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Meet Our 2016 Single & Successful!

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We’re so excited for to feature our first ever Single & Successful issue! This week, we’re spotlighting 12 dynamic women and men – nominated by you, our amazing readers – who’re making strides in Columbus, all while being successful …. oh, and they happen to be single too. They’re in the spotlight not only here in this story, but they’ll also be featured at our upcoming “Single & Successful” event this Saturday, Oct. 15 from 7-10pm at Copious. Click here for all the details and we hope to see you there!

And now (drum roll…) it’s time to meet this year’s Single & Successful:

lina-attaieLina Attaie
Regional Sales Manager
Nationwide (Central Atlantic Regional Office)

Lina’s career with Nationwide started in 2005, when she was a Casualty Claims Representative in Lincoln, Nebraska. Since then, she’s held various leadership and project roles, most recently as Regional Sales Manager.

She graduated from the University of Nebraska with her Bachelor’s degree, and got her MBA in Business Administration from West Texas A&M University. She also holds several insurance designations, like Associate in Claims and Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist.

You can also find her being actively involved with her local community. She serves on the board of Bridgeway Academy, National Association of Woman MBA’s, and is a member of the Columbus GETDOT Networking Group.

Q. What does being “successful” mean to you?

Success is the ability to do what you love every day. This may sound simple, but what you love changes over time and having the ability to change what you are doing to match your passion is true success. Success can also be moving target and it has nothing to do with money or status, but has a lot to do with your passion and what makes you happy.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in the coming year(s)? 

I am looking forward to traveling outside the US, and spending time with my family in Nebraska. 

Q. What are some of your favorite things about Columbus?

Where should I start? I love everything about Columbus, and the city has so much to offer young professionals and transplants like myself. My favorite thing about Columbus is the art and culture scene. 

Q. What was the last book you read? 

The last book I read was Presence by Amy Cuddy. I strongly recommend everyone read her book. What I liked about her book was that she backups every theory with empirical studies and used everyday examples to teach the reader.

jamie-foltzJamie Foltz
Sr. Director of Strategic Partnerships
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio

Jamie grew up in Bowling Green, which is where she went to college too (Aye Ziggy Zoomba!) In 2000, she graduated from BGSU with a degree in Communications.

She’s lived in Columbus for almost 16 years now, and works as aa fundraiser for RMHC of Central Ohio – the largest Ronald McDonald House in the world. More than anything, she loves what she does and where she spends her days.

After losing her mom to pancreatic cancer in 2012, she’s made it her mission to wage hope on a disease that kills nearly everyone diagnosed. In Bowling Green, her and her family host The Sundae Stroll. At this 5K, they’ve raised nearly $100k in four years for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

She also loves hanging with her two 80lb Great Pyrenees – Marshmallow and Olivia Pope – and taking them to different metro parks around town. Traveling is her biggest love and she’s working on seeing every island in the Caribbean.

Q. What does being “successful” mean to you?                                              

I think being successful is about being happy with where you are and what you have. To me, it’s not about having the biggest title, highest salary or the picture perfect family. It’s not about always wanting more. It’s about being happy in the place you are and finding ways to make every day great.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in the coming year(s)?

I turned 39 this year and created a list of 40 things I need to do before I turn 40. Just making the list was an adventure, as it really helped me hone in on things I want to-do and see. Everything from paddle boarding and taking a solo trip, to surprising someone and doing a daily random act of kindness. So, knocking out that list and making a new one for the next year is what has me most excited.

Q. What are some of your favorite things about Columbus?

Most definitely the people. I work in a field where I get to see the generosity of strangers every day. Columbus is such a giving community. The people who call this city home are genuine, kind and real to the core. And of course: The Buckeyes, German Village, and Graeter’s! I can’t forget Graeter’s!

