Top40 under 40 2013

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Presenting sponsor:

For the 15th time, Inside Business recognizes 40 young businesspeople in Hampton Roads who are successful in their careers and are involved in the community. That means that with this group, Inside Business has honored 600 young professionals working to make a difference in Hampton Roads. On the following pages you’ll meet this year’s group and learn about their work and their volunteer efforts, their advice for other young people, their goals, what they’d like to see change and what gets under their skin. We hope this recognition encourages them and many others to go out and succeed in their jobs and in volunteer endeavors to help improve the area. We’d like to thank our judges, listed below, sponsors for the event and the Norfolk Waterside Marriott, where the group will receive awards on Oct. 15. We also extend our appreciation to the Virginia Zoo, where honorees were photographed for this issue and the awards presentation.

The judges Wanda Cooper The Cooper Law Firm PC Virginia Beach

Walter Camp Chief Operating Officer Poole Mahoney PC Virginia Beach

Jennifer Ann Saunders Pfitzner, MBA CPA Saunders and Matthews PLLC Norfolk

Adam Rex Vice President Cornerstone Financial Services Virginia Beach

2013 honorees James Edward Adams III Megan Joye Bennett Erin Black Tyler Carmack Kemo J. Dassau Matthew Echaniz Jared R. Fabac Seth Fleishman Shatada Floyd-White Shalanda N. Franklin Justin Fulton Porter Hardy IV Ché D. Henderson Shawn M. Heselton PE

Kevin Hill David F. “Finn” Host Jr. Melissa Jackson Howell Amanda C. Jarratt Brad H. Jones Tamara A. Jones MD Amy B. Jordan Aaron J. Kelley Shannon L. Kendrick Jenny Lester Dena Liston John M. Mannino Nicole A. McGowan

Lauren D. Mehosky Drew Monroe Nicole R. Owens John “Brad” Reaves Kendra S. Robinson Lita M. Staskey Michael B. Steele Rhonda A. Stewart Tamikia C. Vasquez Jim Weigl Jennifer M. White Kenneth N. Whitehurst III Catherine E. Williams

The section Produced by the staff of Inside Business, the Hampton Roads Business Journal Editor Carol Lichti

Assistant editor Mary Flachsenhaar

Presenting sponsor

Additional sponsor

Photos Kathy Keeney

good help... is shaping the future Megan Bennett, RN, BSN Nurse Manager, Center for Birth Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center

Thanks to the tireless efforts, encouragement and leadership of Megan Bennett, nurse manager, nearly 1,300 new mothers and their newborns at Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center enjoyed more complete, holistic care. Bon Secours congratulates Megan on her accomplishment and celebrates her “Top 40 Under 40” honor by Inside Business magazine.

Good Help to Those in Need®


T O P FORTY UNDER 40 James Edward Adams III, 28 BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST, STIHL INC. At work I manage Stihl Inc.’s strategic partnerships with John Deere, Ace Hardware, True Value and Do it Best Corp. and develop Stihl Inc.’s initiatives for those wanting to become a Stihl dealer. Home and family Virginia Beach; parents Jerry Adams and Diana Burgess, brothers Scott Adams and Billy Burgess, and sister Ali Bayler. Volunteer activities I have been volunteering with the Virginia Gentlemen Foundation for six years and became a member in 2013. To date, the foundation has raised more than $3 million for ALS and more than $1 million toward our next big project, Camp Grom, a $12 million, state-of-the-art, 20-acre beachstyle adventure camp designed to welcome everyone – wounded veterans, families of the fallen, and adults and children with disabilities or special needs. Balancing time I appreciate the opportunity to work at Stihl, learn from such a great team and be a part of a growing company. While there, or traveling for work, those responsibilities are my priority. I also try to make a difference in the organizations where I volunteer. I limit my involvement to a few select causes so that I have time to deliver on my promises. Finally, friends and family are what keep me grounded. It always helps me be more productive when I recharge with some fun on the weekends. Choosing organizations Since 2007, I have participated in hundreds of events with Virginia Gentlemen. When I volunteered

to help out a friend, and current member, Charlie Burroughs, for the inaugural JT Walk in 2007, I knew I had to be a part of it. It is a proud honor to work with such a philanthropic and good-hearted group. Advice for young people I tend to be inquisitive and try to work smarter not harder. I have had the opportunity to learn from great mentors, including my dad. I try to always be learning and not to become complacent. Proudest accomplishment Successfully completing the 12-month Business Residency Program at Stihl Inc. I took a risk by switching jobs to take on a 12-month rotational program with no job guarantee afterward. I could not have made a better decision. Taking a risk and working hard paid off. Professional goal In five years, I will be continuing to help my clients and company enjoy long-term partnerships. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads I would love to see professional sports in Hampton Roads. Dream dinner party Larry David, Kelly Slater, Jordan Belfort, Wilt Chamberlin, Kate Upton and Carmen Electra (1999). Downtime I love traveling and staying active; surfing, skateboarding, golf, fishing, softball and boating. What really gets under my skin? Shopping carts with one bad wheel. You know what I’m talking about.

