Nominations for the 40 Under Forty Class of 2012 Are Due Feb. 17
When BusinessWest launched its 40 Under Forty program in 2007, it did so with the expectation that the honor would soon become coveted and that the program would cast a bright light on the young talent in the four counties of Western Mass. To say that all this has happened would be a huge understatement. The program continues to grow in terms of both relevance and popularity, as evidenced by a new high-water mark for nominations in 2011 and record attendance at the June gala. And now, it’s time to nominate the class of 2012.
Eric Gouvin said being one of the judges for last year’s crop of 40 Under Forty nominees was a more difficult task than he thought it would be. But he said the experience was also enlightening — and encouraging, when he thinks about the future of the Western Mass. business community.
“It was hard,” said Gouvin, professor of Law and director of the Law and Business Center for Advancing Entrepreneurship at Western New England University. “There are a lot of talented people who participate, and to try to narrow that down to 40 was challenging. But I found it to be a real shot in the arm, for sure, to reassure me that we’re not running out of talented, smart people.”
Indeed, in its fifth incarnation, last winter’s nomination process brought forth a record number of applicants, demonstrating that, if anything, the program is only gaining steam.
“There’s so much enthusiasm,” said Pam Thornton, business development coordinator at United Personnel in Springfield, and current president of the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield (YPS), which has consistently mined its membership for 40 Under Forty honorees on an annual basis.
“If you think about it, the program has created a kind of precedent already, which is amazing,” she continued. “People really look forward to the opportunity to get their name out there, to get an opportunity to get in front of people, and that’s just an awesome thing for our group, and for our age group.”
Now entering its sixth year with a call for nominations, BusinessWest’s 40 Under Forty has captured the respect of the region’s business community and continues to demonstrate that Western Mass. is home to a creative, motivated, and successful group of young business leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators — people who are redefining what it means to build successful businesses and serve their communities with whatever spare time they have left over.
There are clear benefits in recognizing local professionals under age 40, said Kate Campiti, BusinessWest’s associate publisher. But initially, there were some concerns as to whether a strong-enough crop could emerge year after year. Clearly, that worry has long been put to rest.
“I’m amazed at the number of strong nominations we’re getting every year,” Campiti said. “It really speaks to the depth of the young talent here in the region.”
Shine a Light
The 40 Under Forty program was launched 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.
Over the years, the program has highlighted individuals from an impressive range of businesses and industries, including education, law, finance, media, medicine, creative arts, nonprofits, government, retail, restaurants, green business, and many others. And last year presented a first — a 16-year-old high-school student (Stephen Freyman) was among the winners.
In addition, a healthy number of honorees each year hail from the ranks of entrepreneurs, developing their own business plans and building companies that in turn create jobs.
Judges score nominees on a combination of their accomplishments (be they in business, government, or the nonprofit realm), leadership qualities, and work within the community.
The effort has also helped boost the image of groups like YPS and Northampton Area Young Professionals, which share a common goal with 40 Under Forty — specifically, demonstrating the economic and cultural vibrancy of this region and generating enthusiasm among talented professionals to set down roots in Western Mass.
“I would absolutely say that it’s raised our profile, without a doubt,” Thornton said, noting that YPS typically brings a strong contingent to the annual June gala. “Everyone looks forward to it, and it’s such a great event.”
One theme that past winners have touched upon repeatedly is the networking benefits generated by being chosen to the 40 Under Forty.
“The experience of being an honoree brought together 40 great business people with collegial networking and partnerships that wouldn’t have been made otherwise,” said Beth Vettori, executive director of Rockridge Retirement Community in Northampton, one of the 2011 honorees.
“Between the friendships formed and the business opportunities, the 40 Under Forty really provided a bridge to some successful affiliations,” she added. “These people I’ve been able to network with — they’re very charismatic, very intelligent, and it’s just great to see that the youth in this area really have depth.”
Vettori said those connections have given her a viable resource — plenty of new colleagues with strong business acumen.
