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Notley Announces Investment in Three Columbus Changemakers

Published: September 19, 2022

Notley is a catalyst for social innovation with a drive to scale and support businesses, nonprofits, individuals and programs making positive change. And we are on a mission to unleash relentless changemakers all over the world.

In support of our mission, Notley expanded to Columbus and Denver this year and we are thrilled to announce our first investment in changemakers in Columbus! These individuals who are using unique models to address issues impacting their community were carefully selected by the Notley Catalyst Network.

Please join us in offering an abundant congratulations to Ashton Colby of Gender YOUphoria, Branden Jones of Color Coded Labs and LC Johnson of Zora’s House!

Over the next year, Notley will distribute $10,000 in unrestricted funding to each individual in support of their organization. In addition, Notley will provide connections, national exposure, and strategic guidance from our growing bench of support to help further their impact.

“We want to find great people doing great work, and be the wind behind their sails,” said Erin Huddleston, VP of Growth and Partnerships at Notley. “Notley Market Directors are connecting with phenomenal leaders who are moving the needle on issues impacting their communities daily. We are committed to helping these leaders scale their work and address barriers to their success.”

“I have admired all three of these individuals and the work that they are doing,” said Bailey Hanley, Columbus Market Director at Notley. “The tremendous success they have had, and will continue to have, will impact the lives of many in our community! I look forward to seeing the impact Notley’s support has outlined will have on these individuals and the community at large.”

Ashton Colby

Ashton is an advocate for LGBTQ+ civil rights protections at the Ohio state, federal and international level. He is the founder of Gender YOUphoria, a social enterprise changing disempowering narratives about transgender people in major media, healthcare and public policy. Their programming is provided to queer and transgender people at low or no cost.

Ashton is out to help individuals find a state of alignment with one’s gender identity they embody when they are thriving not just physically, but emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Additionally, he teaches innovative organizations how to have dynamic, compassionate communication and mindfulness-based LGBTQ+ and gender diversity training.

Ashton is a TEDxColumbus speaker who has been featured by People, Bustle, Today, NBC News Now, PBS NewsHour, Columbus CEO Magazine, Yahoo News, India Times, and more. He is on the advisory boards for the L.E.A.P. LGBTQ Entrepreneur Accelerator Program and Pride Fund 1, a venture capital fund providing funding to LGBTQ founded companies.

Branden Jones

Branden is an entrepreneur building diverse and inclusive ecosystems with 10+ years of experience in marketing, building strategic partnerships, and working with scalable brands. Branden knows that diversity breeds innovation and has made it his mission to keep those pipelines flowing – which is one reason why he co-founded Color Coded Labs in 2020.

Color Coded Labs is a 16-week tech & coding bootcamp designed to create a direct pipeline for underrepresented talent. The bootcamp targets the underrepresented tech force made up of African-Americans, Latinx, and New Americans who are looking for career advancement. Color Coded Labs plans to skill 10,000 underrepresented tech workers by 2040.

Branden is addressing the increasing demand for diversity in the tech industry by way of their coding bootcamp; making sure people of color have the skills they need to stand out as premier talent and connecting the students that complete their programs with jobs paying a desirable wage.

LC Johnson

LC Johnson is an award-winning writer, entrepreneur, and activist with a passion for uplifting and empowering women and communities of color. In addition to over ten years of experience developing and facilitating entrepreneurship, economic development, and social justice initiatives, LC is the founder of Zora’s House – a coworking and community space whose mission is to provide women of color with the clarity, confidence, and connections they need to amplify their authentic voices; grow and contribute their talents; and powerfully transform their lives, careers, and communities.

LC is doing remarkable work to create safe spaces for women of color to establish meaningful, supportive relationships with other women in their community; develop a deeper practice of self care, resiliency, and emotional intelligence; and successfully incubate their creativity, scholarship, entrepreneurship, activism, service and leadership.

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