Megan Joye Bennett, 35 NURSE MANAGER IN THE CENTER FOR BIRTH AT DEPAUL At work I manage approximately 60 staff members who strive to give exceptional care to new mothers, babies and their families. In addition, I assist in bridging the gap between the physicians, administration and staff. I manage the daily running of my own unit and am also an active member on different committees throughout the hospital. Home and family Chesapeake; three boys, Lane, 11, Ryan, 9, and Cody, 5, husband of 13 years, Doug, and the only other female in the house is our cat, Sally. Volunteer activities I have been a volunteer team leader for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk for the past three years, I am a team leader for this year’s American Heart Association Heart Walk, I rode in the Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Association (65 miles, whew!), and was a team leader for this year’s United Way Day of Caring. Balancing time It’s often quite challenging to fit it all in in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I am also working through a master’s degree program. I look at my calendar day by day, keeping my work life fairly organized so that when I am home I can truly be there for my family. I often include my family in my volunteer activities as I believe in teaching my boys the value of giving back to the community. We certainly are a busy family, but we make it work. Choosing organizations I focus on the

organizations supported by Bon Secours. I believe Bon Secours chooses to partner with organizations that are credible and make a difference in the community. Advice for young people Do the best job you can do wherever you are. Work hard, whether you are a cashier, a manager or a CEO. If you always strive to serve others, you will always be fulfilled in your work. Proudest accomplishment Definitely my three amazing boys. I am so proud of the young men they are becoming and love that I get to declare myself their mother. Professional goal in five years I plan to complete my master’s in the next year. I honestly desire above all to serve where I am most useful in Bon Secours. Certainly, I would like to advance, as anyone would, but want to continue to serve where I can make the most difference. Eventually, I see myself advancing into a chief nurse executive role within Bon Secours. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads Of course the first thing I’d change, like everyone else, would be the traffic! And maybe I’d add a professional sports team – preferably football. Dream dinner party Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Billy Graham and John Maxwell. Downtime It’s a rarity for me, but I do love to exercise, specifically cycling. What really gets under my skin? People that pretend to be something they are not.


T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Erin Black, 32 VICE PRESIDENT/DIRECTOR OF MARKETING, OLD POINT NATIONAL BANK At work I am in charge of all internal and external marketing efforts, including advertising, public relations, corporate communications, brand development and management, sponsorships, charitable contributions, volunteerism, product development, market research, visual merchandising, branch collateral and all of our corporate events. Home and family Hampton; my husband Matt, my daughters – Emma, 3, and Annabelle, 1 – and our giant Rottweiler, Tasha. Volunteer activities At Old Point, my position allows me the opportunity to volunteer with organizations including the Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA, the Foodbank, Habitat for Humanity and many others. Outside of work, I volunteer most of my time with Downtown Hampton Childhood Development Center, which serves children from all backgrounds, incomes and abilities. It is inspiring to see the best in early education offered to all children. Balancing time I give time first to my family, then to work and volunteer opportunities. I’m very lucky that Old Point incorporates volunteerism into my job. Choosing organizations I choose organizations that are an extension of what we teach at home. I believe in the value of early education, and I am grateful that my first choice for my own children’s education is also offered to the

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underprivileged families in our community. The best part is that my children grow in a school that teaches them to embrace and celebrate our community’s diversity. Advice for young people Give your best, all the time. When at work, I work as hard as I can, and when at home, I play as hard as I’m able. Life is too short to give 50 percent. Proudest accomplishment First, I’m so proud of my family and so grateful for the life we’ve created together. Second, I’m extremely proud of my MBA from Longwood University. Professional goal in five years At this point, my goals are personal. I believe if I succeed in my personal life, then my professional accomplishments will be an extension of that success. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads I would celebrate the positives more often. We have so much to offer that if we focus on the good, the challenges would seem less impactful. Dream dinner party I’d love for my grandmother to meet my daughters. Downtime We try to make the most of every second in the evenings – family dinners, bike rides, walks, movies and plenty of songs and books before bedtime. What really gets under my skin? When I run out of energy before I run out of things I want to do.

