Level Up Summit Awards Excelling Young Professionals

The Young Professionals of Central Virginia and the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance co-hosted its third annual Level Up Young Professionals Summit on Tuesday, November 16 on the campus of the University of Lynchburg.


The Level Up Young Professionals Summit is a one-day conference for young professionals. The day offers motivating speakers, thought-provoking sessions, and the opportunity to connect with other young professionals. 


The University of Lynchburg was the presenting partner and host. Additional partners included: Parker Productions, First Bank & Trust, Liberty University, Mellow Mushroom, Iron & Ale, and Gary’s Garden Center.



At the event, five outstanding young professionals were recognized for their professional and personal accomplishments. Each award winner was nominated by a peer and reviewed by Young Professional of Central Virginia Executive Committee members and staff. The 2021 class is as follows:

Sarah Blankenship, Deposit Operations Specialists and RSS Manager for the Bank of James.

Sarah Blankenship is a Deposit Operations Specialist and RSS Manager for Bank of the James. In her role, Sarah supervises the bank’s Retail Support Staff and manages their daily workflow. As a team, they deal with all levels of bank staff and patrons to resolve issues and increase efficiency for end users and their workflow processes as well as ensure efficient operations. She is a member of YPCV, VBA’s Emerging Bank Leaders, and sits on the Adult Multidisciplinary Team for Campbell County.

Chelsea Ogden, Associate Director of Counseling Services, Johnson Health Center. Chelsea Ogden is the Associate Director of Counseling Services for Johnson Health Center. She also maintains a part-time counseling and consulting private practice. Chelsea is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Nationally Certified Counselor, Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist, and a Registered Play Therapist. She is the President Elect of the Junior League of Lynchburg.


Nina Rezai, Economic Development Manager, Campbell County.

Nina Rezai assumed the position as Economic Development Manager for Campbell County in 2020. She is responsible for the economic prosperity in Campbell County through new job creation, new investment, and business support. Since her start, she's executed job fairs for the county, created a small business startup program, and worked on several business expansion projects creating new jobs for the citizens of Campbell Co. She is a member of Junior League and is Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the YWCA of Central Virginia.


Ronald Richardson, Branch Manager, Atlantic Union Bank.

Ron has been with Atlantic Union Bank for 3 years and he currently serves as the Branch Manager of the Langhorne location. As Branch Manager, Ron is responsible for day-to-day operations at the bank, and ensuring customer and employee success. In addition to Ron’s leadership role at the bank, Ron serves as a Full Time Youth Pastor and Full Time Organist at the Ramp Church.




Lakrisha Scott, Senior HR Generalist, Lynchburg City Schools.

In her role, Lakrisha impacts many areas of the HR department, including compliance with laws and regulations, continuous improvement of HR services, and ensuring confidentiality is maintained with all employee records. She is a member of Jr. League, a Board of Director for YWCA Central VA, and a member of the Lynchburg Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.




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