Cobb Young Professionals recognizes the county's top young professionals with the annual Next Generation Award. Award winners are selected from a pool of nominees who can be admired, learned from and celebrated within the Cobb community. Nominees are all in their 20s or 30s, active within their community, demonstrate leadership ability in the community and in their current role, and offer a unique perspective. Two winners of the Next Generation Award are named each year.
Next Generation Award Sponsor:
2016 Next Generation Award Winners
Caitlyn Cooper, Political Consultant, Excelsis Public Strategies
With a reputation as a talented fundraiser, Cooper has lent her efforts to high-profile clients, including the Cobb County Solicitor General, the Cobb County Commission Chairman, the Cobb County District Attorney and 12 Judges. As a nationally-trained forensic interviewer, she has provided expert testimony in some of Georgia’s toughest child abuse cases and works cases in counties statewide. Her work in this field has given her the ability to fight for women and children’s needs as a lobbyist under the Gold Dome.
The youngest ever President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Cobb County, Cooper recently received the Jimmy T. Anderson Rotarian of the Year award. She is heavily involved with the Cobb Chamber as the 2016 Chair of the Marietta Area Council, a graduate of Leadership Cobb Class of 2014, and a mentee in the 2014 - 2015 Cobb Young Professionals Next Generation Mentoring Program. In 2010, she was named the youngest member to receive Georgia Trend’s 40 Under 40 honor, and in 2014, was named a "Top 20 Under 40" by Cobb Life Magazine. As one of her nominators stated, she “brings a passion to her work that ignites those around her and inspires them to be their best selves.”
Justin O’Dell, O’Dell & O’Neal Attorneys
O’Dell started his own small law firm in 2013, which has doubled in size in less than three years under his leadership, and has earned a reputation as one of the “go to lawyers” in Cobb County for various business probate, and domestic litigation issues. O’Dell’s community service is extensive and diverse. O’Dell will serve as incoming President of the Kiwanis Club of Marietta after serving as an active member for more than 15 years. He served as Co-Chairman for the SPLOST/E-SPLOST campaign in 2014, founding member and Board Member for local non-profit Reconnecting Families since 2009 and is a graduate of the Leadership Cobb Class of 2007. He is the recipient of the 2015 Cobb Chamber of Commerce Chairman's Award, recognized as a Georgia Super Lawyers "Rising Star" in 2013, 2014 and 2015, and was named a "Top 20 Under 40" by Cobb Life Magazine in 2010. O’Dell has served as a weekly Sunday School teacher at Marietta First Baptist Church since 2006, and also served on Marietta First Baptist Board of Deacons since 2010.