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John Stewart 

Man of action John Stewart believes in importance of helping others


BEDFORD — John Stewart, owner of Bedford Martial Arts Academy, requires his students to do community service so they learn the importance of helping others. But Stewart is not all talk; he's a man of action.


Stewart, 31, is in his 20th year of teaching karate. He started as a junior instructor after he earned his black belt at age 12 and became a full instructor at Goffstown Tempo Karate by the time he was 15. He grew up in Goffstown and earned a bachelor's degree from St. Anselm College. He now holds a third-degree black belt in karate.


In 2007, he bought the Lawrence Martial Arts Academy, changed the name and moved the school to Bedford. As the school was developing, he worked as a police officer at the state Bureau of Marine Patrol, the Department of Safety and at the Department of Diplomatic Security. In 2011, he was able to devote his energy full time to the Bedford Martial Arts Academy and set his goals on making it more than just a karate school.


"About three years ago, I started noticing that some students had cognitive, behavioral and emotional disabilities," he said. "A friend, who is an employee at Easter Seals, got me involved, and I trained at Easter Seals and started their first program on handling children with some sort of disabilities. That spiraled into my teaching at Easter Seals every other week in Manchester."


He has been a volunteer at Easter Seals since January 2011 and now offers a similar program at the academy twice a week for students with autism, Asperger's, attention deficit disorder and other special needs to help them focus and learn self-control and discipline.


"Karate is an individual sport. You can adapt the technique and instruction to the person, whether they have a disability or not. It doesn't matter if they have been training for two days or 20 years," Stewart said. "It's a team environment, but each individual trains at (his) own pace, and that's why people with disabilities can flourish."


Stewart is also on the consulting board of the Adaptive Martial Arts Association, based in Burlington, Vt..


He strongly believes that youngsters need to step out of their comfort zone and help others.


At the academy, every student is given multiple opportunities to do community service.


"Most of our students are well off, and they don't need things, they want things. They don't know what it's like to need clothing or food, and it's important to see why others need these things," Stewart said.


A party called the Summer Bash raises money for local charities. In 2013, the school raised about $2,000 to benefit the Our Promise to Nicholas Foundation, which was named in honor of a Bedford boy who suffers from Batten Disease. All money raised helps support research to fight the disease.

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28th Annual Chocolate Festival 28th Annual Chocolate Festival
Sunday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

FattyFest FattyFest
Saturday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Boogie Wonder Band Boogie Wonder Band
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

USASA BoarderSkier Cross USASA Boarder/Skier Cross
Saturday, 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Urinetown Urinetown
Friday-Saturday, 8 p.m.,
Sunday, 2 p.m.

March 15 Reception

The Union Leader’s 40 Under Forty program recognizes some of the state’s brightest young achievers who have a record of professional and volunteer accomplishments in New Hampshire. It is generously sponsored by Citizens Bank and presented in partnership with the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire.

When:Wednesday March 15, 2017 from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Grappone Conference Center
70 Constitution Avenue
Concord, NH 03301

Tickets: There are no physical tickets for the event. Attendees can check in upon arrival.

Click here to register

Contact: Emily Whalen
New Hampshire Union Leader
603-206-7834
ewhalen@unionleader.com

THANKS TO OUR PROGRAM SPONSOR

Class of 2017

Michael Solari, 33, Goffstown

Michael Solari, 33, Goffstown

Michael Solari, 33, of Goffstown is principal owner of Solari Financial.

Rachelle Beaudoin, 35, Peterborough

Rachelle Beaudoin, 35, Peterborough

Rachelle Beaudoin, 35, of Peterborough is an artist and lecturer of Visual Art, College of the Holy Cross.

Paul C. Smith, 36, Epsom

Paul C. Smith, 36, Epsom

Paul C. Smith, 36, of Epsom is clerk of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

Molly Sanborn, 37, Concord

Molly Sanborn, 37, Concord

Molly Sanborn, 37, of Concord is director of development and marketing at CATCH Neighborhood Housing.

Justin Slattery, 36, Concord

Justin Slattery, 36, Concord

Justin Slattery, 36, is Concord is executive director of Belknap Economic Development Council.

Rebecca Perkins, 34, Portsmouth

Rebecca Perkins, 34, Portsmouth

Rebecca Perkins, 34, of Portsmouth is associate general counsel at Enel Green Power North America.

Arnold Mikolo, 25, Manchester

Arnold Mikolo, 25, Manchester

Arnold Mikolo, 25, of Manchester is community liaison with St. Anselm College; vice president with the Congolese of New Hampshire; ESL instructor with Manchester Community College; medical...

Tilak Niroula, 28, Manchester

Tilak Niroula, 28, Manchester

Tilak Niroula, 28, of Manchester is communication manager at Bhutanese Community of New Hampshire, residential instructor at Easter Seals.

Norri Oberlander, 34, Londonderry

Norri Oberlander, 34, Londonderry

Norri Oberlander, 34, of Londonderry is vice president of North End Properties Inc., aka Landlady in Downtown Manchester

Lyndsee D. Paskalis, 34, Bedford

Lyndsee D. Paskalis, 34, Bedford

Lyndsee D. Paskalis, 34, of Bedford is an attorney (partner) with Stebbins, Lazos & Van Der Beken, P.A.

Joshua McAllister, 37, Center Conway

Joshua McAllister, 37, Center Conway

Joshua McAllister, 37, Center Conway is partner/vice-president/senior civil engineer at HEB Engineers, Inc.; varsity baseball coach, Kennett High School.

Keith Young, 33, Groveton

Keith Young, 33, Groveton

Keith Young, 33, of Groveton is partner at Geo. M. Stevens and Son Co.; moderator for the town as needed; part owner with my wife of First Step Fitness Centeral.

