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Meet our Cohort Graduates

Cohort 1

Alicia Norman Headshot

Alicia Norman, CTA, MPA (she/her/hers) Host Site: Experience Columbus

Prior to joining The Diversity Apprenticeship Program with Experience Columbus, Alicia earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburg and her Master’s in Public Administration from Villanova University. She then returned to Columbus, Ohio and began working in the financial services sector. Although hospitality is new to her, she has always had a passion for event planning and was excited to learn and grow in a new industry. When Alicia is not working, she enjoys hanging out with her family, her husband Arthur and their dog, Boston.

Brendon Hopper

Brendon Hopper, CTA (he/him) Host Sites: Cameron Mitchell, Jordan Hospitality, Experience Columbus

Raised in the King Lincoln District, Brendon attended Pilgrim Elementary School, Champion Middle School, and graduated from East High School. Currently, he is enrolled at the local community college (Columbus State Community College). Brendon will graduate this coming fall (2022) with plans to pursue his Bachelor of Psychology upon completion of his Associates of Arts & Sciences in Psychology. He has two sons, Josiah and Jaxson. Aside from his academic endeavors, being a father is the most significant role to Brendon as Man. He loves raising and watching his kids grow and develop. Prior to joining the DAP Apprenticeship at Experience Columbus, Brendon worked as an office manager and sales at Geico (GFR).

Efua Amissah Aggrey

Efua Amissah Aggrey, CTA (she/her) Host Site: Columbus Regional Airport Authority

Efua Amissah-Aggrey is a 1st generation Ghanaian American immigrant whose passion for knowledge has been her driving force in her professional career. Prior to joining the Experience Columbus apprenticeship, she held a position as the Community Outreach Director for a non-profit organization and before that was heavily immersed in the IT field. She is thrilled to be a part of the apprenticeship program and hopes to hone in on her leadership skills, as well as be a voice for equity and diversity in the tourism industry. Her other passions include fashion, reading, photography and running her small business. She is currently completing her apprenticeship assignment at the Columbus Regional Airport Authority as a Customer Experience Program Coordinator.

Henry Lachika headshot

Henry Lachika, CTA (he/him) Host Sites: Hilton Columbus Downtown, Greater Columbus Convention Center

Henry moved to the United States from Tanzania in 2015. Henry earned his Associates degree in Applied Sciences in Culinary Arts and plans to further his education in Tourism and Event Management at Columbus State, with future hopes of getting his BA at Ohio State. Prior to coming to the US, he held several positions in hotels which include work in Sales & Banqueting Coordinator to Sales Executive. In his free time, Henry loves the local food and fine arts scene and currently works part-time at a group home that supports young men in the community.

Maya Gordon

Maya Gordon, CTA (she/her) Host Sites: Concord Hospitality, Hyatt Regency Columbus

Maya Gordon is a Columbus, Ohio native. Before joining the Diversity Apprenticeship Program, Maya worked with OhioHealth. Maya earned her Associate’s degree at Ohio Dominican University and Bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago. After relocating from Chicago, Maya interned at CAPA in their education department and taught African Dance classes at multiple Columbus recreation centers and school programs. Maya has produced and co-managed numerous dance conferences virtually and in-person in Washington DC. She loves to travel as often as possible and hopes to continue creating experiences and spreading her love for the arts and travel industry. She is ecstatic about the opportunity Experience Columbus provided and is excited to strive in the tourism industry.