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T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Tyler Carmack, 32 VETERINARIAN/PRACTICE OWNER, HAMPTON ROADS VETERINARY HOSPICE At work I assist families in caring for their terminally ill and aging companion animals in the comfort of their home. This includes pain management, family education regarding disease trajectories and the aging process, personalized quality of life assessments, in-home euthanasia and ongoing pet loss support. Home and family Virginia Beach; Jersey, my black Lab. Volunteer activities I founded the Hampton Roads Pet Loss Support Group in 2012 and continue to organize and cofacilitate monthly meetings alongside our professional counselor. The group offers free support after the loss of a beloved pet. I am also looking forward to working with the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach, continuing to work with local animal rescue organizations and boards, and have enjoyed volunteering at special events in Virginia Beach with the Special Olympics, Surfer’s Healing and Life Rolls On – They Will Surf Again organizations. Balancing time Thank goodness for my smartphone calendar! I try to keep a detailed calendar so I don’t commit to more than I can put 100 percent effort into. Choosing organizations I have always been drawn to supporting local animal organizations, but I also really enjoy working with children’s groups and individuals with developmental disabilities. Advice for young people Follow your own

path, even if it’s not the most traditional. Proudest accomplishment Starting a nontraditional veterinary practice certainly raised a few eyebrows, but it has been a really rewarding experience and has challenged me to learn more about business than I ever wanted to. Being able to guide families through a difficult period in their pets’ lives and make their companion animals more comfortable has made all the hard work worth it. Professional goal in five years I would like to continue to educate pet families in Hampton Roads about the option of in-home veterinary hospice care and euthanasia. I see what a huge difference creating these final, special memories can make, and I hope that one day everyone will know this option exists and will consider saying goodbye at home. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads I spend all day, every day in my car making house-call visits, so I have to join the masses and say traffic. Dream dinner party I have been fortunate to live and work in many places around the country and world. I’ve met many good friends on each adventure, and it would be really nice to get everyone together. Downtime I enjoy stand-up paddle-boarding, reading, the beach and traveling. What really gets under my skin? Neglecting and mistreating animals.

Kemo J. Dassau, 31 ASSOCIATE, BOOZ ALLEN HAMILTON At work I provide statistical analysis and modeling for the Department of Defense. Home Norfolk. Volunteer activities I coach softball in Virginia Beach, volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, mentor a FIRST Robotics Team at Norview High School, served on the board of directors for the Urban League of Hampton Roads Young Professionals, as well as served as a science fair judge for the Willard Model Elementary School. Balancing time I believe that planning is the key to balancing life and work. I also believe that it is important to involve friends and family in volunteer activities. It provides a medium to enjoy each other’s company, while giving back to the community in which you live. Choosing organizations My preference for volunteerism is based on the organization’s direct impact to the community. Organizations that do out of the goodness of their hearts and the commitment to a greater social norm often attract my attention. Advice for young people My advice for young people in the workforce would be to set short- and long-term goals, plan for each day and stay committed to the task at hand. Proudest accomplishment My proudest accomplishment occurred in 2012 when I watched a family in Portsmouth take

ownership of a Habitat for Humanity home that I had the privilege of working on. It was a humbling experience to see how a strong sense of community activism could come together for a selfless goal. Professional goal in five years Over the next five years I hope to graduate from Old Dominion University with my master’s in economics as well as becoming a more polished and accomplished consultant. In addition, over the next five years I would like to augment my consulting profession by becoming a collegiate professor at one of the local colleges/universities in the Hampton Roads area. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads If I could change one thing about Hampton Roads, it would be heighten the community’s awareness and activism with local political decision-making. Dream dinner party Warren Buffett, the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mark Zuckerberg, Ken Griffey Jr. and President Obama. Downtime During my downtime I enjoy reading a good book. Most of my reading consists of autobiographies and inspirational fiction books. Otherwise, I enjoy spending time with family and traveling. What really gets under my skin? If I had to choose one thing that gets under my skin, it would have to be selfishness.

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T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Matthew Echaniz, 36 MANAGING PRINCIPAL, LINCOLN FINANCIAL ADVISORS At work I provide leadership, coaching, compliance oversight and strategic guidance to more than 50 financial planners in Southern Virginia. This includes business planning, promoting strategic alliances, recruiting advisers and setting the vision for growth and value for our team in the community. I am also a CFP certificant and have a private wealth management practice. Home and family Chesapeake; wife Maria and children Isabel, 5; James, 3; and Tommy, 1. Volunteer activities Hampton Roads FPA board member, past pro bono volunteer and current president-elect. Chesapeake Noblemen member and past Dictionary Drive volunteer. Junior Achievement of Greater Hampton Roads volunteer. Finance Council member for Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Norfolk. Balancing time I block out important time on a calendar, and I work with a strong team that I can trust while away. Choosing organizations Children- or financial-centered, with shared values. Advice for young people Put in extra hours while you can, stay out of your comfort zone, write down your goals, be

