Talented, charitable, dedicated to New Hampshire
Meet some of New Hampshire's up-and-coming citizens who are helping make New Hampshire a great place to live.
They include people who have faced down debilitating illnesses: Bryan C.Bouchard, 33, of Manchester, business tutoring coordinator at Southern N.H. University, who shortly after graduating from high school was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma and spent six months undergoing chemotherapy, now marking his 14th year as a cancer survivor; Anne-Marie (Hayes) Hafeman, 39, of Manchester, public affairs and marketing specialist at Elliot Health System and N.H. Hospital for Children, who counts among the people she admires Harvard neurology professor Howard L. Weiner, who she hopes is part of the cure for multiple sclerosis, with which she was diagnosed in 2003; Jonathan Lanteigne, 26, of Bedford, an EasyTech at Staples,who suffered brain damage after a childhood virus and has spent much of his life helping others with brain injuries get the help and services they need, including writing an advice column for the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire; and Jeremy Woodward, 33, of Concord, owner and trainer of Highpoint Fitness and Jeremy's Bootcamp, who in 2000 was diagnosed with bacterial endocarditis, an infection that afflicted his heart's aortic valve, which has been replaced twice.
Yet they have overcome their trials and joined the 36 others named today because of their selfless giving.
All 40 of today's class join the 400 men and women who have been named members of the 10 previous classes of '40 Under Forty,' chosen since the program's inception in 2002.
Previous members include luminaries such as Chris Carpenter of Bedford, pitcher for the reigning World Series champs, the St. Louis Cardinals (named to 40 Under Forty in 2002); Olympic skier Bode Miller of Franconia (named in 2003); U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (2002); Congressman and former Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta (2002); and Attorney General Michael Delaney (2005). And there have been more than a few heroes, including Lebanon's U.S.
Army Capt. Ryan Welch, who strapped himself along with a wounded man to the outside of his helicopter gunship in October 2004 while flying a mission in Iraq (named in 2005); and N.H. Army National Guard C Company 3-172 Infantry (Mountain) commander Daniel Newman, who not only served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, but continues saving lives as a firefighter for Merrimack Fire Rescue (named in 2011).
There have also been a fair number of policemen, teachers, doctors, attorneys and many who have donated thousands of hours to charitable causes that have made New Hampshire a better place to live. More join their ranks today.
Their giving natures, chiefly, are the reason that this year's class of '40 Under Forty' has been selected from all the nominations received. The only criteria for selection include that the person cannot turn 40 by Feb. 1, has lived in New Hampshire at least three years, and is helping to make New Hampshire a better place to live.
'We are starting the second decade of this program with the same objective as when we began: To recognize young men and women who make New Hampshire a better place, and to inspire others to do the same,' said Union Leader President and Publisher Joseph W. McQuaid. 'Some people were concerned that it might be tough, after a few years, to keep finding new classes of '40 Under Forty.' Clearly, that hasn't been a problem.'
Of those named this year who are helping make our state a better place to live are nine who hail from Manches-ter, five from Concord and the rest spread out in communities stretching from the Seacoast to the Lakes Region, and all the way to Colebrook in the North Country and Hanover in the western part of the state.
They include business people such as Bryan M. Bernier, 33, of Auburn, vice president at Aspen Insurance, who is working to get young people involved in a career in insurance; Realtor Lisa C. Boucher, 34, of Manches-ter, co-owner and broker at Hearthside Realty, who says, 'We have had to be creative to help people achieve their goals and still grow our business;' Shane A. Carter, 39, of Deerfield, president and owner of Ridgeview Construction & Community Investment Properties and N.H Sustainable Communities; Michelle Firmbach Nadeau, 34, of Portsmouth, chief executive officer of Aqua Communications, who says retaining and recruiting innovative young professionals in New Hampshire who will become the future leaders of our state is one of the state's biggest challenges; Preston Hunter, 32, of Bedford, director of Business Development for Eckman Construction, who seconds that thought; and David L. Schleyer, 36, of Manchester, owner of Elm Grove Companies, who says, 'The greatest problem facing New Hampshire is in preserving the rural landscape and way of life, while building an economic foundation that will support a high quality way of life for our residents well into the future.'
Several bankers have also been named this year, including Bridget C.G. Freudenberger, 33, of Colebrook, vice president for Commercial Loans, First Colebrook Bank, who lists the lack of employment opportunities as the state's greatest challenge; Brian A. Lavoie, 39, of Hopkinton, senior vice president and team leader at Centrix Bank, who would like to see more done to maintain the culture and feel of the state we love, in the midst of shifts in the economic and political landscape; Barry S. Leonard Jr., 33, of Meredith, senior vice president and team leader, Commercial Lending, at Laconia Savings Bank, who says we must figure out how to create a diverse, competitive, sustainable economy, while still maintaining the incredible quality of life New Hampshire provides to its residents; and Amy E. Wheeler Teas, 33, of Nashua, vice president, commercial loan officer and marketing coordinator for First Colebrook Bank, who says, 'Good-paying job opportunities that can sustain cost of living is scarce for a twentysomething year old' in New Hampshire.
This year's class also includes many creative personalities, including Heather Bishop Dumka, 36, of Tilton, midday personality on WZID-FM; Brady Carlson, 35, of Concord, host of N.H. Public Radio; Rick Cook, 34, of Sandown, director of music at Southern New Hampshire University; David Donohue, 39, of Hooksett, owner of Dtwo Communications, who notes, 'Manchester and New Hampshire are such wonderful places and have so much potential, yet we are mired in outdated thinking and are scared of trying something new because I believe people are afraid of failure, and it's that fear that stifles innovation and drives young people to find innovation outside of our state;' along with Dan Hannon, 36, of Manchester, a writer and director who has worked for Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions; and Ian Muir, 30, of Manchester, lead software architect for Piehead Productions, who says, 'It's disheartening to see politicians more concerned about making a point than helping their constituents.'
