Interview by Derek Grosso
At 24, Heather Atkins is quickly becoming a mover and shaker on the Columbus networking scene. In 2016 she launched a women’s initiative called L.I.F.T. – which stands for Learning & Investing in our Future Together – which will be hosting a Women’s Empowerment Symposium on October 12th geared toward life planning and discussion among peers. The Ohio State University grad is also heavily involved in the community, with memberships in Columbus Young Professionals Club (CYP Club), Women for Economic Leadership and Development (WELD), Awesome Women in Business, and NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners). She also mentors for YEA!, the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, working with middle and high school students on company launches and social movements. Heather was recently selected by the CYP Club as Networker of the Month for September.
Name: Heather Atkins
Company and Job Title: Libertas Wealth Management Group, Financial Adviser
Neighborhood: Upper Arlington
Tell us about your current job role at Libertas:
I meet with individuals, couples, and business owners to educate them so that they feel financially confident in their investment decisions and financial plan. In early 2016 I started my women’s initiative called L.I.F.T. which stands for Learning & Investing in our Future Together. The program assists women who may have recently lost their husbands or went through a rough divorce and are now looking to get back on their feet and take control of their finances. It has brought me so much joy to watch someone gain back their confidence and feel good about the decisions they are making for themselves and their future.
If you weren’t doing what you do now, where would you be?
This is a tough question because I truly enjoy what I do. If I could get paid for doing anything I would say pole vaulting. It was a sport I picked up in high school and loved the adrenaline that came with it. Unfortunately, it isn’t one of those sports you can just go out and do on the weekends so I do miss it.
What is a career goal of yours?
A goal of mine is to obtain the CFP designation which is the highest standard to hold in my profession.
Tell us about an upcoming initiative that you’re passionate about.
I am hosting a Women’s Empowerment Symposium on October 12th which is free to attend. I have several trusted professionals in different industries to join me on my panel to educate the audience on varies topics as it pertains to life planning – whether that be financial, estate, tax, or even Medicare planning. I’m really looking forward to a night of powerful discussion!
Favorite Columbus Young Professionals Club event or activity:
This is funny. I loved playing on the CYP outdoor soccer league. I joined the indoor league last winter and actually injured my knee in the second game of the season! I can’t wait to get back at it – but need to remember that soccer isn’t my day job and to play for fun!
Another CYP Club member you should get to know:
Dr. Marie Hoying! She has no idea I’m nominating her for this which makes it all the better. She is really doing some neat things at Foundation Chiropractic and her business really stands out.
Favorite Place in Columbus:
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. We are so lucky to have one of the top zoos in the country right in our backyard. I also worked part time there for a bit in college which could make my answer a little biased – and after meeting Jack Hanna twice.
What is one thing that you think Columbus needs (or wish Columbus had)?
We sure do have a lot to be thankful for here in Columbus so I can’t think of anything we are missing besides maybe train or subway transit?
Which organizations are you involved with around the community?
Aside from CYP Club, I am involved with Women for Economic Leadership and Development, Awesome Women in Business, and National Association of Women Business Owners. I also mentor for YEA! (which stands for Young Entrepreneurs Academy) to help students 6th-12th grade launch and run their own authentic and fully constructed companies or social movements.
If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them?
I think it is getting out of your comfort zone and seeing the people. Attending CYP Club events and familiarizing yourself with the industries and lives of others and learn something new from someone you meet.
I can help fellow young professionals by… providing financial education to fellow young professionals so that they feel equipped with knowledge in making smart financial decisions. I also enjoy connecting the new people I meet with my centers of influence in other industries that I know will treat them like family and help them out with whatever specialized area they are needing assistance in.
Young professionals can help me by… getting the word out about my Women’s initiative and financial planning services.
When I’m not working I am… probably at the dog park with my Samoyed/Irish Setter puppy!
If I won the lottery, I would… donate a ton of money to the parts of our country that have recently been affected by natural disasters, buy my mom a new home, travel more of the world that I have not yet seen, rent out several suites for one of the home Ohio State football games, and then invest.
If I could have a superpower, I would choose… flying! Airfare is not cheap!
Best Contact Method for others to get in touch:
On the third Thursday of every month, the CYP Club hosts a morning networking event called Coffee Talk where everyone gets the chance to connect with a room full of young business professionals. All attendees also have the chance to drop their business card at check-in to be entered to win a featured interview as Networker of the Month. Join the CYP Club for the next Coffee Talk event and you could be featured here!