Inspire the World Day Recap

Inspire the World Day was an incredible success and a shining example of what can be accomplished when a community comes together. The turnout and energy was off the charts!

Many of our residents and guests moved through The Gramercy commons throughout the day trying different sessions such as kickboxing, trail runs, TRX training, cardio dance, CrossFit, Yoga, nutrition, essential oils and aromatherapy. There were 5 to 6 different choices during each hour, then participants would rotate to the next session. Lunch was catered by COSI and was highlighted by a conversation with Brandon Wynn.

Thanks to each and every person who helped make this day possible!

Grow Your Charitable Spirit Here


At Kaufman Development, we believe that giving back to the community is a win-win situation. When people get involved, it improves the health and well-being of both the receiver—and the giver. With that in mind, Kaufman Development is partnering with the Community Shelter Board (CSB) to create a range of opportunities for our residents to get involved. Because we build places for people to live, it seemed like a good idea to join the fight against homelessness. Here’s how you can help.

• Corporate Support: To demonstrate our commitment to the community and the need to end homelessness, Kaufman Development is donating $1 per month to the CSB for every Kaufman resident. That means you’re already giving back, simply by living in a Kaufman community.

• On-Site Connections: Donate personal items for people who are experiencing homelessness or transitioning to a place of their own. Simply drop your personal items in the box located on site at all Kaufman Development communities. From diapers to deodorant, we’ll keep you informed about much-needed items so you can help to meet immediate needs when they occur.

• Tours and Service Opportunities: From serving a meal to tutoring a child, there are numerous ways to give back to your community. Call them field trips if you like, but we will be opening the door to many on-site service opportunities. For up-to-date information, check the calendar at or Or simply plan a visit the Community Shelter Board to learn more about the organization’s mission.

One Day to End Homelessness: With homelessness on the rise, there is no better time than the present to get involved. The Community Shelter Board is asking homeowners and renters to donate a day’s worth of their rent or mortgage to the cause. It’s an opportunity to step up to the plate and do something about the problem. The CSB is partnering with 10 TV and the Dispatch Media Group in this effort. To date, they’ve signed on 2,700 new donors.

Candle with a Cause: When residents move into a Kaufman community, they receive a welcome basket that includes, among other things, a candle from Candle with a Cause. Proceeds from the sale of these candles go to the Community Shelter Board. We hope the candles serve as a constant reminder of the work being done to end homelessness.

In the words of CSB Executive Director Michelle Heritage, “Homelessness is not incurable. We can end it in our community. And when people get involved, we get closer to that reality.”

Ignite Your Passion for Fitness


At Kaufman Development, we want to help fuel your wellness journey. One way we accomplish this goal is to make it easy for you to participate in healthy activities without leaving the community where you live. Here’s how it works.

Inspire the World Day

For starters, Inspire the World Day will take place on August 18 at The Gramercy in New Albany. Led by fitness expert Julie Wilkes, the day includes a lineup of classes and events designed to help you stay fit and improve your wellness. Proceeds from the event will benefit two charities—Cody’s Wish (Make-A-Wish Foundation) and Mats for Paws.

“I want to show people that it’s not always about going to the gym and lifting weights,” says Wilkes. “It’s about teaching the body to be healthy.” In that regard, the day is planned so that people at varying levels of fitness can participate—including beginners. Wilkes calls it a “healthy party,” and she is quick to add that live music, healthy snacks and fun will take center stage at the event.

Wilkes makes it her mission to teach people how to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. She was born with a congenital heart defect, and doctors initially gave her a life expectancy of only 12 years. But as she grew older and incorporated fitness into her life, her heart condition improved. At the age of 24, Wilkes ran a marathon to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and since that time, she’s been sharing her passion for health and fitness with others. “My life was meant to show that you can overcome,” she says. “I want to inspire others.” Today, Wilkes reaches a wide audience through her many videos, newspaper and magazine columns, and very soon—with her new book.

