Features

Presenting the Second Annual Continued Excellence Award Finalists

Elite Eight

It’s a crowded field of nominees for this year’s Continued Excellence Award.

After a panel of independent judges considered dozens of submitted nominations and scored each one, a logjam for the final slot pushed the field of finalists past the planned five. Now, they’ll meet to discuss the merits of all eight finalists and choose an ultimate winner for the second annual crowning next month.

BusinessWest launched the Continued Excellence Award last year to recognize past 40 Under Forty honorees who have built on the business success and civic commitment that initially earned them that honor, Associate Publisher Kate Campiti explained.

“We wanted to single out for recognition those who have built upon their strong records of service in business, within the community, and as regional leaders. And, like last year’s finalists, these eight individuals have certainly done that.”

The winner of the second annual Continued Excellence Award will be announced at this year’s 40 Under Forty Gala, slated for June 16 at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke.

The finalists, as determined by scores submitted by three judges — James Barrett, managing partner of Meyers Brothers Kalicka, P.C.; Delcie Bean, president of Paragus Strategic IT and last year’s Continued Excellence Award winner; and Janine Fondon, president and CEO of UnityFirst.com — are, in alphabetical order:

Dr. Jonathan Bayuk

Dr. Jonathan Bayuk

Dr. Jonathan Bayuk

Bayuk, president of Allergy and Immunology Associates of Western Mass. and chief of Allergy and Immunology at Baystate Medical Center, was named to the 40 Under Forty class of 2008 after establishing himself as a strong advocate for families dealing with food allergies, creating the Western Mass. Food Allergy Network. He has also served on the boards of the New England Allergy Society and the Mass. Allergy and Asthma Society, and is currently president-elect of both.

But he has since dedicated a tremendous amount of time and philanthropic support to other causes as well, including Homeward Vets, an organization that helps homeless veterans transition to self-sufficiency, and Team Henry, a group that promotes childhood wellness through exercise and nutrition. He also continues to coach several sports, serve on the board of Northampton Little League, teach medical students and residents, and organize events to help the region’s homeless.

Michael Fenton

Michael Fenton

Michael Fenton

When Fenton was named to the 40 Under Forty in 2012, he was serving his second term on Springfield’s City Council and preparing to graduate from law school. He was also a trustee at his alma mater, Cathedral High School, where he dedicated countless hours to help rebuild the school following the 2011 tornado.

Today, Fenton is City Council president and an associate at Shatz, Schwartz & Fentin, P.C., practicing in the areas of business planning, commercial real estate, estate planning, and elder law. He received an ‘Excellence in the Law’ honor from Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and was named a Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2014. Meanwhile, in the community, he is a founding member of Suit Up Springfield, a corporator with Mason Wright Foundation, a volunteer teacher at Junior Achievement, a member of the East Springfield and Hungry Hill neighborhood councils, and an advisory board member at Roca Inc., which helps high-risk young people transform their lives.

Jeff Fialky

Jeff Fialky

Jeff Fialky

Another member of the 40 Under Forty Class of 2008, Fialky was recognized an an associate attorney at Bacon Wilson in Springfield and for his volunteer work with numerous area organizations. He has since added a number of lines to that résumé. For starters, in 2012, he was named a partner at Bacon Wilson, and is active in leadership capacities with the firm. But he has also become a leader within the Greater Springfield business community.

Former president of the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, Fialky currently serves as chair of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce, and is also on the board of trustees of the Springfield Museums. In his capacity with the chamber, he has spent the past several years working with city officials and community organizations to foster economic development in the city and advance a 10-year economic strategic plan for Springfield.

Dena Hall

Dena Hall

Dena Hall

Hall was an inaugural Forty Under 40 honoree in 2007, two years after joining the senior management team at United Bank, leading its marketing and public-relations team as well as investor relations for United Financial Bancorp Inc.

