Who are Arizona’s most influential Millennials?

They are called lazy, narcissistic, entitled. Nevertheless, Millennials are the largest and most educated generation in the United States today and they are impacting and driving every sector of Arizona’s business community. Here are 10 Millennials who are not just the future leaders of tomorrow, they are the movers and shakers in today’s business world.


Alison Christian

Alison Christian
Shareholder
Christian Dichter & Sluga, P.C.
Age: 34

Christian is an AV-rated shareholder at Christian Dichter & Sluga, a majority women-owned law firm in Phoenix. In 2012, she co-founded the Ladder Down program for women lawyers that is being modeled across the country. Value of youth: “Millenials are not afraid to challenge the status quo, and they are often motivated by a desire to find a bigger purpose in their work. The legal profession is steeped in traditions, some of which have made it difficult for women lawyers to succeed. I found purpose in my career by helping change the course for women lawyers. The Ladder Down program gives women the tools they need to succeed and is improving Arizona’s legal community, while also providing a platform for other states across the country to do the same.” Impact of Millennials: “Millenials will force businesses to answer a simple question: why? They are not satisfied with being told to do something because it is the way it has always been done. Nor are they as willing as previous generations to sacrifice their own happiness for financial gain. Businesses wanting to attract and retain talented employees will need to adapt. I expect the concept of physical office space to change dramatically, along with corporate cultures and salary structures. I am also hopeful that the millennial mindset will encourage businesses to think globally and see beyond existing geographic or linguistic barriers.”


Brian Colling

Brian Colling
owner and CEO, Colling Media
Age: 34

Colling is an Arizona-raised graduate of ASU. In 2009, he started Colling Media, a technology-infused, results-driven advertising agency. Colling Media has been nationally recognized by Inc. 5000, as one of the fastest-growing private companies. Colling is one of the Top 35 Entrepreneurs Under 35 of 2015 recognized by the Arizona Republic. Value of youth: “Growing up as a Millennial, it was clear that my generation was like no other. We were to become the teachers of technology as it drove everything we did. This led me to create a technology-infused advertising company driven by results. Impact of Millennials: “A decade from now. Millennials — with the help of other generations — will have completely changed the business landscape.  Every business model will have some level of e-commerce with a predictable cost per acquisition. Media consumption will have endless engagement and we’ll finally have our ‘Back to The Future’ hover boards and they’ll be eco-friendly.”


Brandy Ficek

Brandy Ficek, MD
Medical director, quality of life and palliative medicine
Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Western Regional Medical Center
Age: 34

Dr. Ficek provides leadership for the development and delivery of services to improve quality of life for families throughout all stages of cancer treatment. Dr. Ficek serves as chair of the Ethics Committee, national lead for CTCA’s Parenting Through Cancer program, and has presented internationally on helping families facing cancer.
Value of youth: “As a young professional, being open to others’ advice and experience has allowed me to transform my passion and ideas for helping others from abstract concepts into sustainable programs.” Impact of Millennials: “With continued technological advances, I think the biggest change will be the interconnectedness of the business community, even across disparate industries, to make positive changes for the community as a whole.”


James Goodnow

James Goodnow
Partner
Fennemore Craig
Age: 34

Goodnow is a Harvard Law School graduate who handles catastrophic injury and wrongful death matters. The American Bar Association Journal named him one of “America’s Techiest Lawyers,” and Apple selected him as the first lawyer to be featured in one of its global ad campaigns. The father of two performs countless hours of pro-bono work and is active in the community, having recently founded The Kidney Challenge.
Value of youth: “My age naturally translated into an interest in technology. Interjecting my tech passion into a profession that can trace its origins back thousands of years has been a challenge and an opportunity.”
Impact of Millennials: “I’m hopeful that Arizona’s growing creative and tech industries can push our economy to new heights. The clichés say that my generation is less hungry than others. I disagree. I believe my generation is just as driven—just in less conventional ways.”


Melissa Ho

Melissa Ho
Shareholder
Polsinelli
Age: 35

Ho practices law in the areas of government investigations and white collar criminal defense. She serves on the board of the Arizona Justice Project and has held leadership positions in a number of organizations including the State Bar of Arizona and the Arizona Asian American Bar Association.
Value of youth: “As a Millennial, I bring energy, authenticity and self-expression to the table. These qualities have opened doors for me and helped me make a positive difference in Arizona’s business community quickly.”
Impact of Millennials: “Millennials are innovative. We have built businesses out of the ruins of the recession. Ten years from now, we will see creativity and business success evolve in ways no one can imagine.”