Thanks to help from sponsors like lululemon athletica, OXYwater, Kaufman Development, Cosi, and more, Inspire the World Day will include five sessions of your choice, a happy hour luau, words of inspiration from keynote speaker Brandon Wynn, and a hefty dose of inspiration from top leaders in the fitness, nutrition and wellness industry. Find out more at

Fitness in the City

Fitness in the City is another initiative designed to positively impact the community with a passion for healthy, active living. “Fitness is everywhere,” says Rokki Bonner, fitness guru and owner of Personal Fitness Navigators. “We want to share our passion for fitness and to assist the community to lead healthy and more vibrant lives.” To accomplish this goal, Bonner and local fitness trainer Charles Gibson will lead on-site training and group classes at The Gramercy, including everything from yoga and Pilates to nutrition and healthy eating. “This is for everybody at all levels of fitness. We can modify a program to start from the beginning if necessary,” she says. “If you don’t know where to start, we are here to break it down and navigate you through that.”

Personal Fitness Navigators is also partnering with Kaufman Development to bring Fitness in the City to The Gramercy. This event is a great opportunity to get a good workout while having fun, according to Bonner. It will feature exercise, dance, TRX, yoga, Zumba, a live DJ, and the opportunity to network and socialize in a fun atmosphere. A fitness professional for the past 15 years, Bonner is dedicated to positively impacting people’s lives on a daily basis. “I want to get people to dig deep and change,” she says. Even better, it all takes place in your Kaufman community.

For more information about Fitness in the City, visit

Community Ambassadors Drive the Kaufman Philosophy

Kaufman Development is created on the belief that communities of high design built around wellness, philanthropy, sustainability and innovation can change the world. Our communities and the people that work and live in them will stand out in every way; beautiful from the inside out, filled with passion and inspiration everywhere you turn. The best way to demonstrate how this works is to take a closer look at the people who help to make it happen—our community ambassadors.

Meet Reika Oda. Reika moved to Columbus after completing an undergraduate degree in social work from Asbury University. She was looking for a way to infuse more creativity into what she had learned, and she dreamed of creating sewing jobs for women in third-world countries as a way to help them support themselves and their families. After a short stint working for Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, she met Brett Kaufman who recruited her to be a part of the Kaufman team. “I am really interested in philanthropy and sustainability, and I could tell that Brett had something special in mind,” she says. “It was genuine and awesome, and I wanted to be a part of that.” At Kaufman, Reika may not be teaching people to sew, but she recognized that Brett is pursuing his vision, and that inspired her to join the team.

Today Reika is excited to participate in everything the Kaufman community has to offer. For starters, she can’t wait to join the community gardening effort and generally looks forward to encouraging and inspiring others to act on their own passions. “It’s really cool to see shared interests being executed,” she says.

Now that Reika has gotten to know more people in the area, Columbus is starting to feel like home. As a resident of the Short North, she likes to pedal her bike throughout the neighborhood. When time allows, she prefers to hang out with friends in her own backyard, along with a glass of wine, a good meal and fun conversation.

Meet Lauren Behrendt. Lauren joined the Kaufman team after working for another property management group for several years. She recalls what she now refers to as an “aha” moment during her interview for the job. “I realized that Kaufman is different from other management companies,” she explains. “I am really interested in philanthropy and the opportunity to give back and work with people, and that is a large part of what Kaufman Development is all about.”

An artist at heart, Lauren earned a bachelor’s degree in art education from Ohio State University and has already started to pursue a master’s degree in the same field. In her spare time, she likes to do anything art-related, especially crafts, and she also enjoys reading. Lauren currently participates in art classes at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center and would be interested in someday teaching an art class for residents. Born and raised in Columbus, she now lives in the Short North, which she calls her hub.

Lauren is excited about her role at Kaufman Development and hopes to involve herself in its philanthropic endeavors. As the organization moves forward with plans to partner with the Community Shelter Board, Lauren sees herself participating in a number of ways, from transporting residents to serving meals.

Like everything at Kaufman, passion drives action. These community ambassadors are evidence of that. They help to make it real as they focus on building a community where personal interests and the overall project come together.