Interview by Derek Grosso
Name: Levi Thies
Profession: Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer at SproutFive
Neighborhood: Short North
Education: Associates of Arts from Wake Tech Community College, Certificate in Business from Wake Tech Community College
Community Involvement: SproutFive
Quote: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Give us a snapshot of your path
My path is relatively fresh and new but almost as unconventional as they come. Out of high school, I joined the Marine Corps and learned the ins and outs of a functioning machine, even when there are individual failures. After separating from the Marines, I enrolled in courses at Wake Tech Community College in North Carolina to study computer engineering and quickly switched focus to business. I transferred to The Ohio State University to study Operations Management and am currently enrolled as a part-time student while working full-time. I received the offer to join SproutFive as a Chief of Staff in April 2022 and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer within a year, which gets us to where I am today.
What gets you up in the morning? And what gets you through the workweek?
Self-discipline and the standard I set get me up in the morning and through the week. To me, self-discipline and my own personal standard are two of the most important aspects to continue moving forward.
What advice or mentors have helped guide you along the way?
Think smarter, not harder. Choosing your own path, it leads to a life of adventure.
What do you do or where do you go to unwind?
A variation of exercising, spending time reflecting and thinking, reading, or spending quality time with people helps me unwind; the location is typically less important.
What are a few of your favorite local spots in Columbus?
Goodale Park, Stauf’s in Grandview, Lower.com Field, and Huntington Park are some of my favorite spots in Columbus.
When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
As a kid, I dreamed of being a professional athlete or astronaut.
What books or podcasts are you reading/listening to right now?
I’m currently reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.
What does it mean to you to be chosen for the Next Up Columbus award?
It shows me that hard work pays off, even in uncertainty. My path is not conventional and has oftentimes led me to consider second-guessing myself. This award means to continue to work hard, put my best foot forward in every aspect, and continue living and choosing my way.
If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them?
The “pulse” of Columbus is that of a city with a ton of opportunity and potential, both for the city and for an individual. Columbus also has the capacity for people from all walks of life.
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” »