Q. What was the last book you read? 

The last book I read was The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I’m torn about whether or not I liked it. It’s been on my to-read list for years, but I could never get past the first chapter. I finally made myself read it cover to cover. I guess I haven’t made up my mind just yet. It was very dark and I’m not a very dark person. So the more I think about it I guess I didn’t really like it. Although it did have a happy-ish ending and I love a happy ending. So, see the jury’s still out.

stephanie-maupin-placeholderStephanie Maupin
Marketing & Project Manager
Event Marketing Strategies

Originally from Cincinnati, Stephanie has lived in Columbus the past five years. She graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a degree in Graphic Design and minor in Marketing.

She started her professional career as a web designer, crafting websites for brands like Swiss Miss (everyone’s favorite hot chocolate!), Egg Beaters, and Snack Pack! But her dream of working in fashion retail came calling whenThe Limited offered her a job. She jumped at the opportunity to get into the industry and made the move to Columbus.

Through the opportunitya graduate assistant lacrosse coach position with Otterbein (a sport she absolutely loved playing in high school), she was able to get her MBA, and then connect with an alumni at Event Marketing Strategies (EMS) – where she now works. You can also find Stephanie spending her time with WELD (Women for Leadership & Economic Development), and 1girl, an organization that provides opportunities for middle school girls to develop the skills and confidence they need to be successful personally and professionally.

Q. What does being “successful” mean to you?

For me, success is defined as going after what you want and achieving those goals. Setting goals and working to accomplish them has provided me with some of the coolest opportunities and experiences , plus introduced me to new worlds full of incredibly smart and talented people. From coaching collegiate lacrosse and obtaining my MBA, to being a part of the Columbus Blue Jackets Ice Crew, I thrive on going after the experiences I seek and putting in the work to see where it gets me. The experiences I’ve had provide me great insight into others’ lives, passions, and motivations. Over the years my work has given me a more open mindset and outlook on life, as well as keen understanding of how the decisions people make shape their lives – witnessing it is all so very cool and inspiring to me.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in the coming year(s)?

I look forward to becoming more involved with the women’s organizations I’m a part of, and becoming more connected with others who are seeking to help make a difference and positive impact within this city.

Q. What are some of your favorite things about Columbus?

The Blue Jackets hockey games! The food! There is no shortage of great restaurants everywhere! I’m always up for tacos and margs at Candados or wings at Harrison’s. I’m also very active, and I love getting a workout in at Sweat Box with my trainer or heading to Core Power Yoga for an active rest day. Most of all, I love how connected the city is.  There is so much growth and with growth comes incredible opportunities.

Q. What was the last book you read? 

The last book I read was Wellth by Jason Wachob. The author proposes the idea that finding true wealth in is achieving physical and mental well-being over money. I found the book to be enjoyable and shared the author’s sentiment.

neombrella-2Neombrella (Brenna Cannon)
Neombrella LLC 

Neombrella is a brand dedicated to bringing quality products and services in the music and fashion industry, curated by Brenna Cannon, from Groveport. Brennan started Neombrella LCC in 2008, taking the name from a “Quizilla” login screen name she made up (so that she could login and read Harry Potter leftovers and facts about Gerard Way of MCR).

As an entrepreneur, she knew the name – Neombrella – was something and saw the opportunity to grow it from an idea into something. She used money from the paychecks she got working at Chuck E Cheese to support her recording studio time. Plus, she worked with an up-and-coming audio engineer from her neighborhood, and realized that the skills she learned since starting at FL Studio when she was six were being put to good use.

Skills like playing the piano and her love of singing and dancing. She loves to work nonstop, which you can see in her commitment as an artist that makes sure everything goes correct and perfect. She calls herself a perfectionist and says she needs to make sure her art is supported and debuted appropriately. She works hard day-in-and-day-out creating art, while planning to take Neombrella to the next level.

She’s also worked with local designers like Oliver Valdienne and Royal Factory Atelier back in her modeling days. Her love of high fashion is a family thing, as her cousin JD Drakeford is the owner of the popular Short North shoe store SoleClassics and her cousin Marliese Hunter operates an Aldo’s.

Right now, she’s signed to a local recording label, has manager, and A&R. She’s also planning a Canadian, European, and US tour to support and showcase all of the music she’s been recording.

Q. What does being “successful” mean to you?

In my opinion, being successful is reaching the peak of one’s own happiness as well as comfort level in their field of work. If you feel satisfied in your day-to-day career, then you are a success. For example I am a musician, fashion designer, songwriter, business woman, producer/audio-engineer of art. I am an artist and I have certain career goals I want to achieve, but with hard work, dedication, perseverance along with the tenacity to challenge myself to be better and better, I will only guarantee my own success by progressing.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in the coming year(s)?

I am mostly looking forward to making more art (visit Neombrella.com for more details). I’m working hard to make all of my big lofty goals happen, supporting my family single-handedly. Being the sole breadwinner of my future family – if I ever do decide to settle down in that way. And just getting to do what I love everyday, which is being a singer.

Q. What are some of your favorite things about Columbus?

Some of my favorite things about the city are where I am from in Columbus. Columbus is a very big, yet small community, and there are tons of things to do in our city. When I am away, traveling for music, I miss home a lot. I love my family and friends, I love going to work, I loved attending school here in our city of Columbus.

We’re a growing city full of opportunity, hope and active change, and there are very good samaritans devoted to keeping neighborhoods clean, safe and maintaining the day-to-day hustle and bustle. I’m dedicated to bringing more fun to our city, and I’ve hosted a festival in Goodale park for music and art to promote safe spaces for internationality hosted by my friends’ activist organization, the Ohio Student Association (OSA).

I’ve gotten the chance to meet Janet Mock through my amazing and extremely monumental activist-friend Miss Cherno Biko at Short North Stage. Recently, I met Doug Martsch of the famous band Built to Spill at Skully’s Music Diner, along with Hop Along, the creator of local band Saintseneca, and Alex G, who collaborated with Frank Ocean on his latest album “Blonde” (please check that out!). I plan to have a jam session with them soon because I’m extremely excited about that and cannot wait. Of course, if you get the chance, check out their current tour – it’s amazing.

I love Skully’s because it’s a hub for art, nightlife, and entertainment. Last year, I produced songs for a rapper who opened up for Yung Thug at a sold-out Newport Music Hall show. I felt like I had made it that night, but it only inspired me to work harder and say, “I will push myself to make it in the industry I am in currently.”

Aside from creating art and networking, I love driving around the city. There’s always new things to do like dancing or going to art galleries. My friends have an art gallery, MINT, that they started a few years back. I remember being one of the first people to see the space and being involved in a music video for a out of town rapper’s music video. MINT Gallery does host an annual party called Black Ice, which is curated by another one of my friends, and is a hub for networking within the local punk, goth, and vaporware scene.

I’ve been part of the underground music scene since 2013, and I’m pretty big – if I do say. A lot of people continuously ask about my art and music; I love being a part of a community dedicated to being amazing. I am very blessed.

My favorite place to go by myself in Columbus happens to be my favorite bookstore of all time: The Book Loft in German Village. I actually go there to find peace and quiet, and it fills me with warmth to know we even have a space filled with books, art, and music in my hometown. I feel so lucky and blessed to be from Columbus.

Q. What was the last book you read? 

The last book I read was Jonah’s Gourd Vine by Zora Neale Hurston. I love literature and encourage everyone to read and educate themselves.

 

devon-ortizDeVon Ortiz
Epidemiologist/Data Manager
Ohio Department of Health

Assistant Teacher/Creative Assistant
For The Love of Dance School

DeVon was born and raised in Columbus, and started dancing at 14-years-old. She was a member of the Columbus Alternative High School Dance Company and also attended Theatre Street Dance Academy (TSDA) where she trained in Russian technique ballet, jazz, and tap.

After high school, she attended Ohio University in Athens, Ohio and got her a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Hygiene in 2007 and a Master of Public Health (MPH) in 2009. After graduating, she came back to TSDA and began pursuing her professional career at the Ohio Department of Health as an Epidemiologist 1 in STD Surveillance.

She quickly advanced to an Epidemiologist 3/Data Manager in HIV Surveillance – which is her current position. In this position, she trains all new employees in the HIV Surveillance program and monitors the HIV database for the state of Ohio by overseeing the collection of HIV data throughout Ohio’s 88 counties.

When she’s not working her full time job, she’s either dancing or teaching dance. In 2012, she danced with For The Love of Dance (FTLOD) in their “Dance Your HART Out” Production, which was a dedication to fellow dancer Darlene Hart who lost her life to domestic violence. The following year, she came on as an Assistant Teacher with the FTLOD Young Star Program – which is also her current role. Also, she’s on the Campaign Committee of a short film about domestic violence called “The Runaways,” which is currently in production by DK Filmworks in Washington DC.

Q. What does being “successful” mean to you?

Being “successful” means having a plan or a goal and achieving it. It can be social, financial, personal, or spiritual. How I effect or contribute to someone’s life for the better whether socially, financially, personally, or spiritually is how I define being successful.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in the coming year(s)?

In the coming years, I am looking forward to personal, spiritual, and financial growth. I am on a journey of learning to become a better me for myself and for others and any opportunity that may arise to help me accomplish that would be welcomed.

Q. What are some of your favorite things about Columbus?

Born and raised in Columbus, I have seen this city grow tremendously over the years. One of my favorite things about Columbus is the artistic element of this city which draws in people of various age groups. There are always opportunities to do arts and crafts, paint, draw, or attend plays or musicals. Another favorite thing about Columbus is the numerous parks where you can play, exercise, or just relax and enjoy the scenery. This city also offers a variety of retailers and boutiques to fulfill your shopping needs. There’s always something to do in Columbus, Ohio!

Q. What was the last book you read? 

The last book I read was, To The Women I Once Loved by Pierre Alex Jeanty. I enjoyed reading this book because the author focused on each one of his past relationships and how he took something from the experience to help him become a better man. This book allows the reader to think about how they contribute to relationships through their actions, whether good or bad, and what effects it has on the other person. After reading this book, you will come to a realization of who you’ve been and what you need to do to become a better you.

amber-prestonAmber Preston
Freelance Makeup Artist
Founder/President
Thrive Beauty Inc.

Amber was born and raised in Dublin. She graduated from Wright State University with Bachelors of Fine Arts.

She created Thrive Beauty, a nonprofit that provides beauty services to women in need during treatment for cancer, after going through treatment for breast cancer two years ago.

Q. What does being “successful” mean to you?

To me, being successful means living a purpose driven life. Accolades and status are material things that you can’t take with you when your time is up. Leaving a legacy of helping those in need, and utilizing my God given talents is what I consider “successful”.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in the coming year(s)? 

I am most looking forward to seeing the evolution of Thrive Beauty. It’s in its infant stage right now, so I’m excited to see how it grows. I’m equally (if not more) excited to see how my daughter Grace grows up. She is the coolest six-year-old you’ll ever meet.

Q. What are some of your favorite things about Columbus?

Columbus is amazing! Columbus is rich in diversity and culture – which I think is one of the best things about Columbus; besides OSU football and the fact that you can get anywhere in Columbus in about “15/20 minutes.”

Q. What was the last book you read?

The last book I read was The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins. It was awesome! Character and plot development was exciting. Definitely one of those hard to put down books!

kelsea-wigginsKelsea Wiggins
Social Strategy + Content
Cement Marketing

Kelsea is also a writer, social change agent, diehard feminist and equality maven, soccer fan, and Columbus ambassador. You can always find her at any networking events or sushi restaurant in the city.

