Leslye Davis (’12) and Daniel Houghton (’10) named to Forbes 30 Under 30 Listing



Leslye Davis (’12) and Daniel Houghton (’10) named to Forbes 30 Under 30 Listing

Two young alumni were recently featured in Forbes magazine’s prestigious “30 Under 30” feature. Leslye Davis (’12) and Daniel Houghton (’10) were both included in the 30 Under 30 listing for the Media industry.

Leslye Davis, 28, of Brooklyn, N.Y., currently serves as a Photo and Video Journalist at The New York Times. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism at WKU. As a junior, she competed with many established photojournalists to receive the Pictures of the Year International’s Multimedia Portfolio of the Year for stories that underscored the passage of time and the strength of family bonds. After graduation, she went to work for The New York Times as a documentarian and photographer. In that role, she has covered the Rio Olympics, gay equality and the Paris terrorist attacks, for which she was a Pulitzer Prize finalist along with her teammates. Her team also received the Overseas Press Club’s David Kaplan Award, and her work has been nominated for an Emmy and a Gerald Loeb Award for explanatory journalism. 

Daniel Houghton, 28, of Franklin, Tenn., is CEO of Lonely Planet, a 44-year-old travel brand. According to Neilsen, Lonely Planet is the largest guidebook player, owning 25 percent of the nearly $90 million market. Houghton, who received a Bachelor of Arts in Photojournalism from WKU, started his own production company, Houghton Multimedia, after graduation. His work caught the attention of businessman Brad Kelley, and the two started NC2 media, through which Kelley acquired Lonely Planet. After he took the helm, Houghton decided Lonely Planet had go digital to survive. One year after he took over, digital accounted for 30 percent of the company’s revenue, and print sales also rebounded, up 27 percent since 2013. In his first month as CEO, Houghton circumnavigated the globe three times in two weeks, meeting Lonely Planet’s partners and staff in offices spanning five continents.

Forbes fielded 15,000 nominations, mainly through online submissions, for its complete “30 Under 30” listing. Nominees were vetted by Forbes reporters and a panel of outside judges for each of the 20 categories.

"They are a passionate and formidable bunch, and for good reason. Their goal is nothing short of breaking the status quo and transforming the world," Forbes wrote of the 2017 class.