Co-founder and COO, Portfolio Creative
About: Kristen Harris helped co-founder Catherine Lang-Cline create the Columbus region’s first and only staffing and recruiting firm focused solely on creative and marketing roles. Before starting Portfolio Creative, Harris held several creative and leadership positions, including roles with Express, Structure, Limited Too, and Victoria’s Secret.
By creating opportunities, we can develop young people with creative talent from our underserved communities, providing meaningful career options in the arts.
Community involvement: Portfolio Creative supports Columbus Society of Communicating Arts, American Marketing Association, American Advertising Federation, Rise & Design, Creative Mornings, Together Digital, Greater Columbus Arts Council and the Wexner Center for the Arts. Harris is a member of the ASA National board of directors. Past board positions include CSCA, NAWBO Columbus and EO Entrepreneurs’ Organization.
Harris also is a founding supporter of the Matriots PAC.
What does Columbus need to thrive? Columbus is a great city–I’ve been here to see the evolution from a so-called “cow town” in the late 1980s to the Midwestern jewel it is now. But, as proud as I am of our city, we still have work to do. Mayor Ginther and national publications have tagged us as an “opportunity city,” especially highlighting our creatives and artists. As an “opportunity city” we need to lift up and provide opportunity for all of our citizens. To look closely at the inequities between neighborhoods, including access to quality education and other resources. At how we are supporting and growing small businesses, especially those owned by minorities and women.
Harris’ idea: We could develop a diverse creative workforce pipeline with internships, mentorships and commitments to hire for entry-level candidates of color. By creating opportunities, we can develop young people with creative talent from our underserved communities, providing meaningful career options in the arts. With mentorship and career progression for creatives of color, we can develop people into leadership roles. This would provide more diverse local business leadership as well as mentorship for young creatives.