Next Up Columbus 2024: Chris Crosby

Chris Crosby
Chris Crosby

Photo courtesy of Chris Crosby

Interview by Derek Grosso

Name: Chris Crosby
Pronouns: He/They
Age: 36
Profession: Lead Field Operations Transformation Project Manager
Neighborhood: Reynoldsburg
Education: Business Administration Bachelors
Community Involvement: Stonewall Sports Columbus, Columbus Young Professionals, Hip Hop Congress
Quote: If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready!
Connect: LinkedIn | Instagram

Give us a snapshot of your path
After school at OU, I needed a fresh start, and I was ready to carve my own path. My brother suggested I move to Columbus and I took that advice. Once I started working at Discover Financial Services, I was always pushing myself to do and be more than where I was. Even when I went for roles, I pushed myself to not give up (I am big on overcoming adversity and rejection). With that attitude I went through multiple internal development courses, spoke on panels regarding diversity from being African American to LGBTQ+ issues. I was able to promote but also explore many different areas of business by the force of my work ethic and how I showed up authentically every day. I even had the pleasure of being selected to open a customer care center in the south side of Chicago for 4 months with a team of peers across the country. Even after this, I made sure to give back through mentorship and advocacy each step of the way. Throughout this I always leveraged making sure when I had my seat at the table, I made sure to not only make room for others but leave space for someone new to step in.

What gets you up in the morning? And what gets you through the workweek?
Knowing that somewhere out there, there is someone who looks or identifies as I do and being able to show them that all things can and are possible. That no one can gatekeep success or achievement away from you.
What gets me through the workweek music, it is the pulse of my life and motivates and energizes me to keep pushing forward no matter what I am being faced with.

What advice or mentors have helped guide you along the way?
Give grace, we do not know what another person is going through. Yet, when true colors have been shown, grace has its limitations and to not overextend when you are not being met with respect.

What do you do or where do you go to unwind?
To unwind, it will be a good video game to take my mind off things (2k, something with some action and a good story). Outside of that, cooking. Cooking brings me a sense of peace and I know there will be joy at the end of the meal no matter what.

What are a few of your favorite local spots in Columbus?
Bakersfield, Half-baked, Alibi, Combustion Brewery, Columbus Art Museum. I cannot forget the southside bars like Boscoes, Southbend (support local)

When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
As a kid I came out the gate swinging, I always told people I wanted to be a CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

What books or podcasts are you reading/listening to right now?
The Friendzone has been the podcast that receives the most spins from me for so many reasons. The same with Here’s The Thing as well. Both mix comedy and social cometary in a way that makes it all make sense.

What does it mean to you to be chosen for the Next Up Columbus award?
To me it means there is still more work to be done and I will have the ability to make some changes not only within my organizations but also out in the community. When you’re next up that means all eyes are on you and you know have a bigger platform to make the right changes happen.

If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them?
There is more to Columbus than sports (which isn’t a bad thing). There are so many layers and intersections that truly showcase how and why Columbus is the mid-west spot. There is always an adventure to be had you just have to look.

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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