Young Professional Profiles

Michelle Galligan

Photo by Ryan M.L. Young

Age: 34

Occupation: CEO and cofounder, ViaVero

Education: bachelor’s degree in management information systems, University of Dayton

Hometown: Springboro, a Dayton suburb

Community and board involvement: board member, Beagel BioProducts and Entrepreneurs’ Organization Columbus; advisory board chair, Bad Girl Ventures Columbus; advisory member, Ohio State University Technology Commercialization and Knowledge Transfer, Student Commercialization board

Neighborhood: Downtown

Personal: Single


When and why did you move to Columbus?

(Galligan took a job in Ernst & Young’s Columbus office in 2001.)

Ernst & Young, in my personal opinion, and probably any big-four firm, is a great place to be a young professional. It really has this high-performance, collaborative culture about it, and they encourage a lot of community involvement. It’s this work-hard, play-hard philosophy that works really well for young professionals.


What do you like about living in Columbus?

I moved up here from Cincinnati because I really was looking for a much more vibrant young professional scene. Because we have a lot of people who stay after they leave Ohio State, I think that it’s a really energetic community. One of the things I see that’s different from other cities … we have a lot of young professionals who are really involved in the community, which I think is really cool. Some of them even starting their own nonprofits, sitting on boards of nonprofits, getting involved in networking organizations. It seems like people really just embrace that here.


What could Columbus improve?

We could use a little more innovation from the current companies in Columbus. I think that’s an attractor for talent. When you have really, really bright students graduating from, not just Ohio State, but the other universities in town, a lot of people are looking to do something different and do something interesting. We don’t have a lot of the large corporations here in Columbus that are really focused on innovation. 

I think we need to continue to develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem here. I think that we still have a little of the Midwest mentality that the thing to do when you graduate is to go get a job with a big corporation. There are a lot of examples of young professionals who’ve really built some amazing businesses. So I think we need to build an even stronger ecosystem to support those individuals.


What’s your favorite way to spend a Saturday night?

Definitely in the Short North. Rossi is definitely my favorite. … Also, just kind of walking around and stopping in wherever it seems like people are having a good time.


What’s your favorite way to spend a Sunday morning?

Grabbing some coffee at Cup of Joe or One Line [and then] walking around the Short North or taking a run on the Scioto Path.