coachable and pinch pennies until your fingers are bruised. Proudest accomplishment Being successful in new environments and cultures. Starting out in New England as a 21-yearold adviser, then developing a branch in Iowa at the age of 25, then leading and growing an office in Hawaii, and now leading advisers in Virginia. I’ve had to learn different cultures, styles, situational leadership and still be able to succeed and be a husband/father at an early age. Professional goal in five years Building my leadership scope of responsibility regionally, while having my firm continue to grow its brand and value in the community. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads More business leader involvement in local politics. Dream dinner party My parents, Pope Francis, Larry Bird, Jerry Seinfeld, Ronald Reagan and Jack Welch. Downtime Family time, golf, basketball. What really gets under my skin? Closed minds, unaccountability, ball-hogs, loud eaters.

Jared R. Fabac, 29 CO-FOUNDER AND DIRECTOR OF CLIENT STRATEGY, IDEA BRIGHT MARKETING At work I lead the strategic direction for both my company and all enterprise clients. Home and family Virginia Beach; wife Danielle, daughters Angelina, Isabella and Zoe; dog Lucius. Volunteer activities American Diabetes Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, StudentMentor, MercyCorps, Phi Kappa Sigma International. Balancing time I try to include my family in as many activities as I possibly can and constantly seek opportunities that involve friends and family. Choosing organizations I look for organizations that I feel I can truly benefit in a significant way. The more impactful I can be, the better the fit for everyone involved. Advice for young people Clearly define where you want to be and don’t become content with falling short of that goal. Proudest accomplishment I feel the greatest accomplishments will come when I have the opportunity to make more of an impact

in life. However, I’ve become very proud of my company and finishing my first book. Professional goal in five years? I’d like to see the continued enterprise growth of Idea Bright, but more importantly, I’m very compelled to put out two additional books of value. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads Stop trying to force Hampton Roads into something it’s not. Align the vision and improve the area starting with what it is, not forcing conceptual changes based on other areas. Dream dinner party Salvador Dali, Steve Jobs, Abraham Lincoln, Bob Dylan and a stranger chosen at random. Downtime On the rare occasion that it’s plentiful, I enjoy the family I’m blessed with to the fullest. What really gets under my skin? People who form initiatives based on gaining personal media coverage rather than accomplishing something great.


T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Seth Fleishman, 38 VICE PRESIDENT OF OPERATIONS, IAT INTERNATIONAL INC. At work I work for IAT International, which is an international railroad supply company headquartered in Norfolk. We are one of only a handful of companies that supply to all seven major North American railroads. I am second-in-command at IAT, which means I lead all aspects of the daily business operations, from sales and customer service to supply chain and inventory to importing and exporting, etc. Home and family Norfolk; wife Nataly, daughter Shira, 6, son Matan, 4, plus twins on the way, and dog Nili. Volunteer activities I am serving or have recently served terms as an officer or board member for Congregation Beth El, AIPAC, Jewish Family Service, United Jewish Federation and Ghent Dog Park Association. I’m also involved with Chabad of Tidewater, Ghent Neighborhood League, Lost Boys of Hampton Roads and NEST. Most significant right now is Congregation Beth El, where I am first vice president and next in line for president along with chairing several committees. I am most proud of my creations of young adult, family and volunteer initiatives within Beth El and the United Jewish Federation. Balancing time It’s a work-in-progress. I was spending too much time away from family, but I have made an effort to re-focus, especially with twins on the way. Choosing organizations I pick the organizations that mean the most to me. Also, I have to have fun. It may be

hard work, but it must be enjoyable and meaningful. If not, it’s time to move on. Advice for young people Get out and volunteer. My current job and previous one both came about through connections made by my activism. Proudest accomplishment Overall, my children. For volunteering, I explained that. In business, it’s a product line that has become a major part of IAT that I started, led the development and testing, received a patent (my first), manage all sales. It’s being adopted by all major railroads. Professional goal in five years Continue to grow professionally. Balance success with family and community. If I could change one thing Let’s work together to bring an NBA team here! We just need a central location. Dream dinner party Warren Buffett, Harrison Ford, Bill Gates, Michael Jordan, Rabbi Yehuda Krinsky, Joseph Lieberman, Shimon Peres, Steven Spielberg, Elie Wiesel, Roy Williams. Downtime Traveling, reading a good history book or going to a movie. What really gets under my skin? Lack of follow-up. If someone sends you an email, respond. If someone asks you to look into something, get back to them. The ones who are good at follow-up are the same ones I see moving up the ladder the fastest, as it seems to be a rare skill these days.

