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Recapping the 2017 40 Under Forty awards event

By Adam Rombel


A crowd of 470 gathered at the 40 Under Forty awards event on Nov. 16 at the SRC Arena on the OCC campus. Adam Rombel/BJNN

ONONDAGA — They came in droves, and they often cheered enthusiastically, applauded, and gave standing ovations for the people they came to honor.

A rowdy crowd of more than 470 attended the 20th edition of the popular 40 Under Forty awards event on Nov. 16 at the SRC Arena, honoring 40 aspiring, industrious, and civic-minded Central New York professionals who are under the age of 40.

The honorees are put in the spotlight for excelling in the workplace and giving back to their community. BizEventz, a company in the Business Journal News Network, produced the event.

Attendance was up from last year’s crowd of about 420, and 400 the year before, when 40 Under Forty was held as a luncheon. 

Each honoree was called up, one-by-one to the stage, as his/her name and photo was shown on the big screen. Each one was serenaded with a mix of exuberant cheers — in some cases whoops, hollers, and screams — applause, and impromptu standing ovations from their company’s table and others. The sounds cascaded across the SRC Arena, which is located on the Onondaga Community College campus.

Event emcee JoDee Kenney, morning news anchor at Spectrum News, read the professional accomplishments, credentials, and community service activities of the honorees as they made their way up and then posed for a photo with their award. Alissa Viti, charitable and community relations manager at M&T Bank, the event’s presenting sponsor, handed each 40 Under Forty winner a glass award.

The 40 Under Forty honorees were chosen by a panel of six judges, who evaluated about 100 entries. 

This year’s 40 Under Forty winners were as follows:

• Jill Anderson - Syracuse Stage

• Abigail Baird - Onondaga Community College

• April Brissette - Bankers Healthcare Group

• Nathan Brown - HOLT Architects

• Iris Buczkowski - Strategic Financial Services

• Mark Ciaralli - Grossman St. Amour, CPAs

• Christopher Coville - Research & Marketing Strategies

• Mike Crowley - Crowley Insurance Agency

• Sally Curran - Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County

• Christine Durnin - Pinckney Hugo Group

• Mary Earl - M&T Bank

• Natalie Hempson-Elliott - Bousquet Holstein PLLC

• Brendan Farnach - All Seasonings Ingredients, Inc.

• DeAnna Germano - Chef4Rent

• Madelyn Halstead - Pinckney Hugo Group

• Keeley Ann Hines - The Bonadio Group

• Justin Hummel - Hummel’s Office Plus

• Rhonda Jasper - United Way of Seneca County

• Elizabeth Kapfer - Annese, a ConvergeOne Company

• Robinson Lingo - SRC, Inc.

• Edin Ljuca - Northwestern Mutual

• Melissa Marrone - Homeless & Housing Coalition of CNY

• Nick McLaughlin - C&S Companies

• Erica Vernold Miller - Professor Patty Cake Consulting, LLC/ Partners in Learning, Inc.

• Erica Muscatello - Dermody, Burke & Brown, CPAs

• Rebecca Newman - Housing Visions

• Robert O’Neal - New York State Office of Fire Prevention & Control

• Matthew Paulus - Paulus Development Company

• Carrie Pollak - Hancock Estabrook, LLP

• Madison Quinn - Onondaga County Department of Water Environment Protection

• Jon Rogers - The Salvation Army, Empire State Division 

• Katrina Skeval - Alzheimer’s Association, CNY Chapter

• Pamela Smith - Syracuse Academy of Science

• Manika Suryadevara - SUNY Upstate Medical University

• Jacob Tanner - Digital Hyve

• Mark Trumbo - Syracuse University Athletics

• Brian Voss - NBT Bank

• Shawn Weiman - Nunn’s Home Medical Equipment

• Melody D. Westfall - Scalfone Law PLLC

• Stephanie Wright - Pyramid Management Group

For the third year, all 40 Under Forty alumni, 20 years’ worth, will be asked to participate in a nonprofit community volunteer project. Housing Visions, a nonprofit agency devoted to “sustainable neighborhood revitalization,” was the organization selected from among a number of area nonprofits during a communitywide vote conducted at The 40 Under Forty alumni will be asked to volunteer for the agency’s “Sled to Protect Beds” project, seeking to raise funds toward preventing homelessness and housing evictions.

BizEventz will help coordinate this effort with this year’s honorees and past alumni. Housing Visions and this project will be highlighted at the annual Nonprofit Awards, held in the spring of 2018, which BizEventz also produces and M&T Bank sponsors annually.

M&T Bank’s Viti presented a $1,500 check to Rebecca Newman, president and CEO of Housing Visions, near the end of the 40 Under Forty awards ceremony.

For more information about the 40 Under Forty awards and the honorees, check out the event commemorative publication that was published in the Nov. 13 weekly edition of The Central New York Business Journal.


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