Doug Martin, 34, New Boston

Doug Martin, 34, New Boston

Doug Martin, 34, of New Boston is a commercial real estate advisor for Colliers International.

Ann L. Fournier, 39, Bedford

Ann L. Fournier, 39, Bedford

Ann L. Fournier, 39, Bedford is an instructor in the Department of Nursing at Saint Anselm College.

Tate H. Aldrich, 30, Laconia

Tate H. Aldrich, 30, Laconia

Tate H. Aldrich, 30, of Laconia is an English teacher and English Department chairman at Laconia High School.

Justin Boufford, 36, Manchester

Justin Boufford, 36, Manchester

Justin Boufford, 36, of Manchester is an account executive for Boyd & Boufford Insurance Agency LLC.

James Brewer, 35, Portsmouth

James Brewer, 35, Portsmouth

James Brewer, 35, of Portsmouth is vice president, middle market lender, Kennebunk Savings Bank.

Samantha Kenney Maltais, 30, Loudon

Samantha Kenney Maltais, 30, Loudon

Samantha Kenney Maltais, 30, of Loudon is principal strategist and marketing manager, SilverTech Inc.

Tyler Gouveia, 18, Nashua

Tyler Gouveia, 18, Nashua

Tyler Gouveia, 18, of Nashua is CEO and majority owner of T Town Sports, full-time student at Suffolk University.

Kati Lary Jopek, 32, Canaan

Kati Lary Jopek, 32, Canaan

Kati Lary Jopek, 32, of Canaan is regional recreation coordinator for Mascoma Valley Parks & Recreation (part time); USA Field Hockey umpire (high school and college); basketball and softball coach;...

Nate Alberts, 34, Franconia

Nate Alberts, 34, Franconia

Nate Alberts, 34, of Franconia is owner of Nate Alberts Painting; founder and executive director of North Country Community Radio.

Ryan K. Frew, 36, Manchester

Ryan K. Frew, 36, Manchester

Ryan K. Frew, 36, Manchester is head coach and general manager of the N.H. Jr. Monarchs.

Tim Baines, 37, Manchester

Tim Baines, 37, Manchester

Tim Baines, 37, of Manchester is owner and operator of Mint Bistro.

Kathleen A. Davidson, 35, Pembroke

Kathleen A. Davidson, 35, Pembroke

Kathleen A. Davidson, 35, of Pembroke is an attorney at Hage Hodes, P.A.

Sandi Coyle, 38, Exeter

Sandi Coyle, 38, Exeter

Sandi Coyle, 38, of Exeter is executive director of Granite Pathways.

Tyler Brown, 29, Manchester

Tyler Brown, 29, Manchester

Tyler Brown, 29, of Manchester is an account manager at CGI Business Solutions.

Joe Whitten, 30, Manchester

Joe Whitten, 30, Manchester

Joe Whitten, 30, of Manchester is chief executive officer of Apparel Impact.

Paul J. Bauer, 37, Newfields

Paul J. Bauer, 37, Newfields

Paul J. Bauer, 37, of Newfields is an attorney with Devine Millimet & Branch, P.A.

Matt Walsh, 38, Concord

Matt Walsh, 38, Concord

Matt Walsh, 38, of Concord is director of redevelopment, downtown services and special projects for the City of Concord.

Rio H. Tilton, 20, Seabrook

Rio H. Tilton, 20, Seabrook

Rio H. Tilton, 20, of Seabrook is a real estate agent at Lighthouse Real Estate in Seabrook, state Representative for District 37 representing Seabrook, Hampton Falls and Hampton.

Chad Theroux, 32, Manchester

Chad Theroux, 32, Manchester

Chad Theroux, 32, of Manchester is director of finance for the Precision Guidance and Sensing Solutions Product Line at BAE Systems.

Jonathan Sadowski, 39, Concord

Jonathan Sadowski, 39, Concord

Jonathan Sadowski, 39, of Concord is a special education teacher at Manchester High School Central.

Ned Sackman, 38, Concord

Ned Sackman, 38, Concord

Ned Sackman, 38, of Concord is a commercial litigation attorney and shareholder at Bernstein Shur, P.A.

Jenna Raizes, 32, Epping

Jenna Raizes, 32, Epping

Jenna Raizes, 32, of Epping is deputy general manager at New Hampshire Fisher Cats

Charles W. Kriete, 39, Salem

Charles W. Kriete, 39, Salem

Charles W. Kriete, 39, of Salem is senior vice president of Tessco Technologies.

Laura Gamache, 32, Manchester

Laura Gamache, 32, Manchester

Laura Gamache, 32, of Manchester is a real estate agent/Realtor with Gamache Real Estate Group of Keller Williams Realty.

Jessica Eskeland, 31, Concord

Jessica Eskeland, 31, Concord

Jessica Eskeland, 31, of Concord is coordinator at N.H. Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence

Matthew T. James, 35, Londonderry

Matthew T. James, 35, Londonderry

Matthew T. James, 35, of Londonderry is a commercial lender at Eastern Bank.

Liz Hitchcock, 38, Manchester

Liz Hitchcock, 38, Manchester

Liz Hitchcock, 38, of Manchester is a philanthropist.

George S. Hansel, 31, Keene

George S. Hansel, 31, Keene

George S. Hansel, 31, of Keene is co-owner of Filtrine Manufacturing Company and an At-Large Keene City Councilor.

Class of 2018 Nominations

Please summarize below the nominee's professional and volunteer accomplishments, and other special factors that you feel make them deserving of this recognition. Please include complete contact information for nominee.

For more information on the 40 Under 40 program, contact Shannon K. Sullivan, Community Relations Manager, 603-206-7833 or ssullivan@unionleader.com.

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