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Deadline Is Tomorrow for 40 Under Forty Nominations

SPRINGFIELD — Time is running out to nominate your favorite rising star in the Western Mass. business community.

Coming off a record haul of nominations last year, BusinessWest hopes to keep the momentum going as the 40 Under Forty program enters its ninth year. The magazine launched the program in 2007 as a way to spotlight the accomplishments of younger professionals throughout Western Mass. — not only their on-the-job achievements, but their often-extensive volunteer work with organizations that benefit their communities.

To nominate an individual, visit businesswest.com. Nominations will be accepted through the end of the business day (5 p.m.) tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 6. Five judges will then score those nominations, and the winners will be profiled in the April 20 issue.

There were many motivations for creating the program, said BusinessWest Editor George O’Brien, listing everything from a desire to identify rising stars to encouraging individuals to get involved in the community and, in short, do the things needed to become a 40 Under Forty winner. “In eight short years, 40 Under Forty has become a brand, as well as a goal for many young people in the business community, nonprofit sector, and public-service realm,” said O’Brien. “It’s become a benchmark, if you will, a symbol of excellence that, above all, identifies someone as a leader.”

Over the years, the program has highlighted individuals from a wide range of businesses and industries, including nonprofits. In addition, a healthy number of honorees each year are true entrepreneurs, individuals who have taken risks, developed their own business plans, and built companies that in turn create jobs.

Kate Campiti, BusinessWest’s associate publisher, said a compelling nomination “needs to be complete, it needs to be thorough, and it needs to essentially answer the question, ‘why is this individual worthy of a 40 Under Forty plaque?’” The nomination form requests basic information and can be supported with other material, such as a résumé, testimonials, and even press clippings highlighting an individual’s achievements in their profession or service to their community.

The class of 2015 will be toasted at the annual gala reception on June 18 at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke. “The gala has become a happening, a not-to-be missed gathering that is also the year’s best networking opportunity,” said Campiti.

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