“You’re able to have conversations that give you greater insight into your own business,” she said. “The networking has allowed me a greater understanding of my own operation. It’s helpful to get different perspectives, different ideas; other people may work in different fields, but it’s still business, and it allows you to expand your own thinking.”
As with the past five installments of 40 Under Forty, this year’s winners — chosen by a panel of judges comprised of area business leaders and previous honorees — will be profiled in a spring issue of BusinessWest (always a must-read issue) and toasted at the annual gala reception, which drew a record crowd last June, providing further evidence of the 40 Under Forty’s momentum.
Gouvin said the growing popularity of the program is due in part to the sheer impressiveness of the honorees.
“Lots of these folks are professionally accomplished and very engaged in our community; they’re giving back, too,” he told BusinessWest. “That’s very encouraging. We want to make this city the best it can be, but we all have to contribute, not just in our jobs, but in our free time, too. I really do feel like they’re making it better.”
The nomination form can be found on page 20 of this issue. It will be reprinted in upcoming issues as well, and may also be printed from businesswest.com. The deadline for entries is Feb. 17.
Thornton sees the 40 Under Forty, and the role of YPS in it, as a collaborative effort.
“It’s people doing great work together, and I feel like the YPS organization helps to feed the program,” she said. “It’s a way for our people to celebrate what they’ve done, who they are, and how they’ve gotten where they are. And it’s something we should continue if we want to keep the momentum going.”
Class of 2007
William Bither III — Atalasoft
Kimberlynn Cartelli — Fathers & Sons
Amy Caruso — MassMutual Financial Group
Denise Cogman — Springfield School Volunteers
Richard Corder — Cooley Dickinson Hospital
Katherine Pacella Costello — Egan, Flanagan & Cohen, P.C.
A. Rima Dael — Berkshire Bank Foundation of Pioneer Valley
Nino Del Padre — Del Padre Visual Productions
Antonio Dos Santos — Robinson Donovan, P.C.
Jake Giessman — Academy Hill School
Jillian Gould — Eastfield Mall
Michael Gove — Lyon & Fitzpatrick, LLP
Dena Hall — United Bank
James Harrington — Our Town Variety & Liquors
Christy Hedgpeth — Spalding Sports
Francis Hoey III — Tighe & Bond
Amy Jamrog — The Jamrog Group, Northwestern Mutual
Cinda Jones — Cowls Land & Lumber Co.
Paul Kozub — V-1 Vodka
Bob Lowry — Bueno y Sano
G.E. Patrick Leary — Moriarty & Primack, P.C.
Todd Lever — Noble Hospital
Audrey Manring — The Women’s Times
Daniel Morrill — Wolf & Company
Joseph Pacella — Egan, Flanagan & Cohen, P.C.
Arlene Rodriquez — Springfield Technical Community College
Craig Swimm — WMAS 94.7
Sarah Tanner — United Way of Pioneer Valley
Mark Tanner — Bacon Wilson, P.C.
Michelle Theroux — Child & Family Services of Pioneer Valley Inc.
Tad Tokarz — Western MA Sports Journal
Dan Touhey — Spalding Sports
Sarah Leete Tsitso — Fred Astaire Dance
Michael Vann — The Vann Group
Ryan Voiland — Red Fire Farm
Erica Walch — Speak Easy Accent Modification
Catherine West — Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.
Michael Zaskey — Zasco Productions, LLC
Edward Zemba — Robert Charles Photography
Carin Zinter — The Princeton Review
Class of 2008
Michelle Abdow — Market Mentors
Matthew Andrews — Best Buddies of Western Mass.
Rob Anthony — WMAS
Shane Bajnoci — Cowls Land & Lumber Co.
Steve Bandarra — Atlas TC
Dr. Jonathan Bayuk — Hampden County Physician Associates
Delcie Bean IV — Valley Computer Works
Brendan Ciecko — Ten Minute Media
Todd Cieplinski — Universal Mind Inc.
