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40 Under 40 The Class of 2020

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.

Mychal Connolly

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.


Jose Delgado

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.


Claudia Pazmany

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

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

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.


In Search of Rising Stars

Five hundred and twenty.

That’s how many men and women from across Western Mass. — yes, some of them now with AARP cards, or at least a few invitations to sign up — are members of a fairly exclusive club.

These are the individuals with BusinessWest 40 Under Forty plaques on their desks or their framed profile on their wall.

It’s a club that includes entrepreneurs and nonprofit managers, educators and legislators, lawyers and accountants, restaurant owners and fitness-club founders. There was even a high-school student who managed to impress the judges enough to become a member of the class of 2011.

But enough about the members of first 13 classes of honorees. We’re looking for the next group — the 40 who can call themselves members of the class of 2020.

It all starts with nominations. If you’ve nominated someone before, you know the drill. If you haven’t — and you should, because you undoubtedly know some rising stars in this region and need to let us know about them — the form can be found by going HERE.

But whether you’ve nominated someone before or not, you need to understand the importance of a thorough, complete nomination, one that will capture the attention of the judges, bring the qualifications and talents of the individual to the forefront, and ultimately bring that nominee to the stage at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in June.

As BusinessWest Associate Publisher Kate Campiti explains, “in recent years, we’ve seen the number of nominations rise steadily — in some years to nearly 200 individuals. That’s why it’s important to be detailed with one’s nomination and explain in clear, direct language why the individual in question is deserving of this honor — deserving of having that plaque on their desk.”

As noted earlier, honorees have come from all sectors of business and also from public service and the nonprofit realm. The only prerequisites are that nominees be under age 40 as of April 1, 2020 and that they be standouts in their field — and in the community.

The deadline for submitting nominations is end of day on Feb. 14. That’s right, Valentine’s Day. Those nominations will be sent to a panel of five judges (they will be announced early next month), and the scores will be tallied. The 40 highest scorers (after ties are broken) will comprise the class of 2020.

And, of course, 40 Under Forty is just one component of what promises to be a very exciting year of BusinessWest programs.

Indeed, the Difference Makers for 2020 have been chosen, and they will be profiled in the Feb. 3 edition of the magazine. In all, seven individuals and groups were chosen for the honor, making this a very large, diverse, and intriguing class of winners who will be celebrated on March 19 at the Log Cabin.

The 40 Under Forty event will follow in June, with Healthcare Heroes, which honors those in this region’s large and very important health and wellness field, slated for October, and the Women of Impact, now in its third year, in December.

Nominations for all of these programs are accepted year-round; the deadlines for the specific programs will be printed in BusinessWest.

40 Under 40 Class of 2020

40under40SMALLNominations for 40 Under Forty Class of 2020 are now being accepted. 40 Under Forty is a celebration of young business and civic leaders in the Western Mass., and an undertaking in which our readership will play a pivotal role. Indeed, the process of selecting this region’s 40 Under Forty begins with nominations. And we urge you be thorough, because 40 Under Forty is a nomination-driven process; the background material submitted on a given individual is the primary source of information to be weighed by the judges who will score the candidates.

Please take a few minutes and help us identify the region’s 40 Under Forty.

If using mobile device to submit nomination, please make sure your phone is in Portrait view mode.

Save the Date

The selected individuals will be profiled in the April 27th edition of BusinessWest and celebrated at the annual 40 Under Forty Gala on June 25, 2020.
For more information call (413) 781-8600

About the nomination form:

• Candidates should have achieved professional success and actively volunteer for civic and/or non-profit organizations.
• Only nominations submitted to BusinessWest on
this form will be considered.
• Fill out the nomination form completely.
• Photocopies are acceptable.
• Supporting information (i.e. résumé) may be sent to [email protected] Please include nominee’s name in subject line.
Deadline is February 14, 2020. No exceptions.
• Nominees must be under 40 as of April 1, 2020

If using mobile device to submit nomination, please make sure your phone is in Portrait view mode.


Fill out the nomination form completely.
  • As of March 1
  • (job responsibilities, special projects, business-related affiliations)
  • (board involvement in community, state, or national organization, including trade associations)
  • (spouse, children if applicable)
  • Nominated by (your information):

Presenting Sponsor:

Continued Excellence Presenting Sponsor

Media Sponsor:


40 Under 40 The Class of 2019

Scenes From the June 20 Event

40under40-logo2017aThe Class of 2019 was celebrated at the annual 40 Under Forty Gala on Thursday, June 20 at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke.

More than 650 people crammed the Log Cabin which has become one of the region’s best networking events.

Presentation of the Continued Excellence Award to Cinda Jones, president of W.D. Cowls Inc., was the opening act of the 40 Under Forty celebration.

Photography for this special section by Leah Martin Photography

A Gallery of the Celebration

Presenting Sponsors



Exclusive Media Sponsor



Meryl Streep?

That’s who Peter Wirth, co-owner of Mercedes-Benz of Springfield, suggests, tongue in cheek (we think; we hope), should play him in a movie about his life.