Dr. Ronald Yap, 37, of Concord, urologist and director of the Male Urologic Health Program at Concord Hospital, is being creative by employing his medical and technological skills on mobile apps he calls Prostate Pal and Bladder Pal designed to help people track their prostate and bladder health along with their health care provider, another way he's helping people stay healthy.
Two attorneys join the ranks of 40 Under Forty this year, including Rachel A. Hampe, 39, of Hopkinton, senior attorney with McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton, P.A. in Manchester; and Ari B. Pollack, 39, of Concord, attorney, president and managing director of Gallagher, Callahan & Gartrell, P.C. in Concord.
The youngest member of this year's class is Kaleena Guzman, 21, of Concord, office and events manager for Red River Theatres, who says the biggest problem facing New Hampshire is that there are too many young people leaving the state. She is joined in that opinion by Colleen Farley, 28, of Goffstown, partner and vice president for Wealth Management at Robbins Farley Group, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Manchester.
That was a sentiment repeated often by our 11th class, including many from the world of nonprofit work, such as Samatha DePrima, 32, of Milford, director of marketing and public relations for Intown Manchester, who said the hard job is keeping the good nonprofit and business partnerships prevalent in the state going forward, and 'lucky for us, we are surrounded by an abundance of community collateral, all ready to work towards not only keeping N.H. on top, but moving us even further along and marketing our story to attract business, tourists and residents to our great state.' Others were willing to suggest more ways to improve the Granite State experience:
Jayson McCarter, 39, of Belmont, chef and trainer with the Recipe for Success program at the, N.H. Food Bank in Manchester, commented, 'We build bridges and highways, big box stores and strip malls at a much faster rate than we build relationships and communities. We end up having so much on our plate that the simple community-based activities fall to the wayside. A good community fosters better development of our children, a higher appreciation for what we have, and a better ability to sit down and solve our problems in a supportive way.'
Kristie Palestino, 39, of Goffstown, executive director of the Granite State Children's Alliance, offered, 'We need to do a better job supporting the nonprofit sector so our communities can continue to receive such important services. Also, the nonprofits need to take a look at their organizations and see where there may be some synergy between themselves and other like-minded organizations. A merger or consolidation of back office support can prove to be a great cost savings which will lead to resources being spent where it should be; on the actual good work.'
Catherine E. Kuhn, 38, of New Boston, director of Research & Training for Families in Transition, Manchester, calls what has happened 'a perfect storm.' She added, 'The dismantling of the safety net is a huge problem not only for those who face the most significant challenges, but for all of us who never know when we too might need a helping hand.'
Zeroing in on children and students were Jennifer Doris, 38, of Gilford, early childhood manager for Lakes Region Community Services, who sees a need for more mental health services for families; John Mortimer, 35, of New London, founder and owner of Millennium Running, who would like to see the education-funding system improved; and more specifically from Jessica L. Eshleman, 33, of Londonderry, development director for the N.H. Humanities Council, she would like to see officials tackle the student debt problem.'For those who do succeed in graduating from a N.H. college or university and choose to make a life here like myself, high student debt makes home ownership, starting a business, or even pursuing a postgraduate degree very risky life choices.'
Andrea Walsh Powers, 37, of Manchester, training director and program officer for VolunteerNH would like to see state officials step up and fix the disrepair in the N.H. State Park and Recreation system.'New Hampshire is the only state in the country that does not appropriate money from the general fund to support its state park system. Operating costs were funded solely by user-fee revenue. For a state that relies heavily on travel and tourism, allocating state funding seems like a good investment on so many levels.'
Brian Chagnon, 34, of Rochester, a videographer for School Administrative Unit 61, feels quality job retention and creation is a pressing issue; and
Carey Chen, 39, of Hanover, vice president and CFO of Hypertherm Inc., who is helping his company battle back from the sluggish economy, says fiscal health stemming from budget shortfalls is high on his list of priorities.
Jennifer B. Durant, 32, of Manchester, public policy specialist for the N.H. Coaltion Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, wants to see a balanced state budget that provides adequate, important, and meaningful services; while Cindee A. Tanuma, 32, of Manchester, executive director of Community Caregivers of Greater Derry, focuses on funding and staffing shortfalls related to the overwhelming demand for Medicaid waivered in-home care coupled with a moratorium of new nursing home beds.
N.H. State Trooper Joseph Waldvogel Jr., 35, sees firsthand the stress of the current economy, which drastically affects the crime rate. He realizes the cohesive forces of a strong community and cites his own hometown. 'I feel like I've taken a step back in time to where people really take care of one another.' he said.
Lori Harnois, 34, of Epsom, director of Travel and Tourism, DRED, State of New Hampshire, works each day to tell people about New Hampshire's natural and cultural resources which make our state such a beautiful place;
Diana Holland, 32, of Litchfield, director of Fleet Services for Merchants Leasing in Hooksett, seconds that sentiment, noting the things that make this such a fabulous place to live include its beauty, lack of overcrowding, no sales tax, and no income tax.
Those are the people of the 11th class of '40 Under Forty' named by the New Hampshire Union Leader. Their stories are contained on the pages of this special edition of Monday's Business.