News and analysis
January 05, 2016

Doug Ulman: Grace Under Pressure

Doug Buchanan, Business First of Columbus, Inc.

Doug Ulman, 38
Chief Executive, Pelotonia
Columbus, Ohio

Doug Ulman made his name in the nonprofit world as the head of Livestrong, leading it through the turbulence that followed the founder Lance Armstrong’s admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his storied cycling career. Last year he took the helm at Pelotonia, a seven-year-old nonprofit that has already brought in more than $106 million for cancer research at Ohio State University with its annual fundraising bike ride.

40 Under 40: A Force for Good

See profiles of other trailblazers crafting innovative new solutions to entrenched problems.

In a crisis, leaders have to make the best decisions they can with the data that’s available, even though it’s probably imperfect information, says Mr. Ulman. "You can’t hesitate," he says. "You have to just say, ‘You know what, with the information I have, here’s where I think we’ve got to go.’ "

Mr. Ulman is now hard at work devising a strategy to transform Pelotonia from a popular regional event into a national movement that gives people opportunities to participate throughout the year.

"Not everybody is going to come to Columbus to ride their bike," he says. "How do we provide opportunities for people to engage and participate no matter where they are?" 

Send an email to Nicole Wallace.