Next Up Columbus: Class of 2021

Next Up Columbus 2021
Next Up Columbus 2021

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 sixth annual group of bold, creative and socially conscious young professionals you should know who made this year’s Next Up Columbus list presented by the Columbus Young Professionals Club, with support from Discover Financial, Future Possibilities and Zipline Logistics.

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, our selection committee narrowed down another amazing list of nominees. The final product: 25 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!

Abel J. Koury, 36
Founder & Principal, Compelling Analytics, LLC; Personal Trainer The Fitness Loft Columbus

Aja Miyamoto, 25
Owner, Opanova Digital

Anthony (A Jay) Pullen, 33
President and CEO, People Like Me Project (formally A Tribute to African Americans Committee)

Antonio Smith
Community Engineer/Motivational Speaker, DRIVEN Foundation

Ashley Snyder, 33
Development Coordinator, Save A Warrior; Communications Specialist, Central Ohio Diversity Consortium; Founder “The Amore Code”

Dr. Blake J. Renner, 39
Dean of Students, Franklin University

Brittany Marcellino, 33
Human Resources Manager, AXIA Consulting; President Elect, Human Resources Association of Central Ohio (HRACO)

Cassy Patterson, 35
Program & Event Specialist, BBB serving Central Ohio

Chris Suel, 35
Assistant Director of Community Affairs, City of Columbus, Mayor’s Office

Colin Page McGinnis, 27
CEO, South Side Early Learning

Dani Wilkinson, 33
Chief Mission Officer & Camp Director, Flying Horse Farms

Imran Nuri, 23
Founder & CEO, The 52 Million Project

Jacqueline Gottesman, 28
Senior Marketing Manager, Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern

Jose Bautista, 33
Legal Counsel, Abercrombie & Fitch Co.

KaTanya Ingram
Owner/Creator, GirlNowWhat LLC

Katrina (Kwan) Leung, 34
Pharmacist in Charge, Gifthealth

Katrina Thompson
Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP

Dr. Kelly Renner, 38
Assistant Dean, Curriculum, Franklin University

Marshela McDaniel
Field People Officer, Columbus Field Office, McDonald’s Corporation; Assistant Principal, Blueprint Investments

Max Brickman
Managing Director, Heartland Ventures

Neethi Johnson, 33
Vice President, Digital Strategy, J.P. Morgan Chase

Roman Woods, 37
Employee Culture & Experience, Discover

Stephanie Cedeño, 32
Manager of Volunteer Engagement, Besa

Sterling M. Clemmons, 23
Consultant in Government & Public Service, Deloitte

Suraj Hinduja, 28
Managing Director, RTRX


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