Next Up Columbus 2023: Donna Marbury

Donna Marbury
Donna Marbury

Photo by J Dave Photography

Interview by Derek Grosso

Name: Donna Marbury
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Age: 41
Profession: Account Director at Warhol & WALL ST.
Neighborhood: Easton
Education: Hondoros Master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and Bachelor’s degree in English and Professional Writing from Wright State University
Community Involvement: Board Member of WELD National, Board Director of Columbus Libraries
Quote: “You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day.” Elizabeth Gilbert
Connect: LinkedIn

Give us a snapshot of your path
I started my career as a journalist, and as the industry changed I moved into communications and publications. After finishing grad school at Northwestern University, I’ve been on this path to use my skills in journalism, digital media and creative project management to solve problems and start creative initiatives across all types of sectors.

What gets you up in the morning? And what gets you through the workweek?
My son, Jeremiah is 8 and literally gets me up every morning! But at a young age I’ve tried to involve him in my career and passion projects. I don’t ever want him to feel like work is this evil thing that keeps mommy away. I enjoy that he cares and tries to understand what I do. His inquisitiveness motivates me to stay curious in my work.

What advice or mentors have helped guide you along the way?
I look up to my peers a lot! Many people in the creative community here in Columbus have helped me in tactical and inspirational ways. My text chains are full of friends and peers where we are keeping each other motivated or teaching each other some new, cool thing.

As far as advice, my peers and mentors have always encouraged me to shoot my shot! I’ve tried to be open to evolving and possibilities in my career. I don’t have a traditional career path, and have always went for opportunities that seem challenging, interesting and where I can make a difference.

What do you do or where do you go to unwind?
The first place I think about is Replenish Spa in the Discovery District. I also enjoy Easton a lot for retail therapy and a nice patio. My son and I frequent a Columbus library and Columbus Museum a few times a month. I love live music and will show up at any concert big or small.

What are a few of your favorite local spots in Columbus?
I’m almost at Upper Cup Coffee Shop on Parsons every day. It’s like Cheers for the creative community. I really like the new East Market and Budd Dairy for variety.

When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since age 12. I have never really been interested in anything else! Writing through the years has allowed me to learn about so many other people, places and industries, so I am glad I stuck with my childhood goals.

What books or podcasts are you reading/listening to right now?
I love reading about vintage tea–some call it history. I am currently readying Zora and Langston by Yuval Taylor. I completed Harry Belafonte and Andre Leon Talley’s biographies recently, and I’m glad to have heard their life stories from their own words.

What does it mean to you to be chosen for the Next Up Columbus award?
I definitely feel like I am at a point where my experience and professional knowledge gives me an advantage as the city is growing and changing. Having perspective but still being out and about give me a unique take on what’s next.

If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them?
Artists are the pulse. The creative community is not just making pretty things. We are on the pulse of how the city is changing for the good and the bad. Being able to evoke emotions and sensory cues to tell the story of how we are moving as a city is something everyone should be paying close attention to.

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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