Smart Business Magazine Honors PAST Foundation & CEO for Excellence in Innovation

October 27, 2016

The 2016 Smart 50 Awards are out. Smart Business magazine honored 50 of Central Ohio’s Top Executives at Tuesday’s awards ceremony recognizing these businesses for their innovation, impact, and sustainability – the tenets of Smart Business. According to Smart Business, The 50 award recipients, “all shared the common trait of passion.”

From within the impressive list of honorees, Smart Business Awards sponsors announced the three top recipients for Innovation, Impact, and Sustainability. PAST Foundation’s President & CEO, Dr. Annalies Corbin, successfully garnered one of the coveted Smart 50 Awards and the Foundation was honored with the Smart 50, top Innovation Award.

Innovation is not new to Corbin nor her passionate tribe of insightful innovators willing and able to imagine, prototype, and drive new ways of engaged learning and teaching powered by technology, design thinking, and partnerships. Over the past 16 years with Corbin in the lead PAST has reached out to states, districts, and schools across the US helping build exciting and engaging informal and formal educational programs aimed at better preparing students for an ever-changing world. “We are constantly looking for new ways to support the transformation of education and build strong partnerships with colleges and industry partners,” Corbin told the Smart 50 audience. Corbin and her team live this statement.  In January of 2016 PAST launched the first, independent R&D educational prototyping facility in the US, in Columbus. The 32,000 sf Innovation Lab provides K12, post secondary institutions, industry, and community organizations with a space free of constraints to design and test new educational programs that strengthen workforce development. Corbin concluded her address by inviting all honorees and their companies to visit the PAST Innovation Lab, adjacent to OSU west campus at 1003 Kinnear Road, Columbus, OH 43212.

PAST’s immersive student programs include the Hybrid Teaching Model and Learning Labs that blur the line between coursework and workforce development alongside informal bridge programs that accelerate STEM experiences after and out of school. PAST professional development works with administrators and teachers providing effective tools and training for transforming education, bringing transdisciplinary problem-based learning into classrooms. Integrated into all PAST programs is evidence-based research that continuously informs design and prototyping.

Pushing out across the US, PAST a non-profit foundation, has been nationally recognized for its role STEM education. Recently recognized for Excellence in Innovation in the STEM 2026 by the U.S. Department of Education, PAST was the only educational entity in Ohio to be included in this publication In 2014 & 2015, CGI America and former President Bill Clinton showcased PAST’s achievements in improving education in rural America.

For more information on PAST Foundation and how you can connect link learning to life, visit or contact Lori Trent at

To view the entire list of Smart 50 Honorees, please visit: