From financial Coaches and investment advisers to Venture capitalist and Portfolio manAgers - these rising stars are building a better Cincinnati by making wealth building easier for all of us.

Alison Hurt
  • Alison Hurt, 32, financial coach at Cincinnati Works, Inc.
  • Hometown: Miamar, FL
  • Current neighborhood: Spring Grove Village

A designer turned financial coach, Alison Hurt spends her days working hard to help Cincinnati Works' clients break the cycle of poverty through one-on-one coaching and financial literacy workshops.

Through her work, Hurt helps clients craft tailored budgets, better understand credit and develop plans for paying off debt. According to her nominator: "Alison understands the culture of poverty and the challenges many face: A distrust of traditional financial institutions and the significant numbers living 'paycheck-to-paycheck' often in low-wage jobs, which fail to meet their needs.'"

As clients advance through the program, Hurt guides them as they establish good credit, budget for major purchases, open savings and checking accounts, complete their taxes, and access programs for low-interest loans.

Apryl Pope
  • Apryl Pope, 38, CEO of Apryl Pope Financial
  • Hometown: Cincinnati
  • Current neighborhood: North Avondale

A former math and personal finance teacher, Apryl made a career switch two years ago to launch her own financial planning business- Apryl Pope Financial.

From individuals and families to small and growing businesses, Pope leads her clients through retirement planning, investment options, paying down debt and wealth building and management. Among her top passions: Helping small business owners entrepreneurs invest and plan for retirement.

Pope was recently “the spotlight” for the Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce and was named a Rising Star by Capital Choice Financial Group.

JB Woodruff
  • JB Woodruff, 36, managing director of UpTech
  • Hometown: Cincinnati
  • Current neighborhood: Mt. Lookout

As the managing director of UpTech, JB Woodruff leads a team of of entrepreneurs and investors committed to helping tech start-ups launch successfully in our region.

Over the last six years, Uptech has invested more than $3 million in 47 companies, helping each with strategies for raising capital and crafting sound business fundamentals. Uptech's investment help garner an additional $6 million follow-on investment for the firms which collectively have created more than 220 jobs locally.

Woodruff also serves as commercialization director for the Northern Kentucky Innovation Network, a program created by the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development to help grow new and existing companies and create new jobs.

Karie Kuns-Nguyen
  • Karie Kuns-Nguyen, 33, Tax Director at PwC
  • Hometown: Lexington, KY
  • Current neighborhood: West Chester Township, OH

Described as "out-front leader," Karie Kuns-Nguyen is helping scores of regional private companies navigate the recent monumental tax reform.

A top tax director at PwC, she's frequently tapped as a coach and mentor and is a founding member of the Financial Executives International Women's Networking Roundtable in Cincinnati.

Outside of PwC, Kuns-Nguyen spends her time giving back to the community. She's a long-time Adopt-a-Class volunteer, and more recently she has focused her efforts on expanding the work of the Star Legacy Foundation - an organization founded to share information about stillbirth with families and medical providers.

Savon Gibson
  • Savon Gibson, 37, CEO Empire Consulting
  • Hometown: Millvale, OH
  • Current neighborhood: Forest Park, OH

When he's not at his full-time job at the Internal Revenue Service, Savon Gibson is hosting financial literacy workshops to local students and residents in some of the city's most challenged communities.

"I come from a situation where finances weren't discussed much and I didn't grow up with a lot," he said. "I want to give back to where I came from."

Through Empire Consulting, he hosts monthly financial literacy Workshops at the Main Library downtown, the Carpe Diem Preparatory Academy and the Hamilton County Youth Detention Center. He also manages a stock market fantasy league - an online investment simulator aimed at teaching users investment basics.

Outside of work and consulting, Gibson is an avid community volunteer serving as a mentor to local youth. He's also a graduate of the Talbert House's Fatherhood Project and has served as a program ambassador.

Jamie Heidrich
  • Jamie Heidrich, 28, senior program analyst, enterprise risk management at Fifth Third Bank
  • Hometown: Boardman, OH
  • Current neighborhood: Covington, KY

In her role as a senior program analyst, Jamie Heidrich monitors the top risks to Fifth Third Bank's many business lines and manages new risks as they emerge. It's an enormous task, considering the Cincinnati-based bank's size and reach: $142 billion in assets, more than 1,150 banks, and $362 billion in assets under care.

But Heidrich's influence extends far beyond her day job. She leads Fifth Third's Cincinnati young professionals group, which has 28 committee members and more than 450 general members.

As a member of the bank's Women’s Business Resource Group she co-chaired a subcommittee that organized monthly events to feature female leaders from the across the community. In addition to serving on several other committees, she was nominated as semi-finalist for the Queen City Young Professional Accolades– Culture Driver Award in 2017.

She has also served as a loaned executive to United Way of Greater Cincinnati, helping 60 local firms oversee their own fundraising campaigns.

Holly Mazzocca
  • Holly Mazzocca, 31, investment adviser at Bartlett & Co.
  • Hometown: Villa Hills, KY
  • Current neighborhood: Fort Thomas, KY

An investment adviser at one of Cincinnati's oldest financial firms, Holly Mazzocca helps Bartlett's clients manage their financial picture and wealth through all of life's transitions.

She's a member of Bartlett's Progressive Leadership Committee, the firm's leadership training and succession planning program. She's also helping lead work to refine the firm's Environmental, Social, Governance Investing programs which help align client portfolios with their personal position and beliefs.

Outside of Bartlett's walls, Mazzocca is highly invested in her community through the Northern Kentucky Chamber where she's serving on the finance committee of Diocese of Covington's Center for Children and Families.

Josh Keeling
  • Josh Keeling, 24, financial advisor, Northwestern Mutual
  • Hometown: College Hill
  • Current neighborhood: College Hill

As a financial advisor at Norwestern Mutual, Josh Keeling is making big strides as he works to grow the firm's reach locally and help families craft plans to build wealth. Central to his work is expanding investment and wealth building opportunities in Greater Cincinnati's underserved neighborhoods.

"Not a lot of African American professionals, do what I do, and there are a lot communities that are underserved when it comes to financial planning and wealth building," he said.

When he's not working with clients directly a Northwestern Mutual, Keeling mentors and recruits area college students for internships and full-time positions. He's also laying the groundwork to open up his own Northern Western Mutual investment office in the neighborhood he grew up, College Hill.

Mike Rodarte
  • Michael Rodarte, 36, portfolio manager at Sycamore Capital
  • Hometown: Sharonville
  • Current neighborhood: Columbia Tusculum

At Cincinnati-based Sycamore Capital Michael Rodarte works with a team of seven other portfolio managers and research analysts to manage $20 billion in assets for investors, which include pension funds and large retail clients.

Outside of Sycamore, Rodarte is a top champion and volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati, having been involved with the mentoring agency since 2007. A founding member of the the agency's Young Professional's Board, he is also is part of that board's executive committee.

Under his leadership, he's recruited other up-and-coming young professionals to help raises funds, host events and recruit new mentors. He's currently organizing a breakfast series involving well-known Cincinnatians in order to bring more attention to Big Brothers Big Sisters and mentoring.

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