Next Up Columbus 2024: Cassandra J. Kelly

Cassandra J. Kelly
Cassandra J. Kelly

Photo courtesy of Cassandra J. Kelly

Interview by Derek Grosso

Name: Cassandra J. Kelly
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Age: 31
Profession: Owner, Like-Minded Marketing
Neighborhood: Clintonville
Education: BS in Journalism
Community Involvement: I am currently serving on the Leadership Council for the Columbus Young Professionals. I currently volunteer with the Franklin County Suicide Prevention Coalition and the Healthy New Albany Food Pantry.
Quote: When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Connect: LinkedIn | Instagram

Give us a snapshot of your path
I am a professional marketer, storyteller, and changemaker. I holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Ohio University. After a brief stint as a journalist in New York, I moved back home to Columbus in 2017 to serve my community as a nonprofit communicator. I have worked with multiple nonprofits to achieve visibility, including the Ohio Environmental Council, Action for Children, Mental Health America of Ohio, and more. In 2023, I went out on my own with my marketing consulting agency, Like-Minded Marketing, with the goal to help Nonprofits streamline their communications plans and strategies effectively. In addition to my work with nonprofits, I continue to write. I cover aerospace and robotics for Mechanical Engineering Magazine. I also write creatively and published my first novel, The Clearing, in March 2024. Through all of my work, I hope to empower others with knowledge and understanding about science, history, and above all, themselves.

What gets you up in the morning? And what gets you through the workweek?
I am energized by the stories I hear in our community about people doing good work to foster love and connection. Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed, I lean on this community, which is a constant source of hope and inspiration, because I know that we’re all working toward the same goal together.

What advice or mentors have helped guide you along the way?
My mentors have taught me to trust myself. I know that with time and patience, solutions to life’s challenges can always be found, and that more often than not, the answers can be found within. By following my intuition, I know that I can work through almost anything, and live a life that is in line with my values.

What do you do or where do you go to unwind?
I am very grateful that The Olentangy Trail connects to my street because I can always hop on there to find some clarity. I love walking my dogs, running, and biking on the trail as much as possible.

What are a few of your favorite local spots in Columbus?
Gramercy Books, Seventh Son Brewery, and all of the Stauf’s Coffee spots.

When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
An archeologist

What books or podcasts are you reading/listening to right now?
I never miss an episode of We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle. I am currently reading The Great Divide by Cristina Henríquez.

What does it mean to you to be chosen for the Next Up Columbus award?
I’m honored to be recognized as a young leader in our community. It motivates me to continue doing the work I’m doing to foster connections and creativity. I want to take what I’ve learned and help more young leaders find their passion and voice in our community.

If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them?
This is a city focused on the future. It’s where innovation and heart come together to make a place we can all be proud to call home.

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 2024 co-presenters, Discover Financial, Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Edison Brewing Co. for their support of this year’s awards program. Meet the entire “Class of 2024” »


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