Researchers typicallly define the millennial generation as those born after 1980 and before sometime in the mid 1990's. That puts them at the right age to be making waves in America's workforce. They're young professionals, business owners, managers and experts in a diverse array of fields, making waves in the community. They're also pushing back against the sometimes negative perception of their generation through hard work, creative thinking, and powerful drive. Meet these local millenials who are changing Lexington for the better.
Lexington Diagnostic Center & Open MRI
Dr. Jason Harris, Owner & Radiologist
“Each patient we see at Lexington Diagnostic Center & Open MRI is extremely important to me and our entire team,” says Dr. Jason Harris. “We understand what we do makes a significant difference in this patient’s life,” he shares.
As Lexington’s only locally owned and operated free-standing independent imaging facility, LDC can save their patients 30-60% compared to the costs of diagnostic imaging at the local hospitals. “We believe every patient deserves the best in affordable, quality care,” Dr. Harris explains. “A patient at LDC always knows what their testing will cost up front, there are no hidden fees or surprise bills that arrive weeks or months later.”
“Being the owner and Radiologist of Lexington Diagnostic Center & Open MRI, I know that every decision starts and ends with what is best for the patient. I look at each patient as if they are a member of my family, as someone I know, this motivates me to give my absolute best,” he says. Dr. Jason Harris also appreciates his dedicated management team and exceptional staff, “I enjoy working with our talented team at LDC and I look forward to where the future takes us.”
Brennan & Associates At Merril Lynch
Mark J. Dill experienced the turmoil of the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009 while he was a student at Henry Clay High School. “My parents worked hard to ensure that my sister, Meredith, and I could afford to go to college,” says Mark. This influenced Mark’s father to start bringing home the USA Today to teach him about the markets and business news. Now a Wealth Advisor at Merrill Lynch, Mark shares, “These memories motivate me to continue reading and learning so that I may serve families in the highest capacity.”
As a partner with Brennan & Associates at Merrill Lynch, Mark says, “We recognize that affluence can place unusual demands on families in our community. Mollie and I strategically partner with families to design a multi-generational legacy plan with the warmth and comfort of a boutique, family office.” Mark is excited about the opportunity to help Lexington grow and prosper. “My team is fortunate to be growing and expanding, now we plan to deploy more resources for those who need them most. My wife, Alison, and I have specific organizations we support, but we look forward to engaging more with civic leaders in their community-building endeavors.”
Mark encourages young professionals to surround themselves with people who want to be successful when entering the workplace today. He says that Abraham Lincon said it best, “I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.”
Carson's Food & Drink
Carson Fichtner, Marketing Director
Carson Fichtner has long recognized that the use of technology in the workplace has given the millennial generation a bit of an edge in the ever-evolving world we live in. As the Marketing Director for Carson’s Food and Drink, this tech-savvy approach has definitely been an advantage in their marketing strategy while balancing the core values of their company, something that Carson feels sets them apart from the rest. He explains, “At Carson’s, it is tremendously important to us that we remain approachable and give off a warm and inviting nature within our restaurant. That same principle applies to our marketing strategy. We are in the hospitality industry after all, and we feel that can often be lost, especially in the realm of marketing.”
Motivated daily by his beautiful family, Carson has plans to expand his efforts – and his team – in the next ten years, taking his business to a new level. “I truly hope to see my current one-man operation turn into a diverse set of other team members,” Carson shares. “Creating other job opportunities for people in the design and marketing field is a lifelong goal for me, and hopefully we can make that happen, and soon!” Coming from a creative collegiate background himself, Carson advises, “Don’t ever let anyone devalue the creative side of our world or your role in it. If you are passionate about an artistic or creative job, pursue it. Don’t let anyone else deter you from finding yourself in the things you love.”
Peplum & DryBar
Lauren West: Owner, DryBar & Peplum • Colleen Costello: General Manager, Peplum • Denisha Scott: Shop Educator, DryBar
For Lauren West, owner of Drybar and Peplum, the priority will always be the customer, something she feels sets apart her business in the industry today. “Our clients enjoy and have come to expect our personal touch on their experience. We make every person that enters our doors feel welcomed and celebrated.” On that note, it is no surprise that the incredible clients motivate Lauren. She has established lasting relationships with them over the years. “Other women continue to motivate me and drive me forward each day,” she shares. “Our clients have become friends and their energy and enthusiasm for our brand make us want to be better and work harder every day.”
Speaking of other women, not only does Lauren feel that Peplum and Drybar have such a great synergy because both businesses share the same purpose, she credits her incredible team for their continued success. Lauren explains, “The sole purpose of both brands is to instill confidence and happiness in our clients. We want women to leave us feeling empowered and full of love for themselves, but you can’t create that kind of environment without the right people in place. That’s why Denisha Scott, the Shop Educator at Drybar and Colleen Costello, the General Manager at Peplum, are such an integral part of our team. Culture starts at the top and both ladies understand that our number one priority is to love on our clients and make sure that anyone who enters our doors feels like a million bucks!”