William Collins — Spoleto Restaurant Group
Michael Corduff — Log Cabin Banquet and Meeting House
Amy Davis — New City Scenic & Display
Dave DelVecchio — Innovative Business Systems Inc.
Tyler Fairbank — EOS Ventures
Timothy Farrell — F.W. Farrell Insurance
Jeffrey Fialky — Bacon Wilson, P.C.
Dennis Francis — America’s Box Choice
Kelly Galanis — Westfield State College
Jennifer Glockner — Winstanley Associates
Andrea Hill-Cataldo — Johnson & Hill Staffing Services
Steven Huntley — Valley Opportunity Council
Alexander Jarrett — Pedal People Cooperative
Kevin Jourdain — City of Holyoke
Craig Kaylor — Hampden Bank / Hampden Bancorp Inc.
Stanley Kowalski III — FloDesign Inc.
Marco Liquori — NetLogix Inc.
Azell Murphy Cavaan — City of Springfield
Michael Presnal — The Federal Restaurant
Melissa Shea — Sullivan, Hayes & Quinn
Sheryl Shinn — Hampden Bank
Ja’Net Smith — Center for Human Development
Diana Sorrentini-Velez — Cooley, Shrair, P.C.
Meghan Sullivan — Sullivan, Hayes & Quinn
Michael Sweet — Doherty Wallace Pillsbury & Murphy
Heidi Thomson — Girls Inc.
Hector Toledo — Hampden Bank
William Trudeau Jr. — Insurance Center of New England
David Vermette — MassMutual Financial Services
Lauren Way — Bay Path College
Paul Yacovone — Brain Powered Concepts
Class of 2009
Marco Alvan — Team Link Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Gina Barry — Bacon Wilson, P.C.
Maggie Bergin — The Art of Politics
Daniel Bessette — Get Set Marketing
Brandon Braxton — NewAlliance Bank
Dena Calvanese — Gray House
Edward Cassell — Park Square Realty
Karen Chadwell — Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury and Murphy, P.C.
Kate Ciriello — MassMutual Financial Group
Kamari Collins — Springfield Technical Community College
Mychal Connolly Sr. — Stinky Cakes
Todd Demers — Family Wireless
Kate Glynn — A Child’s Garden and Impish
Andrew Jensen — Jx2 Productions, LLC
Kathy LeMay — Raising Change
Ned Leutz — Webber & Grinnell Insurance Agency
Scott MacKenzie — MacKenzie Vault Inc.
Tony Maroulis — Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce
Seth Mias — Seth Mias Catering
Marjory Moore — Chicopee Public Schools
Corey Murphy — First American Insurance Agency Inc.
Mark Hugo Nasjleti — Go Voice for Choice
Joshua Pendrick — Royal Touch Painting
Christopher Prouty — Studio99Creative
Adam Quenneville — Adam Quenneville Roofing
Michael Ravosa — Morgan Stanley
Kristi Reale — Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.
Amy Royal — Royal & Klimczuk, LLC
Michelle Sade — United Personnel
Scott Sadowsky — Williams Distributing Corp.
Gregory Schmidt — Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury & Murphy, P.C.
Gretchen Siegchrist — Media Shower Productions
Erik Skar — MassMutual Financial Services
Paul Stallman — Alias Solutions
Renee Stolar — J. Stolar Insurance Co.
Tara Tetreault — Jackson and Connor
Chris Thompson — Springfield Falcons Hockey Team
Karl Tur — Ink & Toner Solutions, LLC
Michael Weber — Minuteman Press
Brenda Wishart — Aspen Square Management
Class of 2010
Nancy Bazanchuk — Disability Resource Program, Center for Human Development
Raymond Berry — United Way of Pioneer Valley
David Beturne — Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County
Maegan Brooks — The Law Office of Maegan Brooks
Karen Buell — PeoplesBank
Shanna Burke — Nonotuck Resource Associates
Damon Cartelli — Fathers & Sons
Brady Chianciola — PeoplesBank
Natasha Clark — Springfield School Volunteers
Julie Cowan — TD Bank
Karen Curran — Thomson Financial Management Inc.