Q: What does being “successful” mean to you?

I think we all attach our own abstract definitions to “success.” Mine is knowing that my loved ones are proud of me.

Q: What are you most looking forward to in the coming year(s)? 

Becoming a better writer. Getting even more involved in the city. Building new relationships and strengthening the established ones. And taking over the world.

Q: What are some of your favorite things about Columbus? 

The people. The food. The spirit of independence and entrepreneurship.

Q: What was the last book you read? 

Burn Your Portfolio by Michael Janda. Loved it. It’s part of the new hire welcome swag bag at Cement. Learned a LOT.

kara-zarrKara Zarr
Equestrian Trainer
Forest Brook Equestrian

Kara started in English hunt style riding at age seven, and began showing competitively soon after. With 15+ years of experience in the show ring, she’s enjoyed lots of success in the pony hunter and junior rider divisions under the watchful eye of her trainer: Diane Peterjohn Masters.  

After all these competitions, she thought it was only natural to take a stab at training. For her, training means she can extend her knowledge to her clients and their horses. She specializes in matching students with the most appropriate horse/pony and giving riders the skills and confidence to succeed.  

Along with Diane Masters, she has clients showing across Ohio as well as on an IEA team, (Interscholastic equestrian team) consisting of middle and high school students who have qualified to regionals and zones from 2013-2015 and nationals in 2015.

In 2013, she and her father competed in “Race around Ohio,” which is kind of like the Amazing Race. They came in fifth out of 14 teams, and donated to the Franklin County Humane Society. For her, it was an amazing experience to give back to the community and do it in such a fun way.

Q. What does being “successful” mean to you?

The simple definition of success is accomplishing an aim or purpose. With respect to the conventional definition, I would say that my purpose is to provide an environment and opportunity for my clients to realize their full potential, not only as an athlete, but hopefully as a person as well since lessons learned in the ring (e.g. competitiveness, perseverance, patience, commitment) can be applied to all aspects of their lives as well.

Horseback riding is just the vehicle through which their goals are realized. It is seeing someone become proficient at what they do and observing the pride they take in achieving their personal goals. From a non-conventional and personal perspective, I view success in light of the ability to become self-sufficient and developing the respect of those with whom I interact on a personal as well as professional level.       

Q. What are you most looking forward to in the coming year(s)?

The continued development and expansion of my business opportunities and the rewards that accrue from the pursuit of that endeavor.

Q. What are some of your favorite things about Columbus?

My most favorite things about Columbus are more generic than anything else. Columbus is a community that is well regarded by the residents and non-residents alike, and I am proud of that perception. I consider the city to be forward thinking, family friendly, having a relatively low cost of living, and quite cosmopolitan for a city its size. The availability of high levels of education, quality healthcare and entertainment facilities are outstanding features of the city.   

Q. What was the last book you read? 

The last book I read was Single, The Art of Being Satisfied, Fulfilled and Independent, by Judy Ford. I love this book because it teaches one how to be happy and healthy as a single person and realize it’s ok to enjoy being just that….single.

Blake Compton
CEO & Founder
Compton Construction

As CEO & Founder of Compton Construction, Blake is building the businesses and communities that make up Columbus by leading one of the fastest-growing companies in Central Ohio.

He is a creative builder, an innovative leader, empowering advocate, a philanthropic donor, and a passionate community member that dedicates his time, talent and resources to building a better Columbus.

You can also find him through his involvement with lots of different community organizations like The Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, Wild Goose Creative, Glass Axis, Girls on the Run, and AIDS Resource Center.

Q. What does being “successful” mean to you?

For me, success isn’t awards or grand opportunities, it’s the little day-to-day things that make your efforts worthwhile. I define success as a fleeting moment and it’s a now thing. Success is waking up every day and being willing to work hard and accomplish whatever you can in that moment and in the now. I don’t know if I’ll ever be successful because it’s a reset every day. It’s kind of a mindset on how to push forward every day through the adversity and find the wins and the small things.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in the coming year(s)? 

