Interview by Derek Grosso
Name: Keira Chatman
Profession: Director of Operations, African American Male Wellness Agency and Realtor with Coldwell Banker Realty, Owner of By The People, LLC
Neighborhood: King-Lincoln Bronzeville
Education: B.A in Fashion Merchandising Minor in Theater Arts. Real Estate License
Community Involvement: Director of Operations for the African American Male Wellness Agency, Development Director for Black Ohio Film Group, Community Service Chair for the Columbus Urban League Young Professionals, Young Professionals Network.
Quote: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” – Maya Angelo
Connect: LinkedIn | Instagram | Facebook
Give us a snapshot of your career path:I want to make an impact. An impact in the community, the neighborhood I grew up in, and with my future family. I recently invested in a project that will enable me to use practically every aspect of my professional background, and I’m thrilled to see where it will lead me. I like to develop plans on a yearly basis so that I can be flexible and adapt as my creative juices flow. I know I’ll offer structure to whatever my head, and heart decide to settle on. I am a Sagittarius, so I will find a home in whatever path is put in front of me. I’m interested to see what possibilities emerge from the opening this fall.
What gets you up in the morning? And what gets you through the workweek?
Every morning, I am ready to go and look forward to the day’s outcomes. Working is enjoyable for me since I love what I do. With that said, vacations and the prospect of an early retirement so that I may trek throughout the globe inspire me to work hard at what I do.
What advice or mentors have helped guide you along the way?
I was lucky to have a lot of strong female role models who taught me how important it is to keep my word, to lead from the front, and to never take “no” for an answer. My mother, aunt, and late grandmother are still the most important people in my life and some of the best mentors I have ever had.
What do you do or where do you go to unwind?
For me, nothing beats a relaxing afternoon on my front or back porch with a cup of coffee, my laptop, and a notebook to catch all the whimsy.
What are a few of your favorite local spots in Columbus?
Side Bar is great for Manhattans, Botanical Gardens in Franklin Park is great for gorgeous nighttime walks, and Upper Cup on Parsons Avenue is great for connecting with all my neighborhood friends and local merchants.
When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
As a child, I aspired to be an architect, designing both residential and commercial facilities. When I arrived at college, I noticed how much math was involved in the planning process, and math was not my strong suit at the time. Surprisingly, I went on to work as a fashion buyer, dealing with percentages, margins, and budgets, and then as a Realtor with Coldwell Banker Realty. Every now and then, I consider returning to school to pursue a career as a city planner, but I truly enjoy and appreciate how everything has fallen into place.
What books or podcasts are you reading/listening to right now?
Grit by Angela Duckworth and The Forgotten Landmarks of Columbus by Betti & Uhas Sauer.
What does it mean to you to be chosen for the Next Up Columbus award?
I enjoy being recognized among other people in the city who are doing excellent things because it ties us all to a greater/higher purpose. In my opinion, every day should be lived as if it were our last. If we do that, our life and the impact we have on others will be far more meaningful.
If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them?
Columbus is a city with a strong feeling of community and pride. What I enjoy most about us is that we carry our pride and enthusiasm outside Franklin County, and we typically offer people a new perspective on what it’s like to live in Ohio. We’re considerably more diversified and cultured than most people realize, and our response to social justice concerns creates an atmosphere that fosters change within the city.
The Next Up Columbus Awards highlight emerging leaders who are connectors and ambassadors in central Ohio and who are making a positive impact on the future of Columbus. The Columbus Young Professionals Club would like to offer special thanks to our 2022 co-presenters, Discover Financial, Ohio Dominican University and Spectrum for their support of this year’s awards program. Meet the entire “Class of 2022” »