HRSD is proud to have

Shawn Heselton, P.E., a Top Forty Under 40 honoree, as a member of our team.

As a Project Manager in HRSD’s Engineering Department, Shawn oversees the design and construction of major infrastructure improvements. He plays a key role in protecting public health and the waters of Hampton Roads while also enhancing the quality of life in our region through his commitment to his family and community. HRSD’s 800 environmentally focused employees come from many backgrounds, but we share one vision: Future generations will inherit clean waterways and be able to keep them clean. Please visit to learn about rewarding career opportunities with the organization that has been reducing human impact on the environment for more than 70 years.



At work Assist nursing students to apply theory knowledge to practical application. Home and family Norfolk; husband Michael and son Almasi Noir. Volunteer activities Activities related to the promotion of physical and mental wellbeing. I am a director for Days for Girls, a program to help girls who might not be able to afford or have access to hygiene products; volunteer with the Norfolk Medical Reserve Corps; volunteer with Illuminating Good Health Coalition helping with fundraising and establishing children’s activities to address childhood obesity; member of the Behavioral Health Advisory Council for the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services; and organizing a health information/health screening area for a historic neighborhood community reunion. Balancing time By finding time for myself first. Choosing organizations I choose organizations based on their mission to promote health and wellness in the

community through health care or art. Advice for young people You don’t need a plan B. You just need alternative ways of getting to plan A. Proudest accomplishment Traveling to Zambia and providing medical care to an impoverished community. It personified our purpose to be of service to each other, not just in our own communities but on a global scale. Professional goal in five years To establish standards in health care to incorporate mental health into chronic disease management. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads To allow beachfront living to remain affordable to all income brackets. Dream dinner party My uncle Bobby, Michael Jackson, Josephine Baker, Harriet Tubman, Henry Louis Gates and Cornel West. Downtime Relax. I enjoy a nice country drive with my guys. What really gets under my skin? Insensitive people who do not fear God.

Shalanda N. Franklin, 31 ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY, VANDEVENTER BLACK LLP At work I have a creditor’s rights law practice. I appear in local bankruptcy and state courts to litigate issues such as community association relationships, landlord/tenant issues, contract enforcement and real estate disputes. Outside court, I help negotiate loan workouts, conduct foreclosure sales and handle other creditor-debtor transactions. Home and family Hampton; divorced with one son, Isaiah, 2. Volunteer activities In the past several years I have served on the Norfolk Portsmouth Bar Association pro bono committee, been a team leader/instructor to a middle school mock trial team and hosted youth enrichment seminars through my church. Balancing time Home and work come first. After my son was born it became apparent I can’t do everything. Limiting volunteer activities allows me to devote full attention to them and results in a more rewarding volunteer experience. Choosing organizations I identify organizations and causes where my experience and/or knowledge would be most beneficial. Advice for young people Any opportunity to learn is an opportunity worth taking. Take advantage of every opportunity presented to you, even if you feel that you don’t have the “right” skills or background. If someone offers you an opportunity, they must believe you’re qualified. So make the

most out of it because you never know what doors will open up. Proudest accomplishment Earning a Verizon Excellence Award in 2005, for my work developing, editing and producing training and support videos for the company’s business sales representatives. I had no formal experience or training in video production and spent many hours learning the tools of the trade, but it was worth it. Professional goal in five years To become a partner with my firm and to start a business. The one thing I’d change It would be amazing to see residents become more knowledgable about the area and develop a sense of regional pride and interest in the sister cities. Dream dinner party It would be some of the most engaging and entertaining individuals on television. Downtime My favorite way to spend downtime is decorating cakes and cupcakes. It’s a delicious way to unwind. What really gets under my skin? It would be nice if more people understood that in the world of civil law, results often vary. The law may lead to result A in one scenario, but lead to result B in another. Although two scenarios may appear similar, one factor can cause a different result. In the end, the circumstances of any given situation matter – one solution doesn’t solve every problem.


