Interview by Derek Grosso
Name: Simon’e Lightfoot, M.B.A
Profession: Chief Operating Officer at Agape Care, Administrator at Simply Plated Catering
Neighborhood: Minerva Park
Education: Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness & Applied Economics, Bachelor of Arts in African American & African Studies, Master’s degree in Business Administration concentration in Strategic Leadership
Community Involvement: Ohio Dominican University Alumni Council, National Black MBA Association, Fashion Week Columbus Style Team
Motto: In life and business…. “I am the Scottie Pippen to your Michael Jordan in the 90’s, because I’m always coming through with a righteous assist for the WIN!”
Give us a snapshot of your path
I Graduated from The Ohio State University in 2006 then began a career in Government in 2007. I Graduated from the LEAD program in 2010 from Ohio Dominican University
Left government career in 2016. Then I opened my ecommerce clothing business, The Phoenix Collection, in 2017. I started my current roles in 2022.
What gets you up in the morning? And what gets you through the workweek?
My family is the number one thing that gets me up in the morning. What gets me through the work week is knowing that powerful, women entrepreneurs are depending on me to show up to help grow and keep their businesses running.
What advice or mentors have helped guide you along the way?
“Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper” -Beyonce Knowles-Carter
Never be afraid to TRY and fail. Be your authentic self and you will attract exactly what you need. Never stop learning.
What do you do or where do you go to unwind?
I really enjoy traveling because not only does it allow me to experience new things, it gives me a small break from reality and allows me to just be in the moment. I like to spend time with friends and family at home. I also enjoy conceptualizing and executing content creation.
What are a few of your favorite local spots in Columbus?
Upper Cup Coffee, Marvin’s Restaurant & Lounge, and Zora’s House
When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
I used to draw floor plans with my dad at a young age so I thought I wanted to be an architect. Then I wanted to be a doctor and find the cure for AIDS. Then life got real and I realized that all I really ever wanted to be is HAPPY.
What books or podcasts are you reading/listening to right now?
Know for Sure Podcast with Megan Ashley and B. Simone, Deadass Podcast with Khadeen and Devale Ellis
What does it mean to you to be chosen for the Next Up Columbus award?
For me to be chosen for the Next Up Columbus award means the world to me. It gives me confirmation that I am on the right path to fulfilling my purpose.
If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them?
To me the PULSE of Columbus is the diversity here. When I was growing up in Dayton, Ohio, I didn’t see a lot of diversity around me. So when I moved to Columbus in 2001, I realized that it was quite literally a whole new world.
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” »