40 people you want to meet
The honorees in 13th class of 40 Under Forty are also taking on many other responsibilities. (See the entire class here: unionleader.com/forty)
In fact, that last part was one of the requirements the judges considered when they made their choices out of the nominations received when the Union Leader put out a call for people to honor. In addition to living in New Hampshire and being under the age of 40, all of the people you will read about today within these pages have done something to help make New Hampshire a place we all want to call home.
That is not easy as the men and women profiled here juggle careers, families and life. Some of them recently welcomed new additions to their families. Some have recently switched jobs. Others continue doing what they have done for years. In some instances, that includes saving lives and bringing value to their place in the world.
The 27 men and 13 women chosen for the 13th class of the New Hampshire Union Leader's "40 Under Forty" today are some of New Hampshire's up-and-coming citizens.
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.
Today's class joins the 480 men and women who have been named members of the 12 previous classes of "40 Under Forty," chosen since the program's inception in 2002.
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).
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. More join their ranks today.
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.
(And for those who are thinking ahead and would like to nominate someone for next year's class, to be named in January 2015, visit www.unionleader.com/forty.)
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.
After a dozen years of being asked to identify the major problems in the Granite State, our honorees continue to have their fingers on the pulse of the Granite State. This year's class of 40 Under Forty recipients is pretty much on the same page, with many of them identifying the need to keep young talent in the state. Back in 2002, when the New Hampshire Union Leader introduced the inaugural class of 40 Under Forty, many identified the education-funding debate that was swirling in Concord as the preeminent concern.
This year, many in the class echoed another widely-held concern, namely "retaining and attracting young talent," in the words of the state's new director of the Division of Economic Development, Carmen R. Lorentz, 37, of Gilmanton.
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.
Union Leader Publisher Joe McQuaid said that the interest many of this year's class expressed in attracting and keeping bright, young people here, "is very much in keeping with why we started 40 Under Forty.''
"Saluting young people who are contributing so much to New Hampshire, in so many ways, is one way to encourage others,'' McQuaid said. "And by the continued quality of these honorees, I think New Hampshire may be doing a bit better than some think.''
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."
Sgt. Mark D. Bohac, 34, of Auburn, recruiting office supervisor for the 157th Air Refueling Wing, New Hampshire Air National Guard, in Newington, said, "I love calling New Hampshire home, but I know that finding specifically a career within can prove to be difficult. It isn't just jobs that we need, it is careers."
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."
Chiropractor Stephen Dohoney, 37, of Nashua, the owner of The Pain Relief Center in Nashua, added, "I feel the challenge is and has been attracting the right young people to New Hampshire who embrace the values and traditions that make this state so magnificent."
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."
Sanborn Regional High School English teacher Evan Czyzowski, 33, of Exeter, proved the adage that the more things change, the more they stay the same, by harking back to that original 40 Under Forty class in 2002 with his answer: "We need to continue to make every effort to ensure that every child in New Hampshire has access to the best possible education, from kindergarten through college."
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."
Many in identifying the areas of need in New Hampshire made it personal, referring to their own areas of expertise. For instance, Jennifer Lynn (Amidon) Altieri, 34, of Littleton, program director with NAFI/NFI North whose responsibility includes the Davenport School in Jefferson, a residential treatment program for adolescent girls, said, "I would say the lack of funding and resources available for those struggling with mental health issues."
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.
Whom do our honorees admire? Alison Bankowski, 31, of Nashua, a senior bank loan accountant at State Street Bank & Trust, Boston, admires women "who are strong-willed, independent and inspiring with an idea, vision and dream they chase and never give up."
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.
They are staying on top of the latest trends so that they may perform their jobs better. Trent E. Spiner, 28, of Concord, assignment editor and web producer for WMUR-TV, said his major professional challenge is "staying ahead of new technology to continue providing insightful, relevant, and accurate local news coverage in all the ways our readers and viewers want to consume it."
What do they like to do? Lisa Hatz, 37, of Concord, director of the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation, is originally from the Midwest and likes to get "outdoors and do something active in our beautiful state."
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.
They give back in many ways. Antonio Feliciano, 35, of Manchester, who was born in Puerto Rico, credits the Boys and Girls Club with helping him maintain focus his early years in Manchester. He has seen friends get into trouble with the law, and he says, "The crime rate has increased, graduation rates have decreased, and homeless teens are becoming an issue. We as a community need to figure out how to solve these issues and make it a priority."
And they save lives. State Police Sgt. Nate Noyes, 35, of New Boston, responded to a call in Manchester two years ago when a 10-year-old girl had been taken hostage. After two days, she was saved because of the combined teamwork and coordinated effort of the Manchester Police Department and N.H. State Police personnel. "These officers worked tirelessly together, over Mother's Day weekend, to ensure this child's safety," Noyes said.
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."
Others are doing what they can to solve issues that affect many of us. Maureen McDonald, 39, of Hooksett, community relations director for the New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence and a former producer for WMUR-TV, said domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are big issues in the Granite State. You cannot meet one person who isn't impacted by one of these issues, whether it be a loved one, a family member, or a friend who has been impacted."
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."
State Rep. Joe Sweeney, 20, of Salem, our youngest honoree this year, is a student at the University of New Hampshire in addition to his duties as state representative. He considers his key current professional challenge as "Putting New Hampshire in the best position to spur growth and expand the economic objectives of the state."
And BJ Perry, 31, of Manchester, director of operations at KRL Electronics, showed that while this year's honorees represent a new generation, they are still firmly rooted in the past: Perry is the third generation to work in his family owned company and recently renegotiated a major contract for his family business. "The firm I did business with had a member who worked closely with my late father. At the end of the meeting he said my persona and the way I try to do business reminded him of my dad. Becoming my dad is pretty amazing to me and is honestly my Tommy Boy moment."