40 people you want to meet
The 40 Under Forty program is presented by the New Hampshire Union Leader in cooperation with the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire. An awards ceremony will be held Wednesday, March 19, at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord presented with the generous sponsorship of Citizens Bank. Tickets to that event are $40 per person. To buy tickets, visit unionleader.com/forty or contact Christy DeTrude in the Union Leader's Community Relations Office at 206-7834 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previous members include former Toronto Blue Jays and St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter of Bedford (named to 40 Under Forty in 2002); Olympic skier Bode Miller of Franconia (named in 2003); U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (2002); former Congressman and Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta (2002); and former Attorney General Michael Delaney (2005).
They were nominated by family, friends, and co-workers, then culled by our judges to the 40 people you will read about within these pages.
So, here are the men and women of New Hampshire, all under the age of 40, who this year have been selected because of their unselfish natures and good work on behalf of their communities.
Stephen Dunker, 36, of Bedford, the vice president of sales and marketing at AMPM Facility Services/HD Floorcoat, agreed on the need for opportunities for young professionals and retaining talent in the New Hampshire workforce.
Chris Wellington, 31, of Manchester, business development specialist for the N.H. Division of Economic Development, fine-tuned that a bit, saying the state needs to retain its college graduates and highly skilled workers.
Kyle York, 31, of Bedford, chief revenue officer at DYN, Inc., Manchester, has a front-row seat for the issue, saying we need to cultivate and retain our younger workforce in the Granite State.
Douglas Glennon, 39, of Barrington, owner of Glennon Consulting LLC, said we as a state need to educate high-tech workers and "attract the jobs to keep them in the state."
Jay Poulin, 38, Berlin, president of HEB Engineers, added, "Most educated young graduates leave the area and don't have any reason to return other than for family reasons."
Michael Skelton, 31, of Bedford, media spokesperson for Public Service of New Hampshire, Northeast Utilities, and Northern Pass, LLC, said, "We need a healthy balance of young people in our state to ensure the competitiveness of our workforce, our unique culture, and to foster a growing and vibrant economy."
Elizabeth E. D. McCormack, 33, of Concord, who was born in Chicago and is operational vice president of human resources and corporate counsel to national retailer Brookstone, headquartered in Merrimack, said we need to retain and recruit educated young people to live and work in the state and help drive its economy.
Gene Brown, 29, of Manchester, sales representative for Surgi-Care, Inc., has been working here since he graduated from college back in 2007, selling medical implants and devices in the operating room. He agrees and feels another problem is more pressing: "The torch is being passed, the time is ours, and if we, the leaders of our generation, don't step in and continue" the many charitable programs in New Hampshire, "these wonderful programs will ultimately cease to exist. I encourage the younger minds still in New Hampshire to seek out these organizations and help keep them going."
Jeff Moore, 25, of Nashua, co-director of North Main Music, said, "We need to work together to make New Hampshire more appealing to the workforce."
Ben Kelley, 28, of Concord, a commercial broker with Brady Sullivan Properties, said, "New Hampshire has a lot of positive things going for it ... New Hampshire offers a top-tier quality of life, and with all these positive developments, we can retain and attract the millennial generation, we just need to do a better job of getting the word out there."
John Stewart, 31, of Manchester, owner/instructor of Bedford Martial Arts Academy, sees his job as helping teach his students "how to become leaders in the community."
And Julie Chrissis, 39, of Manchester, a property stylist with Chrissis & Company Interiors, took that a step further, saying, "Our school system really needs some help. Unfortunately, this is not tomorrow's problem anymore. We are starting to see the real effects of students who graduate without basic math and English skills and it is only going to get worse. We can do better."
Shannon Sullivan, 35, of Manchester, community relations manager for the New Hampshire Union Leader, has helped found a charter school in Manchester and said, "Too many public school districts are being forced to make cuts that are bringing the quality of our educational system down."
Sheridan Brown, 39, of Grantham, an attorney and government relations consultant who once worked for U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu, another 40 Under Forty honoree in 2002, believes we need to do more to instill an appreciation for nature and community in our children.
Gordon Ehret, Journey Ewell and Dr. Ahad Fazelat answered the question based on their own spheres of influence.
Ehret, 33, of Orford, interim operations leader for Hypertherm, sees climate change as an issue: "Watching weather event after extreme weather event tear through the landscape of the Upper Valley these past few years has clearly shown the need to adapt to a new reality," he said.
Ewell, 38, of Manchester, co-president of the Friends of the Manchester Animal Shelter, said the state has an overpopulation of cats and pitbulls which leads to crowded local shelters. And Dr. Fazelat, 39, of Bedford, who was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and is a vitreoretinal specialist at BGSS Medical Eye Center, Manchester, said "meeting the health care needs of the state in a new era of health care reform" is a major need.
Jennifer Turco Beaudet, 34, of Goffstown, an attorney with Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer PC, Manchester, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 27, is active with the Young Survival Coalition, a national organization that focuses on the unique issues faced by women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 40.
Nazzy, 38, a radio show host who goes by that one name, is from Concord and he responded when we asked him his favorite radio station: "Come on, is this a trick question? Best in the world – 105.5 JYY." His favorite musical artists include Michael Jackson, Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, Michael Buble, Beatles, Motown and Frank Sinatra.
Martin C. LeGay, 39, of Merrimack, director of operations for RGH Hospitality LLC / Roedel Companies in Wilton, formerly executive chef at Nashua's Crowne Plaza Hotel, also likes hiking in the White Mountains.
Chris Lockwood, 38, of Concord, The Palace Theatre's director of marketing, is hoping more people will be willing to explore attractions in the state, including the Palace.
James P. "JP" Harris, 37, of Weare , an attorney and shareholder with Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green, P.A., said his favorite place in New Hampshire is the balcony at the Mount Washington Hotel.
Katie Orlando, 31, of Fremont, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Manchester, considers her major life achievement saving four students' lives when she was an adviser at Chester College and the University of Maine. "They were seriously considering suicide or in the middle of the act," she said. "I will always place saving the life of another at the highest of my list of major achievements."
Chris Pappas, 33, of Manchester, who was elected District 4 Executive Councilor to replace Ray Wieczorek, is also co-owner of the Puritan Backroom Restaurant in Manchester. He sees the need to create more jobs, attract increased business development and stimulate economic growth as the state's major problem.
Mary Ellen Wenners Morse, 39, of Rye, corporate counsel for the IP and E-Commerce Group at Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, has a thoughtful approach to the problem. She said, "I believe we have a technology deficit that has a profound impact on the economic viability of our state. Investing in state-of-the-art networks would better position us to attract new business and business investment, create jobs and retain local talent, allow state universities to grow distance learning programs and bring distance learning opportunities to residents in rural locations."
Joanne Lynn Riker, 31, of Dover, a special education case monitor/department head at Spaulding High School in Rochester, who recently welcomed new son Carter, on Jan. 4, said, "Many children and families do not have the support needed available for them, whether it's in-home support and counseling, housing placement support, or group home availability for children."
Steve Venezia, 30, of Hillsborough, an attorney at Upton & Hatfield, welcomed a new daughter last April and said, "A balance must be found between older and younger populations to ensure New Hampshire's success in the future. We must attract talented individuals and businesses in order to build communities that are economically and socially stable."