Since then, she has been promoted at United seversal times, first to senior vice president during a series of acquisitions that significantly expanded the bank’s footprint. Her role expanded further in 2013 when the bank merged with Rockville Bank and she was promoted to executive vice president and chief marketing officer for the now-$5 billion organization. Today, she is regional president for the Western Mass. area and continues to serve as president of the United Bank Foundation for Massachusetts and Connecticut, overseeing more than $10 million in assets and helping distribute $1 million monthly to nonprofits in the two states. Meanwhile, she continues to volunteer with numerous nonprofit boards and civic organizations.

Amanda Huston Garcia

Amanda Huston Garcia

Amanda Huston Garcia

When she was named to the 40 Under Forty class of 2010, Huston Garcia was vice president of operations for Junior Achievement (JA) of Western Mass. Meanwhile, she was active in myriad community organizations, including various chambers of commerce, the Young Professional Society of Greater Springfield, and various boards at Elms College and Springfield High School of Science and Technology.

In 2011, she left her position with JA — but still plays numerous roles in the organization — and became a full-time professor at Elms, where her passion for teaching young people about entrepreneurship and financial literacy remains strong. In addition to helping create the Elms MBA program, she developed a partnership between Elms and JA, recruiting more than 60 college students each year to teach JA programs. She also forged a classroom partnership between Elms and Putnam Vocational Technical Academy and is working on a program to help Putnam students earn college credits.

Amy Jamrog

Amy Jamrog

Amy Jamrog

Another member of the inaugural 40 Under Forty class of 2007, Jamrog was honored as owner of the Jamrog Group, ranking among Northwestern Mutual’s top 3% of all financial advisors; she had also been recognized twice with Northwestern Mutual’s Community Service Award for her business success and community involvement.

Since then, the Jamrog Group has grown substantially, now advising more than 500 families and businesses while sponsoring a number of community organizations. Jamrog also teaches workshops and speaks at conferences about connecting money and values. She’s also a trustee of the Community Foundation of Western Mass. and chairs its philanthropic services committee. She helped secure several major gifts to the foundation through her financial planning with clients, served on a task force to determine the organization’s future direction, and helped promote Valley Gives. She has also been heavily involved, with the Women’s Fund of Western Mass., including a stint as board chair.

Alex Morse

Alex Morse

Alex Morse

Morse’s story is well-known, being elected Holyoke’s youngest mayor at age 22 in 2012 — reason enough to be named to the 40 Under Forty class of 2014. He’s since then won re-election twice, time enough to put his leadership in perspective.

On his watch, investments in downtown Holyoke total more than $30 million. He has overseen more than $2 million in streetscape improvements, new and renovated parks, ongoing rehabilitation of the mill buildings, a partnership with the Greater Holyoke Chamber of Commerce to launch the SPARK entrepreneurship program, and several new development projects, including the Canal Walk, new apartments in the former Holyoke Catholic building, and the new train platform in downtown Holyoke. During his terms, community policing strategies have led to drops in crime, property values have gone up, and the unemployment rate has dropped. As a result, the Popular Mechanics recently named Holyoke the sixth-best ‘startup city’ in the nation.

Meghan Rothschild

Meghan Rothschild

Meghan Rothschild

Rothschild, then development and marketing manager for the Food Bank of Western Mass., was named to the 40 Under Forty class of 2011 mainly for her tireless work in melanoma awareness. A survivor herself, she began organizing local events to raise funds for the fight against this common killer, and launched a website, SurvivingSkin.org, and TV show, Skin Talk, that brought wider attention to her work.

Since then, Rothschild has been exceptionally busy, transitioning from a board seat with the Melanoma Foundation of New England to a job as marking and PR manager, where she’s the face of the organization’s “Your Skin Is In” campaign. She has testified in Boston and Washington, D.C. in support of laws restricting tanning beds. Meanwhile, she hosts a community talk show, “The 413,” on 94.3 FM, and co-founded chikmedia, a marketing firm that specializes in nonprofits and fund-raisers — all while supporting a raft of area nonprofit organizations with her time and resources.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *