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Next Up Columbus 2023: Chevonne Harris

Chevonne Harris
Chevonne Harris

Photo courtesy of Chevonne Harris

Interview by Derek Grosso

Name: Chevonne Harris
Age: 35
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Profession: Founder & CEO of ThriveIN and Strategy Director at Ologie
Neighborhood: blacklick
Education: Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Toledo and a Master’s Degree from Northwestern University
Community Involvement: Communications Advisory Board at Franklin University “The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”
Connect: LinkedIn | Instagram

Give us a snapshot of your career path:
In short, it’s been a winding road that continues to evolves exactly as I NEVER would have imagined. From a quiet, bookworm girl with dreams of becoming a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist to a marketing and brand strategist who quit her job during the pandemic to become a full-fledged business owner…it’s been a ride and I’ve loved (and hyperventilated) every twist.

What gets you up in the morning? And what gets you through the workweek?
Gratitude gets me up in the morning. Gratitude for the opportunity to live another day and to serve Black women in new and impactful ways with ThriveIN. In my work as a brand strategist, the ability to create and collaborate will always excite me and help me get up in the morning. What gets me through the week? Jesus, exercise and Beyonce…in that order. I also am fortunate to be surrounded by amazing friends and family who offer constant support, love and laughter, and I work with an amazingly talented team that continues to push me to think and create beyond what’s possible.

What advice or mentors have helped guide you along the way?
1. Determine immediately if a relationship is transformational or transactional. It’s one thing to meet someone, it’s another to intentionally build a relationship around your desired intentions.
2. If you say you’re going to do something, do it.
3. Your brand should be predictable. When people call you, they should expect to receive good work from a good person.
4. Don’t tell everyone your dreams. Some things are just between you and God.

What do you do or where do you go to unwind?
Jill Scott said to take a “long walk” and that is exactly what I do. Long walks clear my mind and give me unapologetic space to unwind and still my mind. Traveling also allows to me unwind, particularly anywhere with good food and near an ocean. I will also ALWAYS unwind with a good movie night and anytime live music is involved.

What are a few of your favorite local spots in Columbus?
There’s so many! High Bank Distillery (love the nachos), Marvin’s Restaurant & Lounge (always order the lemon pepper wings), The Good Kitchen (try the fried fish and mac n’ cheese), the Columbus Downtown Library (great for fostering creativity), Hoover Dam for a stair workout and Easton Town Center…because who doesn’t love a little (or a lot) of shopping.

When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
A writer. As a shy and quiet kid, reading and writing gave me the space to express myself without the fear of judgement. Words were my happy place and a solace I could always surrender to anytime I desired. Writing gave me the voice I never seemed to quite find in social settings and a pass to lean into my strengths and be unapologetically confident in them. When I doubt, when in distress, when in joy, when in my feelings, the pen was always there.

What books or podcasts are you reading/listening to right now?
Podcast – “Ratchet & Respectful” by Demetria L. Lucas
Book – “The Urgent Life” by Bozoma Saint John

What does it mean to you to be chosen for the Next Up Columbus award?
It means that my work is having impact and that my work is seen and valued. I’m proud to be recognized as someone whose talents are contributing to the fabric of Columbus in new and meaningful ways and am humbled to be recognized alongside such great talent.

If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them?
The pulse is vibrant! The city is filled to the brim with passionate disruptors, innovators, creatives, leaders and civil servants all passionate to shape Columbus into a more equitable, collaborative, and thriving city. Community is being built here. Better business is being built here and new ideas are being birthed here. It’s amazing to see and I’m proud to be apart of such a movement.


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 2023 co-presenters, Discover Financial, Ohio Dominican University and Quantum Health for their support of this year’s awards program. Meet the entire “Class of 2023” »

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