Justin Bibb traces his foray into politics and public service back to 2004. The Trinity High School (Garfield Heights) student had just been cut from the mock trial team when he saw someone wearing a “Wesley Clark for President” T-shirt.

“That was the first campaign I worked on,” he said, “and the rest is history.”

Surrounded by Washington, D.C.’s urban renaissance at American University, Bibb developed a passion for inner city development and spent a year studying urban policy and economic development at the London School of Economics. He was special assistant to Cuyahoga County Executive Ed Fitzgerald and worked in various corporate and strategic consulting roles before following up his urban studies degree with a Juris Doctor and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.

Bibb said the law-business combination provides “a rich analytical tool kit” he uses in his role at Urbanova, a Spokane, Wash., startup he joined remotely in May, and in his previous jobs as vice president of corporate strategy at KeyBank and senior consultant at Gallup.

A product of Cleveland’s Mount Pleasant neighborhood, Bibb is also civically active. He serves on the several boards, and last year, he launched Cleveland Can’t Wait, a nonprofit focused on advancing economic opportunity for underserved communities.

And he’s weighing a 2021 candidacy for Cleveland mayor.

“I’m exploring a run because I believe we need transformative, dynamic leadership to help lead Cleveland’s economic recovery.”

Kim Zentz, Urbanova CEO, calls Bibb “the right leader at the right time.”

“People everywhere are more conscious of their environment, their social and economic challenges, and they are more willing than ever to engage in the solutions that will improve the lived experience in our neighborhoods and communities,” she said.

First published on crainscleveland.com