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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

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.

Class of 2019 Cover Story Difference Makers

Celebrating the 2019 Class

It was almost a decade ago now when Bill Ward, then the executive director of the Regional Employment Board of Hampden County, stepped to the podium at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke to accept the first Difference Maker award presented by BusinessWest.

Much has happened since then. Ward retired a few years later, and the REB is now known as the MassHire Hampden County Workforce Board. But the Difference Maker award remains a constant — and a symbol of excellence and dedication to improving quality of life in this region.

Since the very beginning, this recognition program has shown conclusively that are a great many ways to make a difference. And the class of 2019, the program’s 11th, makes this even more abundantly clear, as the stories clearly show.

The six members of the class of 2019 will be honored on Thursday, March 28 at the Log Cabin. For information about the event, sponsorship opportunities, or to purchase tickets, call (413) 781-8600, ext. 100, or go HERE.


2019 Difference Makers

Carla Cosenzi, Co-president, TommyCar Auto Group

She’s Been a Driving Force in Business and Philanthropy

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

This Essential Agency Helps the Region Contend with a ‘New Normal’

Peter Gagliardi, President and CEO, of Way Finders

He’s Spent a Career Bringing Home the Power of Collaboration

Frederick and Marjorie Hurst

They’ve Shared a Lifetime Working for Social Change

Joe Peters, Vice Chairman, Former President, Universal Plastics

This Business Leader Has Made a Career of Finding Ways to Give Back

The Springfield Museums

Institution Has Mastered the Art and Science of Being Entrepreneurial

2019 Presenting Sponsor

2019 Sponsors

Photography for this special section by Leah Martin Photography