Next Up Columbus 2024: Natalina Fickell

Natalina Fickell
Natalina Fickell

Photo courtesy of Natalina Fickell

Interview by Derek Grosso

Name: Natalina Fickell
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Profession: Community Relations & Associate Program Specialist at Grange Insurance
Neighborhood: Upper Arlington
Community Involvement: Alvis, Inc. Board of Directors
Motto: If you find a job you love, you’ll never work again. – Winston Churchill
Connect: LinkedIn | Instagram

Give us a snapshot of your path
Growing up I never really had a clear idea of what I wanted to be when I grew up. I knew I had to take an honest look at my strengths and find opportunities based on them. Doing so started me on a path as an executive assistant because I’m really organized and love helping people. I did that for a long time until I learned about the world of Corporate Philanthropy. I knew immediately this was the path for me. I had a great leader who encouraged my interest, taught me everything she knew and introduced me to her network. I truly have her to thank for being where I am today!

What gets you up in the morning? And what gets you through the workweek?
Typically, my bladder! Just kidding. Generally speaking my family gets me up in the morning! My husband, teenage daughter and Pomeranian Lucy. What inspires to me to wake and up get through the work week is my passion for helping others. I’m blessed with a job that allows me to do just that and pays me for it. What I do for a living gives me purpose and keeps me going.

What advice or mentors have helped guide you along the way?
I’ve had an amazing personal board of directors in my life. Here are some of the helpful nuggets I’ve received: embrace the uncomfortable, remember nothing is perfect, take time for yourself, don’t make assumptions, be yourself, own your mistakes, it’s okay to fail but it’s not okay to give up.

What do you do or where do you go to unwind?
I love photography and travel! They both help me unwind especially when I can do both at the same time. My favorite place to go is the beach and Hilton Head, SC is my happy place. When I can’t get away, I enjoy a good patio or spending time at the pool.

What are a few of your favorite local spots in Columbus?
I love listening to music so I tend to find myself at places hosting live music (Woodlands Tavern is a good spot). I am a big foodie and love patios (Lindey’s and Barcelona are a couple of my favs). Finally, I enjoy venturing downtown/Short North to find interesting things to photograph.

When you were a kid, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up?
I was all over the place! I wanted to be a National Geographic photographer, an actress and an FBI agent to name a few.

What books or podcasts are you reading/listening to right now?
Right now, I’m reading, “What If? Short Stories to Spark Inclusion & Diversity Dialogue” by Steve L. Robbins, PhD

What does it mean to you to be chosen for the Next Up Columbus award?
I’m so honored! Since this award recognizes individuals who are making a positive impact on the future of Columbus it shows me that I’m on the right track. All I want to do is be a part of helping to make Columbus better and stronger for all. Thank you!

If someone were to ask you what the “pulse” of Columbus is, what would you tell them?
The people! In my role in Corporate Philanthropy, I see how the public/private sector comes together to genuinely make a difference in the community. Columbus is special and that’s because of all who live here!

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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