It’s an exciting time at Compton, the business is expanding to take on bigger projects and we’re entering new industries. Currently, we’re working on the second-floor expansion of the Columbus Idea Foundry in Franklinton. It’s such a unique project and I’m very lucky to have the opportunity to work on something like this so early in my career.

I’ve also started working on a development project on Parsons Avenue with two partners. It will incorporate Compton’s new headquarters, a co-working space and commercial space, as well as green space that will be community facing.

Q. What are some of your favorite things about Columbus?

Columbus is a collaborative community that’s full of individuals working together to move the city forward, creatively and structurally. There are amazing artists, entrepreneurs and community advocates who push each other to achieve that next level of innovation. This “we’re in it together” spirit is energizing and motivating. I want to help build a better city that empowers entrepreneurs and makers to thrive.

Outside of that – I spend more time than I should at Arcade Super Awesome. First, I was playing Killer Queens, now it’s pinball. I’m kind of an all or nothing guy, so when I do something I go all in and get super involved. Now I play in Arcade Super Awesome’s pinball league and have started competing in tournaments. Right now I’m ranked as the 9202nd best player in the world by the International Flipper Pinball Association.

I’m also a die-hard Columbus Crew fan and have played soccer my entire life. Fromn 2008 to 2010, I was the equivalent of a full-time Crew supporter as the President of the Hudson Street Hooligans. I’ve visited many of the other big soccer cities and met a lot of other fans out there, but I think Columbus has the most passionate fans in the country.

Q. What was the last book you read? 

I’m currently reading Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer. Very interesting book about customer service. Not finished it yet, but I would already recommend it to anyone who owns a business or has a customer facing position in any industry.

saugat-pathakSaugat Pathak
Financial Analyst
Huntington National Bank

Saugat was born and raised in Calcutta, India (just a short 20hr flight from Columbus!). He relocated to the US in 2011, and has since fallen in love with Columbus.

After graduating from the MBA program at The Ohio State Univeristy Fisher College of Business, he’s worked on the Financial Planning & Analysis team at Huntington National Bank.

Outside of work, he volunteers with organizations like the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, Habitat for Humanity, and Lifecare Alliances. He also rides in Pelotonia and is proud of the $4,000 he’s raised during the last three years. He also enjoys being around good people and making new friends.

Q. What does being “successful” mean to you?

In general terms, “successful,” to me, translates as being happy and pursuing my dreams. In more specific terms, it’s doing what I love every day, helping others do what they love, reaching financial security, staying true to my values, and maintaining respectful relationships with those around me.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in the coming year(s)?

When I was a child, my dream was to be a pilot. For years I wouldn’t entertain any other potential professions. But as I grew up, I realized that I wasn’t ready to spend long hours in the cockpit or sleep in hotel beds. To this day, if I’m being honest, I look forward to continuing to evolve as an individual and connect with my inner self.

Additionally, I plan to travel, advance in my career, and hopefully settle down and have children.

Q. What are some of your favorite things about Columbus?

I came from India to Columbus during the fall and I didn’t like it; it was cold so I stayed mostly around OSU’s campus. However, once I started working downtown and began to brave the cold, I was amazed at what this city had to offer. I loved attending sports events, trying new restaurants, biking on local trails, staying active with CrossFit, going to the North Market, visiting the Columbus Museum of Art, and attending concerts and festivals. These have since become favorites and I enjoy discovering new places around the city.

Q. What was the last book you read? 

The last book I read was Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. This book presents an interesting perspective on human evolution by arguing the survival (and success) of the 21st Homo sapiens is, in large part, due to their unique ability to cooperate flexibly in large numbers. I highly recommend this book to anyone!

chet-ridenour-1Chet Ridenour
General Mangager
car2go

Chet graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a Business degree and Spanish minor. He’s actively involved in his neighborhood civic groups, like Friends of Goodale Park and Short North Block Watch.