T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Justin Fulton, 38 PRINCIPAL, SIGNATURE At work I am an adviser to wealthy families on investments, tax and estate planning, philanthropy, risk management and strategic planning. Home and family Virginia Beach; wife, Laura; 3-year-old twin daughters, Reagan and Makenna; and two dogs, Jake and Fletcher. Volunteer activities Junior Achievement of Greater Hampton Roads – board member and executive committee; chairman of the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame; CHKD Future Generations Board – Annual Giving Chairman; University of Richmond Law School Young Graduate Associates Board. Balancing time I stay organized. I make a weekly and daily checklist of activities to accomplish. I also delegate to a great team at Signature, and I have a home team advantage with a great wife who does a tremendous job helping raise our children while I’m at the office. Choosing organizations I volunteer with organizations that I have a passion for and that I believe make a phenomenal impact in our community. I also volunteer where I

have a skill set that can add value. Advice for young people Find something you’re interested in and work really hard to become the absolute best you can be at it. Work gets even more enjoyable as your skills increase. Proudest accomplishment Convincing my wife to marry me. She is such an extraordinary person and I feel blessed every day that she agreed to share her life with me. Professional goal in five years To work with twice as many families as I do today while mentoring other new Signature employees to be great wealth management advisers. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads Greater resources and support for business entrepreneurs. Dream dinner party Jesus, Ronald Reagan, Sam Walton and Michael Jordan. Downtime Play with my children, work out, read, and watch football and basketball. What really gets under my skin? People who overpromise and under-deliver.

Porter Hardy IV, 39 PRESIDENT, SMARTMOUTH BREWING CO. At work As president of Smartmouth Brewing, every day is different for me. I may be on sales calls, paying bills, planning production with our brewing crew or trying to come up with new marketing ideas. I love the variety of it, and I love that we make a product that people enjoy. Home and family Norfolk; wife, Kim; children, Porter, 8, and Sarah, 6; and dog, Murphy. Volunteer activities Chair of the finance committee of Lee’s Friends, board member of the Norfolk Forum, past secretary of the West Ghent Civic League. Balancing time Obviously, balance can be a hard thing to achieve and I am constantly working on it. With young kids and a young business there is not a whole lot of time left in the day. I think it is crucial to give back both in time and money to the community and to let your kids see you do it. Sundays are the one day of the week I try to protect from any outside commitments, and this certainly helps. I also do everything I can to try and tuck my kids in at night. Choosing organizations Most of them came from friends who were active in these organizations. That has made my volunteer activities really diverse. Lee’s Friends helps people live with cancer on a one-on-one real basis. The Norfolk Forum is more of an opportunity for people to take themselves out of the daily grind and listen to a speaker on broad, global topics, and the civic league is about ensuring

your neighborhood is heard at the local government level. I did a brief stint as a troop leader for Cub Scouts. Advice for young people As you work, work mindfully so that you understand what about your current position does and does not resonate with you. Even if your job is not your calling, you can learn about yourself, grow and prepare for your next career decision. Don’t die wishing you had tried something else. Proudest accomplishment Finding the courage to leave behind what was safe and secure to take on a bunch of risk to do what I believe is my calling. Professional goal in five years To grow the brewery so that we are widely distributed throughout Virginia with a reputation for the highest quality beer in the region. If I could change one thing about Hampton Roads While I’m proud that our region has such a large military contingent I’d like to see an increase in locally owned businesses that diversify our economy into fields unrelated to the military or shipping. Dream dinner party Outside of present and past family members, I would invite the Dalai Lama, Jack Johnson, Bill Bryson and Ken Grossman. Downtime I love to surf, hike and ski – oh and have a beer. What really gets under my skin? People who drive expensive cars with Jesus vanity plates.


T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Ché D. Henderson, 39 PRINCIPAL, VISIONS 2000 INC. (V2K, INC). At work I am a business management consultant. I provide training, consulting and coaching services to organizations seeking to improve performance and organizational effectiveness. Home and family Newport News; wife, Megan Alexander; son, Rio; and four dogs, Fred, Oliver, Cheddar and Nina. Volunteer activities In addition to serving on these boards, my volunteer activities are as follows: Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg, president-elect, where I facilitate strategic planning efforts and teach budget/credit technology to new homeowners. For CIVIC Leadership Institute, chaired the eighth annual golf tournament. For Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, a facilitator at Diversity Dialogue Day. Vice chair of Bernardine Franciscan Sisters Foundation and for People to People, chair of the “Next Generation” leadership team. Balancing time My wife and I share household responsibilities. A time management process and iPhone keep me organized. Choosing organizations My father served on the Habitat board, then my mom at both local and international levels. I am passionate about leveraging diversity and creating inclusive environments, a common thread in both People to People and the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities. My mom went through the Civic Leadership Institute program in 2003, and I was in the Civic class of 2009. When

