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Anthony Blenkinsop gets a bird's-eye view of good that nonprofits do in NH
Anthony I. Blenkinsop, 39Home: Portsmouth
Family: Wife, Jessica; two daughters, Elliott and Ryan; parents, Ian and Carole Blenkinsop
High school: West High School, Manchester
B.A., history, Pennsylvania State University; J.D., Suffolk University Law School
Current job: Director, Charitable Trusts Unit, Office of the Attorney General
Key past positions held: Senior assistant attorney general, Civil Bureau, Office of the Attorney General; Assistant attorney general, Environmental Protection Bureau, Office of the Attorney General
Volunteer activities: Portsmouth Planning Board; Portsmouth Capital Improvement Plan Subcommittee; Portsmouth designee to Rockingham County Planning Commission; board member, National Association of State Charity Officials
Most admired person (outside your family): Bill Gates for his work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Key current professional challenge: Overseeing the appointment of a special trustee to manage the operations of the Tri-County Community Action Program in Coos, Grafton, and Carroll counties.
Last major achievement: While most of the credit goes to my wife, on a personal basis, the birth of my two daughters has been the greatest achievement of my life.
Biggest problem facing New Hampshire: Ensuring the educational system prepares students for the 21st century and keeping young people in New Hampshire when their education is complete.
Favorite place in New Hampshire: There are many but on Lake Winnipesaukee in Wolfeboro is one of them. What book are you reading now? “The Grapes of Wrath”by John Steinbeck and “The Man From Beijing”by Henning Mankell What websites do you visit most often? N.H. News outlets: Union Leader, Concord Monitor, Portsmouth Herald, WMUR, Boston. com, ESPN
Favorite TV show, radio station or musical artist: Radio: NHPR, WEEI; TV: New Hampshire Chronicle, Boston Chronicle; any home improvement show.
But like many others on this list, Blenkinsop knew he wanted to return to his native state of New Hampshire.
"It's just a nice place to live and at the time I was focused professionally as well," Blenkinsop said.
He said practicing in the smaller law community of New Hampshire made practicing law more enjoyable.
"Even if you were on opposite sides, you had rapport with people . and I liked that," Blenkinsop said.
He settled quickly in Portsmouth when he returned to the state in 2002 and began working for a small law firm in Bedford.
He focused on civil litigation and spent about three years doing trial work.
In 2004 he applied for and was offered a position with the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office.
He spent his first year in the environmental protection bureau before moving to the civil bureau. He was promoted to senior assistant attorney general in 2007 and in 2011 became the director of the Charitable Trust Unit.
In this position, Blenkinsop oversees all of the 9,000-plus charitable trusts and nonprofit organizations in the state.
"They are all run by volunteer boards, and board governance and internal controls is what we preach," Blenkinsop said.
Blenkinsop said much of the unit's work is focused on education and oversight, as well as enforcement.
He said learning about the broad and varied work of the state's nonprofits through his position has been an eye-opening experience.
"The nonprofit community in New Hampshire is a wonderful community and by and large they are doing amazing work and I get to live vicariously through that," Blenkinsop said.
Blenkinsop also gives back to the community himself, serving on the Portsmouth Planning Board since 2007.
"It is nice to feel I am contributing to the city," Blenkinsop said. "It is a fascinating position to be involved in some way with the continued development of the city."
He was also recently appointed to serve on the National Association of State Charity Officials.
Blenkinsop said he often hears that the state is getting older and not doing enough to keep or attract young people, and that is a concern.
"When I look at something like 40 Under Forty, it highlights the good work young people are doing in the state," Blenkinsop said. "I think it will be a testament to the fact that there are a lot of interesting things going on."
He said he is interested to read about the others on the list and excited to be a part of it.
Nominations for Class of 2015
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