Leadership - Derek Grosso - CEO and Founder

Leadership Position:
CEO and Founder
Columbus Young Professionals Club
Job Title:
CEO & Founder
Bachelors Degree
Lives In:
Long Island, NY

About Derek

Derek Grosso is CEO and Founder of the Columbus Young Professionals Club (CYP Club), a “for-impact” membership association made up of 25,000 young professionals, entrepreneurs, executives, and creatives who live in the Columbus region. Founded in 2005, the CYP Club is the largest membership organization of young professionals/millennials in the United States.

Through Derek’s leadership, the CYP Club has offered hundreds of events, established thousands of connections, volunteered more than 100,000 service hours, donated $535,000 to local charities, and contributes $2.1 million annually in economic impact to Central Ohio. Derek also advises young professional organizations and membership clubs around the country through The Grosso Group. He is an entrepreneur, a leadership consultant, and a public speaker.

Derek studied entrepreneurship and small business management at The George Washington University in Washington, DC and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He proudly serves the community as a board member for CYP Club Cares and Columbus Inspires, as well as President of the Upper Arlington Volleyball Booster Club. He lives in Upper Arlington with his wife Nicci and daughter Hannah.

• 2005 – After working for various magazine titles in Washington DC, Derek moves to Columbus, OH to launch C-BUS Magazine, reaching an estimated annual readership of 350,000 in its first year.
• 2005 – Also launches the Columbus Young Professionals Club as a free-membership organization.
• 2009 – After several years as publisher for C-BUS, Derek begins to focus on the CYP Club as its full-time CEO.
• 2010 – Co-organizes the first-ever Ohio Young Professionals Weekend, a state-wide summit bringing together young professional leaders and students from across Ohio.
• 2013 – Launches CityPulse: The Young Professional’s Guide to Columbus as an annual magazine for young professionals and new residents to the region.
• 2015 – Forms City Venture Holdings, focused on strategic alliances and expansion, including management of The Grandview Hop summer series and YP programming for suburban chambers of commerce.
• 2016 – Launches Music City Young Professionals in Nashville, TN, the first organization outside of Ohio based on the CYP Club’s membership and events model.
• 2017 – Develops the first-ever Columbus YP Week, a collaborative calendar with dozens of events for area young professionals and emerging leaders across the city, with an estimated 2,500 participants.
• 2018 – Announces plans for CityPulse Guides to be published semiannually with The Young Professional’s Guide to Columbus and the Citywide Charity & Arts Guide, in partnership with Columbus City Council, the Greater Columbus Arts Council, and The Columbus Foundation.
• 2018 – Launches The Columbus Impact Academy, an 8-month experiential leadership initiative for emerging leaders across Central Ohio.
• 2019 – Announces expansion plans for The Grandview Hop to occur 4 times throughout the summer (last Saturdays in June, July, August & September) as a sidewalk market and outdoor block party along Grandview Avenue welcoming thousands of attendees each month.

• 2001 – Named “Undergraduate Entrepreneur of the Year” by the GW School of Business
• 2009 – Named one of Columbus Alive’s “People to Watch”
• 2010 – Named “Best Community Leader” by Columbus C.E.O Magazine
• 2011 – Winner of the Columbus Chamber’s Small Business Leader Award
• 2014 – Inaugural class of “Smart 50” Columbus Leaders List recognized by Smart Business Magazine
• 2017 – Named “Who to Watch in Central Ohio” by Smart Business Columbus
• 2017 – Recognized as a “40 Under 40” honoree by Columbus Business First
• 2017 – Named to the “Smart 50” Columbus Leaders List by Smart Business Magazine
• 2020 – Selected as part of Columbus CEO’s inaugural group of "Future 50" leaders—people with the ideas, the energy and the hearts to move the Columbus region forward

What does Columbus offer young professionals?
We live in an exciting and emerging area - one that offers business, culture, politics, sports, dining, and more. The city still has many more years of growth ahead of it and I look forward to all that will make the area even stronger. I see Columbus as a positive magnet for young professionals of all backgrounds, offering a multitude of neighborhoods, cultures, and great people.

What do you hope members get out of their involvement?
I always say that whatever you put into the organization will come back in larger number. I hope all members have a chance to get involved with the CYP Club in their own way to continue the growth of the organization. I encourage you to take advantage of the variety of events and opportunities the Club allows members to develop and connect.

What's your favorite CYP Club event and why?
A lot of members like to attend our larger events (several hundred in attendance) - and I really enjoy the large crowds. However, I tend to prefer the smaller events, where you can make a strong connection in an intimate setting.

How would you describe Columbus?
It is a diverse and growing metropolitan area that combines the best of the city and the suburbs.