Meet the 40 Under Forty Judges
After Nominations Close on Feb. 14, They’ll Choose Class of 2020
Time is running out to nominate individuals for BusinessWest’s 14th annual 40 Under Forty, a program launched in 2007 to recognize rising stars in Western Mass., and has since become a coveted honor throughout the region.
Nominations will be accepted until Friday, Feb. 14. A successful nomination will be detailed and thorough, listing an individual’s accomplishments within their profession as well as their work within the community. Nominations can be completed HERE.
The class of 2020 — who will be profiled in the April 27 issue of BusinessWest and honored at the 40 Under Forty Gala on June 25 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke — will, as usual, be chosen by five independent judges, who bring broad experience in entrepreneurship, business development, and civic engagement, among other things, and include three past winners. Here’s a quick look at each of them.
A member of the 40 Under Forty class of 2011, Mychal Connolly currently serves as chapter chairman of SCORE Western Massachusetts, a nonprofit that gives free mentoring to people looking to start, grow, or exit a business. He is the author of the book Launch and Stand Out, a guide to starting and growing a business with creative marketing and branding, and an accompanying podcast. In addition, he leads Hundred Grand Plan, a group that works with entrepreneurs and business owners looking to earn their first $100,000. He was named one of America’s Top 100 Urban Entrepreneurs and is also a 100 Men of Color honoree for his work in the community.
As director of Government Affairs at MGM Springfield, Jose Delgado manages relationships with state and local elected and administrative officials, represents MGM’s legislative agenda in Massachusetts, and builds and maintains relations with host communities and community stakeholders. Prior to that, he was a pre-admissions adviser and recruitment coordinator for the University Without Walls at UMass Amherst. A member of the 40 Under Forty class of 2014, his community roles have included vice chairman of the Springfield Puerto Rican Parade Committee, a board member of the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, and a founding member of Suit Up Springfield.
As executive director of the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, Claudia Pazmany blends business-development skills with deep experience in capital campaigns, philanthropy, community engagement, social media, and alumni. She is also the advisory board president of CHD’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampshire County and has served as president of Friends of Amherst Recreation. Pazmany has served on many search committees and been a judge for the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship at UMass Amherst, and is currently working to support Greenfield Community College’s workforce-development initiative, serving on its Future of Work advisory committee.
Payton Shubrick, a 40 Under Forty honoree in 2019, is a home office technology strategist at MassMutual, where she has focused on fostering an innovative culture with the creation of ideation spaces that have evolved into open workspaces throughout the home office. She has also worked on multi-generational relationships, supporting understanding between senior and millennial employees. Additionally, she serves on the company’s diversity, inclusion, and equity committee, focused on the notion of ‘belonging’ for all employees. She most recently launched an adult-use marijuana establishment, 6 Brick’s LLC, and consults with Smallify, an innovation capacity-building firm.
Donna Yetter is a principal in Commercial Services at Melanson Heath, a certified public accounting firm in Greenfield. For more than 30 years, she has been a trusted accounting and tax advisor, working closely with clients in need of tax-planning and personal and business tax-preparation services. A member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants, she also has extensive experience as a certified estate and trust specialist, which allows her to expand her range of services and partner with law firms and investment advisors who do not have full-time staff dedicated to this specialized area.