40 Under 40 Class of 2024 Cover Story

Announcing the 40 Under Forty class of 2024

When BusinessWest launched a program in 2007 to honor young professionals in Western Mass. — not only for their career achievements, but for their service to the community — there was little concern that the initial flow of nominations might slow to a trickle years later.

We were right. In fact, 40 Under Forty has become such a coveted honor in the region’s business community that it makes the job of five independent judges a challenging one — but also a gratifying one.

“That was fun!” one judge emailed along with her scores. “What an amazing way to get to know so many people, and so many better. This was an enjoyable process.” Another wrote, “what an amazing group of individuals! I was amazed to see such talent in Western Mass.”

We agree; in fact, we thought all 40 of this year’s cohort are deserving for many reasons — and so many different reasons — and also felt for the many worthy individuals who barely missed the cut. But there’s always next year, and nominations are welcome all year long.

As usual, this year’s winners hail from a host of different industries, from law to banking; from retail to healthcare; from restaurants to nonprofits, just to name a few. Many are advancing the work of long-established businesses, while others, with an entrepreneurial bent, created their own opportunities instead of waiting for them to emerge.

Almost all would be justified in saying their careers leave them no time for volunteer service. Yet, almost all are doing what they can for their communities and local nonprofits.

They’re all success stories — just 40 among so many more we haven’t gotten around to telling yet.

We’ll also unveil the 10th annual Alumni Achievement Award winner on June 20, given to the former 40 Under Forty winner who has impressively continued and built upon his or her track record of accomplishment. Nominations for that award will be accepted through May 10. Click HERE to nominate.

This year’s 40 Under Forty sponsors include presenting sponsor PeoplesBank and partner sponsors the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst, Live Nation Premium, Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, and Mercy Medical Center/Trinity Health. The presenting sponsor of the Alumni Achievement Award is Health New England.

2024 Presenting Sponsor

2024 Partner Sponsors

Meet Our Judges

Ryan BarryRyan Barry is a partner at Bulkley Richardson in Springfield, where he focuses on representing colleges and universities, healthcare organizations, nonprofits, and small businesses. Barry’s volunteer work includes serving on the board of directors of the Center for Human Development. He was named to the 40 Under Forty class of 2020.

Chrissy KiddyChrissy Kiddy, vice president of Corporate Responsibility and Social Media Management at PeoplesBank, is dedicated to fostering positive change, championing inclusion, and celebrating community spirit. She serves on the board of the Care Center of Holyoke and Revitalize Community Development Corporation, while also acting as an ambassador for the Bushnell Theater.

Andrew MelendezAndrew Melendez, as founder and director of the Latino Economic Development Corp., has played an instrumental role over the past year in assisting more 300 businesses. A 40 Under Forty honoree in 2015, he also previously served as the Western Massachusetts director for Associated Industries of Massachusetts and executive director of YMCA of Agawam.

Hannah RechtschaffenHannah Rechtschaffen, director of the Greenfield Business Assoc., has an extensive background in business development and creative placemaking, including four years as director of Placemaking for W.D. Cowls, growing the Mill District project in North Amherst. A member of the 40 Under Forty class of 2022, she also chairs the Sustainable Greenfield Implementation Committee.

Erica SwallowErica Swallow is the co-founder and team co-lead of the Turnberg & Swallow Team at Coldwell Banker Realty, Western Massachusetts. Her real-estate team has helped more than 1,000 clients, with sales production totaling more than $300 million over 43 collective years. Also an award-winning children’s book author, Swallow was the highest-scoring honoree in the 40 Under Forty class of 2023.

Alumni Achievement Award

2024 Presenting Sponsor Alumni Achievement Award