“Let’s see if she can really play anything,” he writes in one of the answers to questions put to all of this year’s honorees. And when asked what figure, past or present, he would like to have lunch with, he suggests Ernest Hemingway. “I feel like he would have a few good stories, and there would most certainly be cocktails accompanying the lunch.”

The collective answers to a host of revealing questions cast a bright and intriguing light on this year’s honorees, who join the 480 who came before them as owners of some of the most prestigious plaques to be found in Western Mass. Indeed, a 40 Under Forty winner is someone who stands out among his or her peers (there were nearly 200 nominations submitted this year) and is truly a rising star amid a galaxy of them.

Indeed, contrary to popular theory, there is quite a bit of young talent in this region, and it exists across the board, in sectors ranging from healthcare to retail; from financial services to nonprofit management; from law to casino administration.

Their stories continue until you know all you need to know about Alyson Yorlano. And, as noted, to tell their stories, we used a questionnaire format, one that allows honorees to use their own words to convey what’s important to them, what inspires them, who mentored them, and yes, who they think could play them in a movie.

The answers are certainly good reading. They reveal some common denominators — everything from a willingness to work hard to get where they want to go, to a passion for family and community. And, in many cases, honesty and a good sense of humor.

As when Alex Dixon, the now-former general manager of MGM Springfield (he’s returned to Las Vegas to manage Circus Circus but will be at the Log Cabin in June for the 40 Under Forty gala), revealed that, growing up, he wanted to be governor of Nevada, an Alvin Ailey dancer, or a running back for the Washington Redskins.

Beyond witty answers, the profiles of this year’s honorees should provide inspiration for others seeking to own one of these plaques themselves, and encouragement for those who might be worried about whether we have sufficient young leadership coming of age in the 413.

Take Donald Havourd, who has thrived in a Fortune 500 corporate environment at MassMutual while simultaneously founding and growing a business, Migliore, which manufactures and distributes luxury car-care products.

Or Joy Baglio, who poured her passion for writing into the creation of the Pioneer Valley Writers’ Workshop, growing it in only three years from a solo enterprise to one with 13 instructors teaching dozens of workshops and classes each year.

Or Dorothy Ostrowski, whose unique trajectory has taken her from the war-torn streets of Afghanistan to a wide-ranging career in the fast-paced world of emergency-room nursing, to ownership of a venerable West Springfield construction company.

We hope you enjoy reading these stories, but more importantly, we hope these 40 rising stars make you feel good about the future of this region. Because we certainly do.

40 Under Forty Continued Excellence Award

Nominate your choice for an outstanding BusinessWest 40 Under Forty Alum!

Click for Past Honorees

When BusinessWest launched its 40 Under Forty program in 2007, it did so to identify rising stars across our region – individuals who were excelling in business and through
involvement within the community –and celebrate their accomplishments. In 2015, BusinessWest announced a new award, one that builds on the foundation upon which 40 Under Forty was created. It’s called the Continued Excellence Award. as the name suggests, will be presented to the 40 Under Forty honoree who, in the eyes of an independent panel of judges,
has most impressively continued and built upon their track record
of accomplishment.

For your convenience, a list of 40 Under Forty Alumni can be found HERE.

About the nomination form:
• Candidates must be from 40 Under Forty classes prior to the year of the award, in this case, classes 2007-2018.
• Only nominations submitted to BusinessWest on this form will be considered.

Deadline is May 3, 2019 at 5 p.m. No exceptions.

Presenting Sponsor:

Continued Excellence Award Past Winners:

Samalid Hogan
Regional Director, Massachusetts Small Business Development Center
Class of 2013

Scott Foster
Attorney, Bulkley Richardson
Class of 2011

Nicole Griffin
Owner, ManeHire
Class of 2014

 Dr. Jonathan Bayuk
President of Allergy and Immunology Associates of Western Mass. &
Chief of Allergy and Immunology at Baystate Medical Center
Class of 2008

Delcie Bean
President, Paragus Strategic IT
Class of 2008

40 Under Forty Alumni Achievement Award Nomination Form

Fill out the nomination form completely.
  • Nominated by (your information):


The Class of 2019

Attorney, Lyon & Fitzpatrick, LLP; Age 38
Education: UMass Amherst (BA), Western New England College School of Law (JD)

Alyson Yorlano

Alyson Yorlano

What are you passionate about? I am passionate about learning, and I hope to learn something new each day, whether it’s a new skill — like how to tackle (and sometimes finish) home-improvement projects — or a new activity. I learned last year that you’re never too old to pick up a new sport, and I’m now having a blast playing for the Lady Stars women’s ice-hockey team. I am also very fortunate that my job allows for constant opportunities to learn and grow in new and unique areas of the law.

Whom do you look up to, and why? My mother, who exemplifies how strength, hard work, and perseverance can lead to wonderful things, and my son, who makes me laugh every day and reminds me there is always time to play.

What goal do you set for yourself at the start of each day? To work hard and give my all, to be kind and treat everyone with respect, to have some fun, and, in the words of Coco Chanel, to keep my heels, head, and standards high.

What will work colleagues say at your funeral? With Manhattans raised, they’ll say, “we will miss your epically witty fantasy football league commissioner notes.” Also, “do you think she remembered to bring her wallet, keys, and phone with her?”

