Ryan Frew, 36, from Manchester, receives his award from David Juvet, senior vice president at Business and Industry Association, left, and Joe Carelli, president of Citizens Bank for New Hampshire and Vermont, during the annual New Hampshire Union Leader 40 Under Forty event held at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord on Wednesday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)
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CONCORD — Gov. Chris Sununu, 42, said those who failed to make the New Hampshire Union Leader’s 40 Under Forty list should take heart.
“This is a touted list across the state and to those who never made it, myself included, you too can become governor some day,” Sununu quipped at the 16th annual awards ceremony Wednesday at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord.
The program honors those who have achieved professional and volunteer accomplishments. Past honorees include Sununu’s older brother, former U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu, along with former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher and Cy Young Award winner Chris Carpenter and Olympic gold medalist skier Bode Miller.
This year’s group has 26 men and 14 women — 35 in their 30s. The youngest, Tyler Gouveia, 18, of Nashua, is the CEO of T Town Sports, a sports news service firm he founded.
Sununu urged the winners to become ambassadors in a state that has struggled to keep young people here once they graduate from college or start to pursue careers.
“I need your help,” Sununu said.
Tim Baines, 37, of Manchester, owner of the Mint Bistro, said he saw the power of local goodwill after his restaurant sustained a serious flood on Feb. 15, 2016.
“The community really came together for us; it reminds me how important it is to give back,” said Baines, whose father, Bob, is a former Manchester mayor.
George Hansel, 31, is completing his first term as an at-large Keene city councilor and can’t imagine ever moving away.
“I’m really committed to the community, coming from a fifth generation of families in our company,” said Hansel, co-owner of Filtrine Manufacturing Co. of Keene.
“Keene has a great story to tell and I want to be part of that,” he said.
Rachelle Beaudoin, 35, of Peterborough is an artist and lecturer of visual arts at the College of Holy Cross and a Fulbright Scholarship winner whose contributions to her native Berlin have been to co-author a dialect dictionary and to help a local fund-raising effort.
“What’s always amazing to me is how many people I meet like myself who have come from Berlin,” Beaudoin said.
Then there’s Jessica Eskeland, 31, of Concord, whose passion is helping victims of domestic abuse as coordinator at the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
“I don’t consider this an award, but one on the coalition’s behalf; we’re a team,” Eskeland said.
Joe Carelli, state president of Citizens Bank for New Hampshire and Vermont, urged recipients to break new ground in whatever they do.
“We need individuals who will challenge conventional ways of thinking,” Carelli said.
New Hampshire Union Leader Publisher Joe McQuaid said Gov. Sununu should carry these stories as he tries to convince company executives to expand or locate in New Hampshire.
“This list shows there are young people who are contributing at an incredible rate, doing wonderful things in their communities,” McQuaid said.
Nominees had to be younger than 40 as of Feb. 1, have lived in New Hampshire for at least three years, and have made professional and personal contributions to making New Hampshire a better place.