Skip to main content
Top Button
Michael B. Coleman is the Partner-in-Charge of Ice Miller’s Government Law Group and Vice Chair of the Public Affairs Group. Michael also participates in the Internet of Things and Real Estate Development Groups. Michael is also the former Mayor and CEO of the City of Columbus, Ohio. As Partner In-Charge of the Government Law Group, Michael leads Ice Miller's legal and professional team in Ohio in connection with the challenges and opportunities of creating partnerships between business and government, real estate development in Central Ohio, economic development and financing, government regulatory matters and local, state and federal administrative and legislative government relations. 

Michael led the City of Columbus through numerous racial equity, diversity and inclusion issues; including but not limited to, multiple issues involving the U.S. Department of Justice and the Division of Police in the city, minority business development initiatives, immigration policy matters and racial justice issues. Michael frequently advises government and business leaders regarding race, inclusion, equity and diversity issues. He is a frequent speaker and author on issues involving racial justice in the black community in America.

Racial Equity Solutions CTA

Coleman also serves on the Board of Directors of Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. (ADS) [NYSE: WMS]. ADS is a leading manufacturer of high performance thermoplastic pipe and water management products with more than 60 plants and 30 distribution centers serving customers in all 50 US states and approximately 80 countries world wide. Michael also serves as a member of the Audit Committee of ADS. 

Michael brings to Ice Miller’s clients his considerable experience in successfully matching the resources of government with the needs of businesses to build and grow thriving businesses and real estate developments. He also brings his experience in mixed-use and multifamily residential development in the urban environment. Coleman also provides clients opportunities to advance Smart City concepts.

Michael's practice includes such clients as Kaufman Development, Schiff Capital, Franklin County Convention Authority, Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, Marshall University, American Electric Power, The Smoot Construction Company, Columbus Regional Airport Authority, Orange Barrel Media, DLZ Corporation, Crew S.C., The Columbus Partnership and others.

Michael served as Mayor of Columbus, Ohio from 2000 to 2015. As Mayor, Michael built Columbus’ reputation as one of the best cities in the nation by building stronger, safer neighborhoods; creating jobs and maintaining a high quality of life. Columbus is the 14th largest city in the nation, the largest city in Ohio and the fastest growing city in the Midwest. 
As Mayor, Michael led a city of 825,000 residents and 9,000 employees and was responsible for managing all financial, budgetary and economic development matters and sourcing of private investments in support of urban development initiatives. Among his greatest accomplishments, as Chief Executive Officer for the City of Columbus, Michael:
  • Led all the economic development, business expansion, relocation and job development efforts and activities, including zoning, planning and policymaking for the City.
  • Leveraged private sector partnerships, real estate development transactions, economic policies and quality of life enhancements to create 40,000 net new jobs.
  • Pioneered an urban development strategy to attract new businesses and expand emerging companies within Columbus. Secured $7 billion in private investment support since 2000.
  • Transformed Downtown Columbus into a vibrant business and residential center. Procured $1.6 billion in new investments, created over 2,700 new jobs, decreased office vacancy rates to 11 percent from 24 percent since 2002, added new hotels and businesses and approximately 7,000 condos and apartments.
  • Gained national recognition for leading Columbus to the 4th best economy in the U.S. among all major cities.
  • Renovated and rejuvenated multiple distressed neighborhoods through new partnerships, employment, infrastructure, health care and housing programs that resulted in thousands of new, affordable housing opportunities.
  • Maintained a AAA credit rating and a positive financial outlook from all three major rating agencies.
  • Implemented $260 million in operating expense savings over ten years by aligning employee benefits with the market, limiting overtime and investing in technology and energy efficiency. Michael also left a $69.8 million rainy day fund and saved over $187 million by spending less money than budgeted.
  • Developed and maintained 16 annual capital budgets ranging from $200 to $800 million per year.
  • Organized, cofounded or established 41 organizations, corporations or programs in support of economic development, housing, safety, education, health and diversity.
  • Led redevelopment of the downtown riverfront through the Scioto Mile and Scioto Greenways projects, attracting new residential expansion, tourism and local business.
  • Led the merger of the Columbus Airport Authority and the Rickenbacker Port Authority into the Columbus Regional Airport Authority in 2003. The new organization provided strategic operations and more efficient services.
  • Managed local water, energy and sewer utilities within a complex matrix of federal and state laws and regulations...
Prior to his term as Mayor, Michael was a partner with the law firm of Schottenstein Zox & Dunn Co., LPA (SZD), which combined with Ice Miller in 2012. As an attorney, Michael offered legal guidance to regional businesses and real estate developers in key areas, including business law, zoning and securities law. Michael also managed mergers and acquisitions for domestic, multinational and minority-owned businesses.

Michael also served as City Council President for the City of Columbus, Ohio from 1997 to 1999 and as a member of City Council from 1992 to 1999. Early in his career, Michael was an Assistant Attorney General for the state of Ohio. He also served as a legislative assistant for two years before joining SZD as an associate in 1984.
Michael has been recognized as a national leader by numerous media sources, including Time Magazine, The New York Times, The Columbus Dispatch and Yahoo! News. Michael earned Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 designation for being one of the most influential and intriguing African Americans in the country and was recognized by Government Technology magazine as one of the Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers. Michael was also critically involved in the effort, which ultimately earned the City of Columbus the designation as the Most Intelligent Community in the World by the Intelligent Community Forum. 
Michael is a frequent speaker on issues involving economic development, neighborhood revitalization, environmental stewardship and leadership and speaks regularly at conferences and events throughout the country. 
Michael earned his law degree from the University of Dayton Law School and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Cincinnati. 

Ice TV
Published In
  • Coleman, M. (2022, August) Thirteen Black philanthopists to know in Columbus.  Columbus Dispatch.
  • Business First, (2021, May) "The 2021 Power 100: Here are Columbus' most influential leaders, Part 1."
  • Coleman, M (2020, June) Don't waste this moment to finally deal with racism. Columbus Dispatch.
  • Coleman, M. (2020, May) Dispatch editorial insensitive to female, black contractors. Columbus Dispatch.
  • Business First, (2020, April) "The Power 100".
  • Coleman, M. (2020, April) How Columbus is Handling the Coronavirus Crisis. Columbus Dispatch.
  • Coleman, M. (2018, July). The Radical Middle. Columbus Dispatch.
  • Columbus CEO, (2017, April) "Sealing the Deal - Columbus dealmakers tell what it take to reach agreements that shape the region."
  • Business First, (2015, November). “Mayor Coleman to rejoin law firm, with a focus on economic development.” 
  • Coleman, M. (2014, August 24). Ferguson Has Important Lessons for Cities Nationwide. The Columbus Dispatch.
  • Coleman, M. (2014, April 9). Other Cities Should Help Detroit Get Back on its Feet. Detroit Free Press, pp. A11
  • Coleman, M. (2010, November 7). Mudslinging is Bad for Democracy. The Columbus Dispatch.
  • Coleman, M. (2008, November 9). Great Expectations of Black Community are a Hurdle for Obama. The Columbus Dispatch.
Speaking Engagements
  • “Everyone Can Be a Leader,” Leadership Ohio, May 12,2022
  • “Bringing Downtown Back Downtown,” The Review Club May 6, 2022 
  • Keynote speaker at the Nationwide Insurance Unity Day, June 19, 2020.
  • American Institute of Architects, April 30, 2020. Topic: Leadership and Mentorship.
  • Central Ohio Honors, Feb. 21, 2020. 
  • The Greater Des Moines Partnership, Oct. 23, 2019. Addressed 20 business and community leaders from Des Moines. 
  • L-Brands Finance Community, Oct. 18, 2019.
  • Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority Community Event, Sept. 18, 2019. Addressed Economic Development best practices and public, private collaboration.
  • MedVet
  • Michael spoke at the Harvard Business School, Young American Leaders Program (YALP) Boot Camp on June 11, 2018. The Boot Camp focused on cross-sector collaboration and a dynamic interactive fireside chat among 120 emerging leaders from 12 U.S. cities (Columbus, Ohio).
  • Sustainable Smart Cities Research; May 2017, Topic: Development and the impact of the IoT on Alexandria, Egypt.
  • Smart City NYC '17, Topic: Columbus Goes Electric
  • 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
  • Michael has spoken at numerous engagements regarding economic development and Smart Cities.
  • Michael has been a commencement speaker at 6 colleges where he received honorary degrees. 
  • CEOs for Cities 2016 National Meeting, Sept. 28, 2016 Topic: What Makes Columbus Work
View Full Site View Mobile Optimized