What person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why? Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose action figure is proudly displayed on my desk. Her intellect, honesty, and courtroom presence have inspired not only me, but countless female attorneys who dream of following the path to success that she paved. And I’d love for Tina Turner to stop by, too!

Photography by Leah Martin Photography


About the Judges

A panel of judges was kept quite busy over the past few weeks, reading, evaluating, and eventually scoring nearly 200 nominations for the Forty Under 40 Class of 2019.

Yes, that’s a record, and it’s a clear indication of how coveted that designation ‘BusinessWest 40 Under Forty honoree’ has become within the 413.

Who will be most recent 40 people able to add that line to their résumés? The judges are concluding their work, and the letters alerting the winners should be going out sometime this first full week in March. They will be announced in late April, and the gala is in June at the Log Cabin.

To say the judges had their hands full this year is an understatement. But it is a very capable group that includes one previous winner, representatives of a number of business sectors, and a few players within the burgeoning entrepreneurship ecosystem within the region. Here are the judges for this year’s competition:

Michael Buckmaster

Michael Buckmaster

Michael Buckmaster, vice president of Commercial Banking for Community Bank, N.A. He has more than 30 years of experience within the banking industry working for a wide range of institutions, from global market leaders in corporate and investment banking in The U.K. to U.S. regional and community banks within the areas of small-business and middle-market commercial lending. Current specialties include commercial banking loan origination and relationship management for small and medium-sized businesses, and commercial investment real-estate financing within the New England region.

He serves as board president for Hartsprings Foundation (an affiliation of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County), and as a board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Hampden County and for the East of the River (ERC5) Chamber of Commerce.

Kristin Leutz

Kristin Leutz

Kristin Leutz, CEO of Valley Venture Mentors (VVM), a nonprofit organization based in Springfield offering mentorship, startup accelerators, and co-working space to build the innovation economy in Western Mass., and 40 Under Forty honoree in 2010.

Previously, she was the director of Development for RefugePoint, an innovative NGO, working to help at-risk refugees by improving humanitarian systems. She also consulted with the global philanthropic membership organization Women Moving Millions, creating strategic communications to catalyze unprecedented resources for women and girls. Before that, she served as vice president for Philanthropic Services at the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, where she led donor services, professional advisor engagement, fundraising, and communications.

She earned a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology from Springfield College, a bachelor’s degree from Colgate University, and her yoga teacher certification from Kripalu.

Julie Quink

Julie Quink

Julie Quink, CPA, CFE, managing principal of the accounting firm Burkhart Pizzanelli, P.C.

A graduate of Elms College with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Quink joined the firm in 2011. She is involved in the accounting and consulting aspect of the practice and manages engagements of various sizes and complexities. She also performs services relative to forensic and fraud-related engagements.

Quink is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Mass. Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Assoc. of Certified Fraud Examiners. She is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is a certified fraud examiner.

Active in the community, she serves in a number of boards for the Quaboag Hills Chamber of Commerce, Baystate Wing Hospital, and Square One. She’s also a member of the School Committee of Pathfinder Regional Vocational Technical High School.

Christina Royal

Christina Royal

Christina Royal, president of Holyoke Community College. Royal is the fourth president of Holyoke Community College and the first woman to lead the school since it was founded in 1946.

She holds a Ph.D. in education from Capella University and a master’s degree in educational psychology and a bachelor’s degree in math from Marist College.

She sits on the boards of directors for the United Way of Pioneer Valley, the Mass. Technology Collaborative, and the American Assoc. of Community Colleges’ Commission on College Readiness. 

Before coming to HCC in January 2017, she served as provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Inver Hills Community College and previously as associate vice president for E-learning and Innovation at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland and director of Technology-assisted Learning for the School of Graduate and Continuing Education for Marist College, her alma mater. 

Gregory Thomas

Gregory Thomas

Gregory Thomas, executive director and lecturer at the Berthiaume Center for Entrepreneurship. He works with constituents on campus and throughout the Commonwealth to develop and execute partnerships while also teaching courses in entrepreneurship and innovation.

A 1991 UMass Amherst graduate, Thomas held senior-level global roles in his more than 20 years with Corning Inc. In his last five years at Corning, he was a strategist in the Innovation Group. He is also the immediate past president of the UMass Amherst Alumni Assoc. board.

Daily News

SPRINGFIELDBusinessWest is currently accepting nominations for the 40 Under Forty class of 2019. But time is running out, as the deadline for nominations is Feb. 15.

Launched in 2007, the program recognizes rising stars in the four counties of Western Mass. Nominations, which should be detailed in nature, should list an individual’s accomplishments within their profession as well as their work within the community. Nominations can be completed online HERE.

Nominations will be weighed by a panel of judges. The selected individuals will be profiled in the April 29 issue of BusinessWest and honored at the 40 Under Forty Gala on June 20 at the Log Cabin in Holyoke.

In these times, many people will be working remotely. In addition to accessing BusinessWest online, readers may wish to add their home address. To do this, e-mail [email protected], visit  https://businesswest.com/contact-us/subscribe/, or call 413.781.8600.