University. She and her husband live in northwest Columbus with their daughters Caroline and Hannah Grace.
Columbus needs hyper collaboration to lift up all communities and ensure all residents are moving forward.
Outside of work: Fifner works to be a change agent for issues regarding sexual assault and civic engagement. She serves on the Survivor Advisory Council of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, on the board of directors of the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio and is an alumna of the Jo Ann Davidson Leadership Institute and the John Glenn College of Public Affairs’ NEW Leadership program.
What does Columbus need to thrive? Columbus needs hyper collaboration to lift up all communities and ensure all residents are moving forward. I realize the ‘Columbus Way’ can be interpreted as somewhat obtuse or, in some circles, overused. However, now more than ever we need to establish more private-public partnerships to build and support the resources and organizations that make this city great.
Fifner’s idea: One suggestion is creating a forum for better collaboration between our social and economic sectors. If One Columbus’ mission is to be the most prosperous region in the United States by improving our community’s economic and social well-being. I think a forum for input and results would be a great forward thinking event that this team could coordinate and execute.