Cravens Realty - Josh & Kim
Joshua T. Barrett & Kim Caywood
Despite the common misconception surrounding the work ethic of millennials, Joshua T. Barrett and Kim Caywood of Cravens Realty are proving that in actuality, the millennial generation is anything but what society often labels them as. Josh explains, “I think we’re pigeonholed as lazy and self- centered, and although that may be true for some, I find many millennials are efficient and hardworking.” He continues, “living through the recession has made millennials fearful, so they are thrifty, but at the same time, they really take risks and do what hasn’t been done. They invest, especially in real estate, as they see its’ value. They are tech-savvy and use that to work smarter, not harder.”
Cravens Realty has been locally owned and operated since 1997 by Mike Cravens. Kim has been actively selling real estate for the past 15 years. Josh began selling real estate at the age of 18 and actively sold up until 2019 when he took a more passive role in the company. Today, Kim heads up all the buying and selling as Josh manages customer service and client relationships.
“Seeing a family make a house a home continues to motivate us each day,” Josh and Kim share unanimously. They say that, “providing for our own families, creating jobs, spurring on the American and Kentucky economies and being a part of a great community while building in it are driving factors pushing us to show up and do our best, each and every day.” Partnering with Kim has afforded Barrett the time to become more civically and politically involved. “I am passionate about showing up and representing our people. I feel a great calling to make a difference for the folks in central Kentucky”.
Andres Aguirre, Manager And Partner
Andres Aguirre brings his passion for people to Campestre, a family-owned Mexican Bar and Grill company based out of Princeton, West Virginia. “I love working with people and I like to talk to a lot of people. This continues to motivate me each and every day when I come to work. In ten years, I hope to have opened more Campestre locations all around Kentucky; that would be the goal!”
Serving as Lexington’s Premiere destination for “South of the Border” favorites, Campestre boasts a full bar, 16 different draft beers and dishes made with top quality ingredients, like their tasty salsa blanca. As the Manager and Partner, Andres feels that the Campestre style mixes up the more traditional Mexican restaurant vibe creating a unique ambiance that people are drawn to. “We pride ourselves in serving only the freshest, most delicious, authentic Mexican cuisine. Our dishes are perfectly seasoned, generously portioned and always made to order. Quality veggies and meat comes with a price, but we know that people deserve the best,” Andres explains.
Despite the perception – often held by millennials – that opening a business is easy, Andres advises others that it is not as simple as it seems. “Working hard is always what I recommend to people just getting started in their careers. That and find something you love to do and pursue it with all you’ve got!”
The Kentucky Castle
Christie Eckerline, Chief Operating Officer
For Christie Eckerline, Chief Operating Officer of The Kentucky Castle, the greatest motivator each day is getting to work with her amazing clients. “There is nothing quite like working with someone to bring their perfect event to life. Whether you are training your staff, revealing a new product, or celebrating a milestone, we can help to create a perfect, one of a kind experience for your guests. It is both fulfilling and fun!”
Recently named “The Most Beautiful Hotel in Kentucky,” by Architectural Digest, this positive mindset and leadership is clearly reflected in the outstanding results and reviews of The Kentucky Castle, now welcoming guests nightly.
Christie explains, “Our goal is to treat every guest with the level of care and attention that we would want our family to be treated with. We want you to feel welcomed with open arms and we aim to provide this to all of our guests and we hope this will keep our patrons coming back for years to come.”
Christie is also quick to admit that in today’s world, business never stops. She shares, “Emails come in at all hours of the day and we are expected to constantly stay in contact and be accessible by phone. You will be a much better and more productive employee if you create a good balance; making time to step away and recharge from work is a necessity.” She advises those entering the workforce to “find something you love so that you never want to coast.”
The Malicotes & Seed + Harvest
Kels Malicote, CVO
Kels has been working as a professional photographer for the last decade and has co-owned a creative branding company for nearly two years. For her, the key to success is a positive outlook. “For me, it’s the confidence I have in good things returning to me,” she explains. “I work hard, I give as freely as I possibly can and I throw compliments around like confetti. I speak positivity over my team and my business and I believe that a good attitude coupled with good intentions and acts of kindness create the perfect recipe to success!”
For anyone else who may be sitting on their dreams or big ideas, Kels advises to go for it. “Listen up sister: if you’ve got a dream, it isn’t too big or too small, too out there or too boring. It’s yours,” she says. “So stop waiting. It deserves your effort because you deserve the dream!”
Patricia Morgeson, AVP Business Development Officer
While Generation X may have created computers and the internet, Patricia Morgeson says, “it is the millennial generation that is shaping the future with it now.” As the AVP Business Development Officer for Republic Bank, she continues, “we have come so far, and yet we have so far to go. The ever-growing technology allows us to be able to innovate for the future.” Driven by her motivation to excel at her job, Patricia encourages everyone to pursue their passion, or as she puts it, “Find that thing that makes you tick, the thing that makes you want to lose sleep and work all night. That’s what you want to do, and then strive to be the best at it. Innovate, agitate, then educate.” Patricia strives to help her children in the pursuit of their dreams, saying, “It’s all about making the next generation thrive more than the previous generation.”