asked to serve on the Civic board, I didn’t hesitate. I was honored when asked to serve on the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters Foundation board; it is a lifeline that funds many worthy nonprofits on the Peninsula. Advice for young people Find something you are passionate about and figure out how it might generate income. Consider blending civic engagement, environmental consciousness and social entrepreneurship to create a socially conscious business. Proudest accomplishment My son, Rio Alexander Henderson, because he is what life is all about. I am proud of the relationships I’ve developed with clients. Professional goal in five years To reinvent and grow the company exponentially. The one thing I’d change I’d create a high speed rail from Virginia Beach to D.C. Dinner party My immediate family, Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Gandhi, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Thomas Jefferson, Bob Marley, Eva Cassidy, Jimi Hendrix, Warren Buffett, Dr. Ben Carson, David Guetta, Richard Pryor, Pelé, Thierry Henry, Lionel Messi, Oprah, Marcus Garvey, Buddha, Jesus, Che Guevara. Down time Spend time with my family, play golf, work out, and I am co-writing a book on B.R.A.V.O. Empowerment. What really gets under my skin? Disrespectful people, the current political discourse in Congress and people who talk on their cell phones in public as if no one else is around.

Shawn M. Heselton, PE, 37 PROJECT MANAGER, HR SANITATION DISTRICT At work As a project manager in HRSD’s engineering department, I manage consultant and construction contracts from project inception to completion. I negotiate contracts, interact and coordinate with local jurisdictions and regulatory agencies, and troubleshoot project-related issues. Speaking to civic groups and the local media is also a responsibility of mine. Home and family Chesapeake; wife, Lindsay; son, Logan; parents, Julie and Brian; brother, Christopher. Volunteer activities HRSD United Way campaign manager and team leader, Raising a Reader volunteer, member of the United Way Young Leaders’ Society. I am also involved in professional organizations including the Water Environment Federation, American Society of Civil Engineers, WaterJAM Conference committee chair and Hampton Roads Planning District Commission Technical Review Committee member. I am a lector at St. Gregory the Great Church and volunteer in fundraising events. I am a soccer coach for the Norfolk United Football Club and volunteer parent at St. Gregory the Great Catholic School. Balancing time Keeping realistic priorities is extremely important to balancing my time. If something unexpected is thrown my way, flexibility and understanding are key to getting back on target. Choosing organizations A large portion of

my volunteer activities blend in with my professional and personal interests. I also try and get involved in organizations that have more “bang for the buck” like the United Way. Advice for young people Be confident yet humble. Know there is always room for personal and professional improvement. Proudest accomplishment Quite honestly, becoming an Inside Business Top Forty Under 40 honoree. Professional goal in five years Attaining the Project Manager Professional credential, broadening my role supporting HRSD. Ultimately, I would like to serve HRSD in an upper management position. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads Regional cooperation among the jurisdictions. This touches not only the industry I work in, but also issues involving transportation, planning and development, and public wellness. Dream dinner party Pope Francis, Benjamin Franklin, Bill Gates, Ronald Reagan, Jason Sudeikis, Jason Mraz, Cee Lo Green, Bob Marley and, of course, my family. Downtime I enjoy activities that involve my family and friends including relaxing on the beach, cookouts and game nights. I also love snowboarding, bodyboarding, beach volleyball, soccer, table tennis, running and strength training. What really gets under my skin? Individuals with a sense of entitlement.

Please join Commonwealth Financial Partners, LC in congratulating Kevin R. Hill on being named a 2013 honoree. As a proud supporter of the community, we know the importance of recognizing people who accomplish something that truly matters. Inside Business’ Top 40 Under 40 recognizes outstanding young business people in the Hampton Roads community.

Commonwelth Financial Partners, LC

Kevin R. Hill Financial Services Representative Commonwealth Financial Partners, LC 222 Central Park Avenue, Suite 1100 Virginia Beach, VA 23462 757-490-9041



MassMutual Financial Group refers to Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual), its affiliated companies and sales representatives. Insurance products issued by MassMutual (Springfield, MA 01111) and its subsidiaries, C.M. Life Insurance Co. and MML Bay State Life Insurance Co. (Enfield, CT 06082). CRN201501-167769


