40 Under Forty ceremony a gathering of success
U.S. Army Capt. Daniel Meegan's absence was excused because of another honor. The Rollinsford native is studying at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School in North Carolina.
"He's just done a wonderful job and to see him in the company of such great young people, it was just incredible. I'm proud of him and everyone else," said his mother, Janet Meegan, who accepted the plaque for her son and received a standing ovation on her way back to her seat.
"I had a hard time walking back. I appreciated that. That was unexpected."
New Hampshire Union Leader Publisher Joseph W. McQuaid welcomed the crowd of more than 300 people attending the ceremony at the Grappone Conference Center. This is the 12th straight year the newspaper has recognized a group of 40 people under the age of 40. The Class of 2013 included 25 men and 15 women, all nominated by friends or peers for their contributions to communities throughout the state.
"Its members include 20 New Hampshire-born sons and daughters, which is pretty impressive because most everyone in New Hampshire is from somewhere else," McQuaid quipped, drawing chuckles from the audience.
Gov. Maggie Hassan was unable to attend, but sent her congratulations in a written message via Executive Council member Colin Van Ostern, who was also one of the 40 honorees.
"I've had a number of friends who I've nominated for this over the past 10 years so it's really special for me to be recognized in the same way," Van Ostern said.
A brief biography for every recipient was read as the honorees made their way to the front of the banquet room to receive the honorary plaque and pose for pictures.
Former Gov. John Lynch, only three months out of office, was one of the presenters and joked that McQuaid had suggested he bring his resume and network during the banquet with some of the state's young leaders.
"I don't think there's anything more noble that we can do than make a difference in the lives of other people and that's what you all are doing every day," Lynch said.
The event was cosponsored by Citizens Bank and the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire. BIA board chairman John Morison shared introduction duties with McQuaid as all 40 recipients were recognized.
Joe Carelli, president of Citizens Bank New Hampshire, also congratulated the honorees during a brief round of opening remarks.
"Our 40 honorees are part of a very elite group," Carelli said. "Each one of you has left and will continue to leave a very lasting impression on our state. Thank you for your contributions."
For a gallery of pictures of the event, go to www.unionleader.com/photos/40