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SPRINGFIELD — At Thursday evening’s 18th annual 40 Under Forty event at the MassMutual Center, BusinessWest announced that Meghan Rothschild, president and owner of Chikmedia, is this year’s Alumni Achievement Award (AAA) winner. 

Rothschild broke through on her fourth time as a finalist for the AAA, which, since 2015, has been awarded annually to the past 40 Under Forty winner who, in the minds of an independent panel of judges, has most impressively built on his or her record of professional achievement and service to the community since being named a 40 Under Forty honoree.  

Rothschild was voted to the 40 Under Forty class of 2011 while serving as Development and Marketing manager for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. As a survivor of melanoma, she was also a well-known advocate for skin safety and cancer prevention. 

Since then, she has founded and significantly grown the marketing and public-relations business known as Chikmedia, a full-service, boutique firm that provides clients nationwide with graphic design, social-media management, public relations, expert positioning, event management, and more. 

Meanwhile, her involvement within the community takes many forms, from a Girls & Racism town hall created in collaboration with Girls Inc. to a Campaign for Healthy Kids PSA designed to help raise funds for the children and families that rely on Square One and were severely impacted by COVID, to her creation of the Chiks of the Future Scholarship, designated for a young woman of color pursuing a degree in a marketing-related field. 

Rothschild is also increasingly in demand as a public speaker, having addressed subjects ranging from skin cancer to social media to leadership skills and how to build them. She has also become a sought-after presenter and media host, including red-carpet coverage on behalf of Explore Western Mass. (the Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau) for Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement, as a panelist for the RISE Women’s Leadership Conference, and regular media-outlet contributions including The Rhode Show, Mass Appeal on WWLP, iHeart Radio, and more. Her first keynote address, called “Living Authentically Unleashed,” came this spring at the Pioneer Valley Women’s Conference in Springfield. 

The other three finalists for this year’s AAA award were Andrew Melendez, founder of the Latino Economic Development Corp.; Payton Shubrick, founder and CEO of 6 Brick’s LLC; and Craig Swimm, senior vice president of Audacy Springfield. 

The Alumni Achievement Award is presented by Health New England.