Next Up Columbus: Class of 2024

Next Up Columbus Class of 2024
Next Up Columbus Class of 2024

Photo by Steve Miller/Marked Imagery


We are excited to introduce the eighth annual cohort of dynamic, innovative, and socially conscious young professionals featured in this year’s Next Up Columbus list presented by the Columbus Young Professionals Club, with support from Discover Financial, the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, and Edison Brewing Company.

These emerging leaders are the connectors and cheerleaders who are making waves in central Ohio, leaving an indelible mark on Columbus’s future. Their inspiring work serves as a testament to the city’s progress and potential. This year’s selection committee faced the tough challenge of narrowing down another extraordinary list of nominees, but we are thrilled to unveil the final roster: 24 trailblazers in 2024 who are reshaping the trajectory—and the identity—of our city and region for the better. Join us as we dive into their incredible stories and achievements!

Click the link on each honoree’s name to view their profile:

Alexandra Fresch, 34
Assistant Director at Glass Axis

Andrew King, 35
Partner at Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP

Ashley Montana, 30
Community Engagement Director at the Franklinton Development Association

Caitlin Faas, 38
Grant Writer at The Columbus Urban League

Cassandra J. Kelly, 31
Owner of Like-Minded Marketing

Chelsea Brooks, 32
Senior Marketing Manager & Operating Partner at Cameron Mitchell Restaurants

Chris Crosby, 36
Lead Field Operations Transformation Project Manager

Ciara M. Walker, 34
Procurement Administration for Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA)

Dr. Christian Espinoza Santos, 39
Product Manager at Worthington Industries

Ekima Smith, 40
CEO/Founder of The Five Party & Event Center

Emily Mathias, 25
Chief of Staff at Cyrannus

Erica S. Howard, 40
HR Director at Vis-a-Vis; Director of Leadership at CYP Club

Hillary Morales Robles, 30
Director of Patron Engagement and Educational Research at Columbus Landmarks Foundation

Idrees Ramsey, 34
Owner of GLC Gutters

Johna Charles, 31
Co-Founder & CEO at Orbit Media Group

Kelsea Cozad, 32
Head of Marketing and Communications for the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority

Kirstin Buckner, 37
Director of Mentorship & Community Partnerships at After-School All-Stars Ohio; CEO of Uni5d Outcomes Consulting LLC

Latyna M. Humphrey, 31
State Representative, Ohio House of Representatives

Mandi Rinaldi, 25
Program Manager at A Kid Again

Melissa Wolf Starr, 37
Chief Operating Officer at Jewish Family Services

Natalina Fickell
Community Relations & Associate Program Specialist at Grange Insurance

Rabin Hooper, 39
Clinical Support Manager at SAFY

Siana Talley, 35
Senior Manager Operations Strategy at Discover Financial Services

Tyreese Bowman, 26
Outreach and Engagement Manager, Short North Alliance



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