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March 19. 2014 9:33PM

40 Under Forty: They're ready to show us the way

CONCORD — New Hampshire stole a glimpse at its future Wednesday, when up and coming leaders gathered to meet one another.

The event at the Grappone Conference Center featured this year's recipients of the New Hampshire Union Leader's 40 Under Forty designation.

The program recognizes young New Hampshire residents already working to make the Granite State a better place to live.

"It's very humbling, but at the same time you feel a little bit guilty," said Grantham resident Sheridan Brown, 39, an attorney and consultant.

A lot of friends, colleagues, family and mentors played roles in his success, Brown said.

Another recipient, Manchester resident Gene Brown, said he was floored by the well-wishers who attended the early evening event — his grandparents, parents, friends' parents, and his 7th-grade geometry teacher.

" I haven't seen him since I was 13 years old," said the 29-year-old, who is a sales representative for Surgi-Care Inc.

The 40 achievers include business owners and elected officials, a police officer, a teacher, heads of non-profit organizations, lawyers, media professionals, engineers and an air national guardsman.

This is the 13th year the Union Leader, the statewide newspaper in New Hampshire, has named 40 young leaders.

It solicits nominations and then selects group members based on a criteria that includes age, New Hampshire residency and contributions to their professional field, community or state.

The gathering drew nearly 300 people, which included civic and business leaders, previous recipients, former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown and Gov. Maggie Hassan.

"You are great representatives of your generation, and you're great examples of why we need to keep young people in New Hampshire," Hassan said.

Brief remarks also came from Joseph W. McQuaid, president and publisher of the Union Leader, and Citizens Bank Vice President Kathleen Reardon.

The program is presented in cooperation with the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire and sponsored by Citizens Bank.

Another recipient, Manchester resident Julie Chrissis, 39, praised the event for inspiring young people to volunteer and give back to New Hampshire.

With 40 superachievers in one room, can world domination be far off?

"I haven't heard any plans about that," said Chrissis, a property stylist for Chrissis & Company Interiors. "But it will be hush-hush until the plan is in action."

Any New Hampshire resident of three years who does not turn 40 before Feb. 1, 2015, is eligible for the next class of 40 Under Forty. Nominations should be submitted to UnionLeader.com/forty.

mhayward@unionleader.com



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