Next Up Columbus: Class of 2023

Next Up Columbus 2023

Next Up Columbus 2023


We are delighted to present our seventh 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, Ohio Dominican University and Quantum.

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 tremendous list of nominees. The final product: 23 revolutionaries in 2023 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!

Aditi Bhatiya, 41
CEO at The Spice Age Group; Founder of Passport 2 Fashion; Business Operations Consultant at The Ohio State University

Alexander Reed, 32
Chief Investment Officer at Envisage Wealth

Alyssa Maldonado, 27
Senior Social Media Specialist at RevLocal

Ashley Burns, 29
Project Manager at The Boeing Company

Ben Bring, 39
Physician at OhioHealth; Medical Director for the Arnold Sports Festival and the Columbus Marathon

Carlos Mendez, 25
Program Manager at the Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI)

Chevonne Harris, 35
Founder & CEO of ThriveIN; Strategy Director at Ologie

Christina A. Vera, 38
Director of Operations at Femergy®; Vice President at Columbus City Schools Board

Donna Marbury, 41
Account Director at Warhol & WALL ST.

Jared Buerger, 29
Outreach Specialist at A Kid Again

Jurgita Fumo, 45
Founder & Executive Director at Celebrating One

Karim “KJ” Jackson, 38
Assistant Director of Development at I Know I Can; Founder of Jackson Sports & Leadership Academy; Head JV Basketball Coach at Walnut Ridge HS

Kelly Lombardo Matthews, 38
Marketing Project Manager at EASE Logistics

Levi Thies, 26
Chief of Staff and Chief Operating Officer at SproutFive

Lexi Petrella, 28
Director of Development at Clean Fuels Ohio

Lucy Little, 40
Payroll Specialist at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Marshall Troxell
Assistant Director of Community Affairs at Columbus Mayor’s Office

Michael Wise
Founder and CEO at WiseTECH3D

Nicole Bergman, 36
Vice President of Marketing & Communications for the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI)

Ozshaleek Martin, 33
Postmaster at United States Postal Service; Community Engagement Coordinator with Chosen 4 Change

Perla Martinez, 36
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program Administrator at Franklin County Board of Commissioners

Simon’e Lightfoot, M.B.A, 41
Chief Operating Officer at Agape Care; Administrator at Simply Plated Catering

Yolanda Jackson, 41
Associate Vice President of Economic Mobility at The Columbus Urban League



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