He also serves on the board of the Short North Civic Association and Short North Foundation, plus is an active supporter of Transit Columbus and Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus. You can also watch him as he plays for the Columbus Jackaroos Australian Rules Football Club.

Q. What does being “successful” mean to you?

To me, “successful” is making a positive impact on people’s lives. From something as small as making them smile or laugh, to being a shoulder to cry on, to providing alternative transportation options for people to get around. The biggest indicator of success for me might be the people who consider me a friend. To me, friends are the family we choose for ourselves. And while I personally live by the motto: “There are no strangers, only friends I haven’t met yet,” those that would count me in their corner and proactively choose to invite me to share time with them is the only test I need to wonder if I’m successfully building the foundation for solid friendships.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in the coming year(s)? 

The Create Columbus Commission is continuing to define what Young Professionals want in a vibrant urban city, and I hope to continue helping them actively define and shape that vision. Plus, build the network of supporters to put these ideas into action. As Columbus continues to grow, especially in the Short North, we need to collectively think about what kind of communities we’re building, and ensure that development is responsible and sustainable so as we’re not driving out the artists, or the original community leaders that fought so hard to build the neighborhood into what it is becoming.

Q. What are some of your favorite things about Columbus?

I love how open the people are to new ideas, getting behind each other to help start a business, launch a new concept, and reach their goals. It is one the largest cities in the US, but it really can feel like a small town. There’s an entrepreneurial spirit and humble confidence that allows people to come together to achieve spectacular things.

When it comes to food, anything fast-casual has my name written all over it! From Piada to Fusian, Pizza Cucinova to Bibibop and Market 65, they’re quick, affordable, healthy, and I get exactly what I want every time. And when I’m looking for a neighborhood pub to quench my thirst, I look no further than my home-away-from-home Byrne’s Pub in Grandview, or Oddfellows in the Short North.

Q. What was the last book you read? 

I recently finished Bruce by Peter Ames Carlin. It covers Springsteen’s musical roots, inspirations, trials and tribulations that lead to what I consider the rising of the greatest Rock & Roll band of all-time. Loved the inside scoops and behind-the-scenes looks at the various incarnations of the E Street Band, and what crucial moments along their journey defined them and the people that drove this sound out for the world to discover.

matt-stakerMatthew Staker
Investigator
Columbus Division of Fire

Matt started as a police officer with the City of Dayton. After 10 years, he joined the Dayton Fire Department as a fire and explosives investigator.

When he decided it was time for a more vibrant and growing city, he relocated to Columbus and joined the Columbus Division of Fire, continuing his career as an investigator.

He’s also delved into real estate, after a joint venture with family where they built a custom home in Myrtle Beach, SC. After that, he decided to buy, sell, and renovate real estate in Ohio too. In 2012 he, along with his business partner, formed “First Due Properties.” They bought historic properties in an up-and-coming historic neighborhood in Dayton.

You can also find him playing in a public safety charity football team, The Columbus Marauders, which is part of the National Public Safety Football League. The team travels and plays in other large cities with a common mission of making an impact locally through various charities. Each year they raise a substantial amount of money for local charities and participate in charities like Habitat for Humanity.

Q. What does being “successful” mean to you?

Successful to me means fulfilling your human potential, striving and succeeding, overcoming setbacks, resetting and reshaping goals, and then feeling accomplished and allowing yourself to be satisfied with the win.

Q. What are you most looking forward to in the coming year(s)?

Finding my soulmate/teammate and starting a family.

Q. What are some of your favorite things about Columbus?

I live in the Short North and love the neighborhood and vibe as well as all the great venues it offers.

Q. What was the last book you read? 

The last book I read was, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It was a great read, but seemed kinda common sense, maybe people didn’t understand the “Golden Rule” in the 19th and 20th century.