It was nearly 20 years ago that Kevin Johnson stood in his new Music Go Round franchise on Bethel Road, holding the trumpet he played in his high school band, while a Columbus Dispatch photographer snapped a shot for a story about the business.

It was nearly 20 years ago that Kevin Johnson stood in his new Music Go Round franchise on Bethel Road, holding the trumpet he played in his high school band, while a Columbus Dispatch photographer snapped a shot for a story about the business.

Almost two decades later, Johnson stood in pretty much the same spot, trumpet in hand, this time posing for a photo as the 2016 Clintonville Area Chamber of Commerce Businessperson of the Year.

Johnson's business and residence are in northwest Columbus, but he has a soft spot for Clintonville and lived in the neighborhood for many years.

"Once a Clintonville guy, always a Clintonville guy," said Steve Devlin, a member of the chamber and Clintonville Networking Group who nominated Johnson for the honor.

"Kevin has been a member of the chamber since 2009," Devlin wrote on the nomination form. "Kevin has served on the boards of charitable organizations and schools and is a generous supporter of chamber events."

In addition, Devlin said Johnson assists in the annual Cruise the Ville event, attends chamber luncheons and "expresses to the rest of the chamber and the rest of the community what our mission is."

Music Go Round is a franchise operation with more than 30 stores around the country where people can buy and sell used instruments and equipment.

Johnson's Bethel Road store was the second in Ohio when it opened in 1996.

Although Johnson said he always wanted to own his own business when growing up in Groveport, he had that thrust on him much earlier in life than he anticipated.

He was in graduate school at Kent State University and working for Smucker's in Akron when he lost his job. Wanting to return to central Ohio, he noticed an ad in The Dispatch for a business opportunity, and it seemed like a good fit.

"My perception was Columbus gets the 'used' concept, but no one was in the musical-instrument side of it," he recalled.

Johnson opened his second central Ohio Music Go Round, this one in Gahanna, in 2000. He also is part-owner of one in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Although he moved from Clintonville across the river to northwest Columbus, the old neighborhood is special to him.

"People in Clintonville seem to have an acute appreciation for creativity," Johnson said. "I feel like I'm a Clintonville person. A lot of people come from Clintonville just across the river."

The Businessperson of the Year Award was gratifying, he added.

"I thought it was pretty cool. It's always nice to get an award and feel like you've done a good job."

Recent Businessperson of the Year winners include Addie Davis-Holsinger, ReMax Capital Centre; Jessica Kehn, Artisan Dance Studio; Kristen Steinhausser, Clintonville Woman's Club; Laura Zimmerman, Clintonville Farmers Market; and Carmen Rincones, California Concept Cuts.

Johnson will be honored, along with the Business of the Year and the ThisWeek Booster Volunteer of the Year, during the chamber's Celebrate Clintonville awards dinner and auction fundraiser, set for 6 p.m. March 4 at the Clintonville Woman's Club, 3951 N. High St.

The public is invited. Reservations must be made by Wednesday, Feb. 24. For more information, call the chamber at 614-262-2790.

@KevinParksTW1