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40 Under Forty showcases Hartford's rich workforce talent

BY Greg Bordonaro

7/14/2017
(From left to right) Jacob A. Hunter, Julia Monique Johnson, Katie Hanley, Paul Diego Holzer and Karen T. Taylor.
There's been a lot of talk recently about Connecticut and Greater Hartford being unable to recruit the type of talent that companies want and need.

But if there are any signs of hope for the state's and region's future it's in the pages and profiles that follow.

Every year for the last 21 years, Hartford Business Journal, with the help of our independent judges, has selected 40 of the top up-and-coming young professionals who are leading their respective organizations.

This year we received nearly 200 nominations for our 40 Under Forty awards. Narrowing down the list to 40 deserving winners was a difficult task. More importantly, our winners provide evidence that our region has a vast young talent pool. As a state, we must do everything in our power to keep them here.

Our 2017 winners hail from the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Many are from well-known companies like Travelers, Wells Fargo, Comcast, Prudential, Cigna and The Hartford. Others represent small businesses like Nutmeg Technologies, Smith Brothers Insurance or Mizzi Cosmetics.

As part of this year's publication, we asked our winners for ideas to improve Connecticut's economic fortunes. It's a topic that has puzzled our state policymakers for far too long. Our elected leaders should take heed of their answers.

We'd like to thank this year's judges (Gail Lebert, Wilson Camelo and Julie Daly Meehan) for helping choose our winners. We will be celebrating our annual 40 Under Forty event Sept. 13 at the Connecticut Convention Center. It will be a blue jeans, black tie affair and we hope you join us.

And if you think you have what it takes to be part of a future 40 Under Forty class, we ask that you submit a nomination next year. This award is only as strong as the class of individuals who are nominated for it.

And many nominees represent the promising future of our city, region and state.

Meet the winners

Sonia Joyce Worrell Asare

Rachel Bader

Jonathan Bartholomew

Jamie Bellenoit

Jeremy Bourret

Jeffrey Bruneau

Malik Champlain

Anthony Cherolis

David Ciriello

Adwoa Dadzie

Jamie Daniel

Laura DePergola

Faina Dookh

Christopher Duffy

Jean Forsyth

Rebecca Gentile

Aaron Gill

Katie Hanley

Jessica Hinman

Paul Diego Holzer

Evan Honeyman

Jacob Hunter

Kristin Ingram

Jamal Jimerson

Julia Monique Johnson

Amber Kendrick

Patrick Langevin

Rick P. Lawrence

Will McLean

Brenda Mierzejewski

Ojala Naeem

Yannick Nicome

Bobby Nims

Brian Paganini

Kim Reid

Jessica Ritter

Christian Sager

Karen Taylor

Jennifer Widness

Faith Zeller

Judges

Wilson Camelo is president and chief marketing officer of Camelo Communication, a marketing communication agency specialized in multicultural marketing.

Gail Lebert is the director of partnership development for Klingberg Family Centers and the former publisher of the Hartford Business Journal.

Julie Daly Meehan is the vice president of investor engagement and retention at the MetroHartford Alliance.