Real People. Real Possibilities.
Those four words soon will appear on marketing materials, landmarks, water towers, signs and the arches above Main Street in Old Hilliard.
Hilliard Mayor Don Schonhardt unveiled the new tagline and accompanying logo at the conclusion of his State of the City address March 12.
As in past years, the mayor had a theme for his address, outlining a series of events in the recent past he called "game-changers" for Hilliard, peppering his address with the term while describing accomplishments of the city.
"The best aspect of a real game-changer is that it builds upon itself," Schonhardt said.
Schonhardt said the adoption of a comprehensive plan was the catalyst that helped define the city’s earliest "game-changer moments."
Schonhardt outlined successful job retention and expansion efforts involving Premium Beverage, Dish Network, e-Cycle and CBIZ Medical Management Professionals.
"These events, coupled with the quietly evolving local economy, resulted in income-tax growth of 7.8 percent in 2012," Schonhardt said. "This level of growth has been unheard of for years and certainly remained unexpected through the third quarter of 2012."
The future looks even more promising, Schonhardt said, as Verizon earlier this month announced the transfer of 1,500 employees from its Dublin office to Hilliard next year. The company also plans to create 500 new jobs in Hilliard.
Next, the mayor showcased Gateway at Hilliard, the development at the northwest corner of Cemetery Road and Britton Parkway that will result in construction of a Giant Eagle, an Ohio Health medical office, restaurants and 420 apartments.
"In total, this $9 million investment in our city will bring more than $26 million in new payroll to the city," he said.
Schonhardt called the project a “game-changer on many levels” because it delivers new customers to the local economy, delivers employers greater access to a quality labor pool, provides quality-of-life amenities and provides a desired “gateway to the Britton Parkway corridor.”
Schonhardt also highlighted two projects in Old Hilliard: the construction of Hilliard's Station Park at Main and Center streets and Landmark Lofts, a mixed-use residential and retail development at Cemetery Road and Franklin Street.
The pair of projects, when completed, "will provide the missing critical component to the heart of our community, real people," Schonhardt said.
At the end of his address, the mayor revealed the city's new logo and tagline, a phrase, he said, that "tells the story of what makes us unique, our people, our attitude and the possibilities that exist that make us a great community today and into the future."
The brand tagline was created by FrazierHeiby, the public relations and strategic marketing firm that gave Dublin the tagline "It's Greener in Dublin."
Doug Frazier, a co-owner and chief creative officer at FrazierHeiby, said the company worked with a team of Hilliard officials to create a "sound bite for the city."
"Our objective was to find a statement that defines Hilliard," Frazier said.
He said it was achieved through multiple interviews and distilling the results into a common theme, at the same time ensuring it was unique to Hilliard.
"'Real' was a word we kept coming back to, and we heard about the people so many times, too. ... It all led us to the real people, real possibilities (phrase) you see today," Frazier said.