Adam Epstein — Dielectrics Inc.
Mary Fallon — Garvey Communication Associates
Daniel Finn — Pioneer Valley Local First
Owen Freeman-Daniels — Foley-Connelly Financial Partners and Foley Insurance Group
Lorenzo Gaines — ACCESS Springfield Promise Program
Thomas Galanis — Westfield State College
Anthony Gleason II — Roger Sitterly & Son, Inc. and Gleason Landscaping
Allen Harris — Berkshire Money Management Inc.
Meghan Hibner — Westfield Bank
Amanda Huston — Junior Achievement of Western Mass. Inc.
Kimberly Klimczuk — Royal, LLP
James Krupienski — Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.
David Kutcher — Confluent Forms, LLC
James Leahy — City of Holyoke and Alcon Laboratories
Kristin Leutz — Community Foundation of Western Mass.
Meghan Lynch — Six-Point Creative Works
Susan Mielnikowski — Cooley, Shrair, P.C.
Jill Monson — Adam Quenneville Roofing & Siding Inc. and Inspired Marketing & Promotions
Kevin Perrier — Five Star Building Corp.
Lindsay Porter — Big Y Foods
Brandon Reed — Fitness Together
Boris Revsin — CampusLIVE Inc.
Aaron Vega — Vega Yoga & Movement Arts
Ian Vukovich — Florence Savings Bank
Thomas Walsh — City of Springfield
Sean Wandrei — Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.
Byron White — Pazzo Ristorante
Chester Wojcik — Design Construction Group
Peter Zurlino — Atlantico Designs and Springfield Public Schools
Class of 2011
Kelly Albrecht — left-click Corp.
Gianna Allentuck — Springfield Public Schools
Briony Angus — Tighe & Bond
Delania Barbee — ACCESS Springfield Promise Program
Monica Borgatti — Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity
Nancy Buffone — University of Massachusetts
Michelle Cayo — Country Bank
Nicole Contois — Springfield Housing Authority
Christin Deremian — Human Resources Unlimited/Pyramid Project
Peter Ellis — DIF Design
Scott Foster — Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP
Stephen Freyman — Longmeadow High School
Benjamin Garvey — Insurance Center of New England
Mathew Geffin — Webber and Grinnell
Nick Gelfand — NRG Real Estate Inc.
Mark Germain — Gomes, DaCruz and Tracy, P.C.
Elizabeth Gosselin — Commonwealth Packaging
Kathryn Grandonico — Lincoln Real Estate
Jaimye Hebert — Monson Savings Bank
Sean Hemingway — Center for Human Development
Kelly Koch — Bulkley, Richardson and Gelinas, LLP
Jason Mark — Gravity Switch
Joan Maylor — Stop and Shop Supermarkets
Todd McGee — MassMutual Financial Group
Donald Mitchell — Western Mass. Development Collaborative
David Pakman — Vivid Edge Media Group/The David Pakman Show
Timothy Plante — City of Springfield/Springfield Public Schools
MauricePowe — The Law Offices of Brooks and Powe
Jeremy Procon — Interstate Towing Inc.
Kristen Pueschel — PeoplesBank
Meghan Rothschild — SurvivingSkin.org
Jennifer Schimmel — Greater Springfield Habitat for Humanity
Amy Scott — Wild Apple Design Group
Alexander Simon — LogicTrail, LLC
Lauren Tabin — PeoplesBank
Lisa Totz — ITT Power Solutions
Jeffrey Trant — Human Resources Unlimited
Timothy Van Epps — Sandri Companies
Michael Vedovelli — Mass. Office of Business Development
Beth Vettori — Rockridge Retirement Community
Joseph Bednar can be reached at [email protected]