Next Up Columbus: Class of 2020

Next Up Columbus 2020
Next Up Columbus 2020

Photo by Matt Reese / CityPulse Columbus

It’s often said that it’s not what you know, but who you know. This is true in business, in life, and in Columbus. With that in mind, we present our fourth annual group of bold, creative and socially conscious young professionals you should know who made this year’s Next Up Columbus list. Special thanks to the Columbus Young Professionals Club, Discover Financial, and Zipline Logistics for their support of this awards program.

The Next Up Columbus awards highlight emerging leaders who are connectors and cheerleaders in central Ohio and who are making a positive impact on the future of Columbus. This group of ambassadors and advocates are proof positive that our city is headed in the right direction. For this year’s list, we evaluated more than 150 nominees. The final product: 20 revolutionaries changing the course—and the face—of our city and our region for the better. Let’s get to know them!

Click the link on each honoree’s name to view their full profile and interview!

Adrian Sullivan, 38
Manager of Diversity & Inclusion, Cardinal Health; and Owner, Sulli’s Kitchen

Alan Kutasy, 31
Founder and Managing Member, Agility Partners

Amanda Epp, 34
President, ScriptDrop

Caroline Inspires Bennett, 25
Founder, Caroline Inspires LLC

Chris Elliott, 37
Client Executive, Sirius Computer Solutions

Christy Bertolo, 39
Director, Strategic Partnerships, The Ohio State University

Destiny Coleman, 29
Director of Education and Artistic Administration, Opera Columbus

Gretchen Moore, 28
Senior Marketing Manager, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants

Jaye Turner, 27
Founder and Executive Director, El’lesun

Kayla Davis, 27
Founder & Executive Director, A Step in the Right Direction

Kelly Atkinson, 37
Diversity & Inclusion Coordinator and Office Administrator, Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Manny Larcher, 31
CEO, Stopwatch Creative

Mason Estep, 27
President, Platter

Matt Lofy, 34
Director of Marketing and Community Outreach, Westerville Area Chamber

McKinzie Harper, 25
Lead, Education & Programs for Smart Columbus, Columbus Partnership (as of list publication); Project Coordinator, Skills & Cities, Global Business Coalition for Education (as of March 2020)

Myles Taylor-Hicks, 25
CEO, Friendly Ventures, LLC

Pedro David Mejia, 26
Community Relations Coordinator, City of Columbus Department of Neighborhoods

Rehgan Avon, 26
Head of Solutions, Mobikit; and Founder/President, Women in Analytics

Sarai Veronique Exil, 30
Manager, Diversity and Inclusion, Big Lots Stores, Inc.; and Chairman of the Board and President, Student Success Stores

Terry “Nunnie” Green, 31
Founder and Executive Director, Think Make Live Youth



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