Page 26 - BusinessWest May 12, 2021
P. 26

Introducing the Class of 2021
40UnderForty: WhenBusinessWestlaunchedaprogramin2007 to honor young professionals in Western Mass.
from education to healthcare; from energy to media, just
to name a few. But there are, as always, some common denominators, including excellence within one’s profession, a commitment to giving back to the community, dedication
to family and work/life balance, and a focus on what else they do in each of those realms.
The class of 2021 will be cel- ebrated on Thursday, Sept. 23 at the annual 40 Under Forty Gala at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke. That gala will also feature the announcement of the winner
of the seventh annual Alumni
Achievement Award, a recognition program that salutes the 40 Under Forty honoree who has most impressively added to their accomplishments in the workplace and within the community, as chosen by a panel of judges.
Speaking of judges, we thank those who scored the nominations for this year’s 40 Under Forty competition. You can read about them below.
Nicholas Amanti Amy Ashford Chris Bakker Samantha Bilal Ashley Bogle
Dr. Jessica Bossie Lauren Figy Cadigan Carly Camossi
Jes Charette-Fallon Julissa Colón Jessye Deane Xiomara Albán DeLobato Lindsey Gamble Kiyota Garcia Brendon Holland Christopher Howland Matthew Kushi Kelly Lamas
Pema Latshang Vonetta Lightfoot Crystal Maldonado Laura Mangini Kevin Mattson
Joel McAuliffe Chad Moir
Sarah Murphy Matthew Nash Lauren Ostberg Kishore Parmar Anne-Alise Pietruska Joseph Popielarczyk Claudia Quintero Michael Regan Yadilette Rivera-Colón Victoria Ann Rodriguez Elizabeth Sauer Deepika Bains Shukla Christopher Thibault John Thomasian Erin Zwisler
— not only for their career achievements, but for their service to the community — there was little con- cern the initial flow of nomina-
tions might slow to a trickle
years later.
We were right. In fact, 40
Under Forty has become such
a coveted honor in the region’s
business community that the
flow has turned into an annual
flood, with almost 200 unique
nominations arriving this year
— a near-record — making the
task of five independent judges tougher than ever.
But it was also an inspiring task, as these nominations testified to the continued vibrancy and dedication of the region’s young professionals, even during a year that has been unusual at the best of times and, for many indus- tries, crushing during the worst.
As usual, the honorees — 26 women and 14 men — hail from a host of different industries, from law to engineering;
Meet Our Judges
MAY 12, 2021
Kim Alli is a vice president and com- mercial loan officer
at Greenfield Savings Bank and is also a member of the GSB PPP loan task force and the bank’s contribu- tions committee. She serves on several com- munity boards, includ- ing the Hospice of the Fisher Home, the Unit- ed Way of Hampshire County community investment committee, and the Cooley Dick- inson golf committee. She is also a member of the GCC Founda- tion campaign team, ambassador for the Amherst Area Cham- ber of Commerce, and a Rotarian for Amherst and Northampton.
For the past two decades, Paul Bailey has been the executive director of Springfield Partners for Commu- nity Action, the feder- ally designated com- munity action agency serving the Springfield area. Previously, he worked at the Massa- chusetts Department of Housing and Com- munity Development for 11 years, where he oversaw the state’s 252 public-housing author- ities. He holds a bache- lor’s degree in business administration from UMass Amherst and serves on the board of directors of the Spring- field Regional Cham- ber of Commerce and the Hampden County Workforce Board.
For the past nine years, Pia Sareen Kumar has been co- owner and chief strat- egy officer of Universal Plastics Group, rep- resenting a family of plastics-manufacturing businesses headquar- tered in Holyoke and stretching into in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. She started her career as an invest- ment banker at JPM- organ Chase and was a global director of stra- tegic partnerships at American Express. She holds an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Busi- ness and a bachelor’s degree from North- western University.
Lenny Underwood
launched Underwood Photography in 2004, providing an array of services ranging from headshots, parties,
and weddings to photo shoots, slideshows, and photo-booth rental.
He is also a certified personal fitness train- er. He then founded Upscale Socks in
2016, which supports local nonprofits and schools with the Suit Your Soles campaign, which matches a sock donation for every pur- chase. He is a member of St. John’s Congre- gational Church, the Brianna Fund for Chil- dren with Physical Dis- abilities gospel concert planning committee, and the Way Finders board.
Born and raised
in Germany, Peter Wirth started work- ing for Mercedes-Benz straight out of college. After holding several positions in marketing and product manage- ment, her relocated to the U.S. and took a job with Mercedes-Benz USA. After success- fully launching the SLR McLaren and the new C-Class for the U.S. market, he transitioned into retail and man- aged sales operations for two large New York Metro Mercedes-Benz dealers. In 2017, he and his wife, Michelle, started their own business and opened Mercedes-Benz of Springfield.

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