Carson Holmquist

Carson Holmquist
CEO
Stream Logistics
Age: 30

In May 2012, at the age of 26, Holmquist co-created and launched Stream Logistics, a third-party logistics brokerage, and currently spearheads the entire operations division. He developed Stream Logistics from a start-up business which utilized a kitchen as its initial office into a company that has surpassed $15 million in annual revenue and built an incredible reputation as a boutique-style logistics company and national carrier provider.
Value of youth: “As a Millennial leader and entrepreneur, I wanted to contribute to Arizona’s economy and the small business community with Stream Logistics. The American economy is built on innovation and small businesses and I wanted to be a contributing element of the growth and prosperity.”
Impact of Millennials: “Millennials will shape the way of business with innovative, tech-savvy ideas to make a workplace more efficient. After experiencing an intense recession which was driven by price-motivated purchasing habits, Millennials will also be credited with the return of American quality and customer experience.”


Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson
Sales executive
Lovitt & Touché
Age: 33

Johnson is a sales executive with Lovitt & Touché, one of the nation’s largest insurance brokerages. She specializes in property and casualty insurance and is trusted by many of Arizona’s top companies in the $30 million to $500 million range to ensure profitability and mitigate risk.
Value of youth: “I was raised to be competitive and instilled with the belief that I can do anything. When I set a goal, I do everything possible to achieve it.”
Impact of Millennials: “We’re evolving the workplace. A salary won’t be the sole reason for keeping a job. Companies with similar core values that honor a work/life balance will thrive.”


Courtney Klein

Courtney Klein
Co-founder
Seed Spot
Age: 32

Klein is the co-founder and CEO of Seed Spot. Klein’s work has been profiled by Forbes, USA Today and Huffington Post. Klein has been named as one of the “25 Most Dynamic Women in Business,” one of the nation’s “Top 30 Civic Leaders Under the Age of 30,” and one of “20 Women to Change Arizona by 2020.” Klein is graduate of Arizona State University, an Ironman finisher and new mom.
Value of youth: “Hand’s down: mentors. I have been incredibly fortunate to learn from some of the best leaders in Arizona over the years. I am constantly asking for advice from people who are much smarter than me.”
Impact of Millennials: “More color. The lack of diversity in leadership positions in Arizona is appalling and I think the Millennial generation is the one to change it. More local. No one travels to a city to check out the Applebees — our generation wants a vibrant local business community. #buylocal.”


Jason Mitchell

Jason Mitchell
Founder and president
The Jason Mitchell Realty Group at Realty Executives
Age: 34

Mitchell is a residential real state icon in greater Phoenix and the founder of The Jason Mitchell Realty Group at Realty Executives. Mitchell is recognized as the No. 1 producing agent under 40 in the state of Arizona. He is also the co-founder of Desert Bridge Capital, a real estate investment firm.
Value of youth: “As part of the Millennial generation, I witnessed layoffs and home forecloses during the massive recession. I wanted to make an impact in Arizona’s economy and business community by creating jobs and opening doors for opportunities.”
Impact of Millennials: “Millennials’ renewed focus on growth and development will transpire in the workplace, where they can find their purpose and be passionate about what they do.”


Mukil Mohan

Mukil Mohan
Co-founder
INanoBio
Age: 35

Mohan is the co-founder and COO of INanoBio, which is developing a $100 genome sequencer and cancer diagnostics for personalized medicine. He has a master’s begree in electrical engineering and an MBA from ASU. He is a foodie, who likes to experience different cultures through their cuisines.
Value of youth: “Millennial pragmatic idealism and a high degree of confidence in our team and technology have enabled us to strive to build a business with the potential to disrupt current healthcare costs and democratize personalized medicine.”
Impact of Millennials: “The current boom in high-tech startups driven by Millennials will diversify the economy of the state beyond its traditional growth drivers into a very eclectic and vibrant economy.”


Nick Obie

Nick Obie
Vice president
AXA Advisors Southwest
Age: 32

A former professional golfer and collegiate golfer at University of Redlands, where he was a three-time conference player of the year and three-time All-American, Obie is vice president of AXA Advisors Southwest. An active volunteer through AXA and former board member of GET Phoenix, his team was recently honored with the 2015 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.
Value of youth: “I was taught from an early age the value of people and relationships. In the financial services industry, it’s all about people and relationships. I have always enjoyed helping people and building relationships, and that has had a very positive effect on my business.”
Impact of Millennials: “With our technological ingenuity, I believe Millennials will continue to change the way that business is done. With the right guidance and partnership from today’s leaders, we will change the way that people connect, share ideas, implement strategies and constantly create new efficiencies in the world.”