The Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Whatcom Young Professionals and The Bellingham Business Journal teamed up to find the top professionals under 40 years old who are doing good work in Whatcom County. In September community members sent in their nominations, and out of 70 nominees, a panel of judges has determined the top seven for this year. The judges considered each nominee based on their character, community involvement, initiative and tenacity, leadership, professional accomplishments, selflessness and vision.
“I’m pleased with the process,” Chamber CEO and President Guy Occhiogrosso said. “I thought we got some amazing nominations.”
Out of the seven winners of the award, one will be given the no. 1 top prize. The final winner will be revealed at the Top 7 Under 40 Award event. That event will take place on Nov. 18 at 5:30 p.m. at the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher building, 520 Flora St. in Bellingham, and is free to attend, but tickets are limited. To RSVP, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/top-7-under-40-award-event-tickets-28374359473.
Occhiogrosso said it is important to recognize the young people in the local business community.
“Young professionals in our community are the future leadership,” he said. “We need to invest in our young professionals so we can keep them here.” It’s important that college students in the county don’t feel they have to move to Seattle to get a job after they graduate, he said. This award is one way to demonstrate that.
“We also showcase that this is a place where young professionals can not only survive but thrive,” he said.
The winners of the 2016 Top 7 Under 40 Award:
Amelia Mendenhall, Rice Insurance
Bradley Lockhart, Faithlife
Emily O'Conner, Lydia Place
Jack Lamb, Aslan Brewing
Mandy Richards, Cascade Radio
Nicole Burdick, Waddell & Reed
Riannon Bardsley, Northwest Youth Services