T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Kevin Hill, 28 FINANCIAL ADVISER, MASSMUTUAL MEMBER WEALTH MANAGEMENT At work I help individuals, families and businesses achieve their financial dreams and goals by reducing their risk, taxes and out of pocket expenses while increasing their cash flow, benefits and wealth. Home and family Virginia Beach; wife, Tatiana; daughter, Ruby; and two dogs, Bosley and Kenya. Volunteer activities I am a board member for the Virginia Beach Education Foundation. We raise private-sector support to fund learning programs for the students of Virginia Beach Public Schools and to reward educational excellence. I am the board treasurer for the Arc of South Hampton Roads, which advocates for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I speak to students, staff and parents through the Virginia Beach Schools Partnership in Education programs about financial literacy. Balancing time Waking up early and working hard helps. So does understanding that family comes first. I need to give kudos to my support system including family, friends, business partners and colleagues. Without their help I wouldn’t be in the place that I am in today. Choosing organizations I am a product of Virginia Beach Public Schools – Kings Grant, Lynnhaven Middle and First Colonial High. Go Patriots! My schooling gave me so much. At the very least, I can commit my

time to help improve student development in both the regular education and the special education systems. Advice for young people Wake up early. Work harder than your peers. Understand that family and friends can bring you fortune. Success does not look like a linear equation. Success looks like a 2-year-old’s graphic of a line with increasing slope – up, down, sideways, backwards and loop-teeloops. The difference is knowing what to do when you get knocked down. You get back up. Proudest accomplishment Becoming a father. It’s a type of love that has added so much happiness to my life. Professional goal in five years My goal will be to help our advisory team become the predominant investment and insurance partner with financial institutions throughout the U.S. The one thing I’d change Increase school employee wages. Education is the backbone of public sustainability. Dream dinner party Kelly Slater, Andrew Jackson, Milton Friedman. Three men of the highest regard in sports, politics and economics. Downtime I am an avid surfer, I participate in mud run challenges with my wife, and I try to play golf. What really gets under my skin? Unhealthy food. It doesn’t make sense to me.

David F. “Finn” Host Jr., 30 EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, T. PARKER HOST INC. At work We work as vessel agents and help assist cargo shippers, buyers and vessel owners coordinate each import or export shipment. We work mainly with dry bulk materials such as coal, grain, fertilizer, salt, petcoke, scrap, wood pellets, minerals, etc., but also handle cruise vessels and liquid tankers. We have offices covering all ports along the U.S. East and Gulf coasts. Home and family Portsmouth; wife, Bridget, and a springer spaniel puppy named Lanie. Volunteer activities Portsmouth Museums Foundation, Festevents and Port Norfolk Baptist Church. Balancing time It all blends together. My wife and I are always very active, and we really do enjoy participating in many things, but it can get hectic at times. We are constantly trying to coordinate schedules. Choosing organizations I really enjoy working with groups that promote and advance the local community. Organizations that educate and bring the community together will always create a positive impact around the area. Advice for young people Work hard. Continue to learn every day. Tackle each situation with a commercial- and businessminded approach. Learn to golf. Be in command of everything you do, and do it 110 percent. Enjoy life. Proudest accomplishment I am proud to

be the fourth generation working in our company. Following in the footsteps of my great-grandfather, grandfather and father really means a lot to me. We always try and build upon the things that made the company what it is today, while also continuing to adapt and find ways to be successful for many years to come. Professional goal in five years To continue to learn and grow within our organization. Improve upon old skills while developing new ones at the same time. Have working experience in all divisions of the organization. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads The traffic congestion has been an issue, and I do not see it getting better in the near term. We are fortunate to have so many waterways, but it is causing bottlenecks on the roads. For the area to grow and improve, this will have to be fixed. Dream dinner party The complete Host, Forbes, Peebles, Foster and West families all together. Downtime I like to spend time with family and friends hopefully somewhere outside. When possible, I enjoy boating, golfing, hunting, fishing, traveling and anything competitive. What really gets under my skin? I am a pretty positive person and try not to let things get to me.


T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Melissa Jackson Howell, 36 FOUNDER AND MANAGING PARTNER, HOWELL LAW GROUP PLLC At work My law firm assists businesses in understanding and complying with labor and employment laws and regulations as well as defending against alleged violations. Home and family Chesapeake; husband, Andrew “Andy”; sons, Jackson, 10, and Zachary, 8; and a Rottweiler, Zoe. Volunteer activities Member of Rotary International and Chesapeake Rotary, Chesapeake Bar Association – executive officer, Christopher Newport University Educational Foundation Board, Christopher Newport University Alumni Board of Directors, South Hampton Roads Alumni Chapter of Christopher Newport University – president, National Association of Women Business Owners SeVA Board – public policy chair, Commercial Real Estate Women Hampton Roads Sponsorship Committee and other political and religious activities.

Advice for young people When someone hired you, that person took a risk, not just financially but also that you would positively impact the culture and reputation of their business. Work hard to let that risk-taker know it was a smart decision. It may seem counterintuitive, but it will actually pay dividends for you. Proudest accomplishment My family. We have faced challenges that most will fortunately never encounter. Our faith and love have carried us through and made us stronger. When all is said and done, they are what matter the most to me. Professional goal in five years I aspire to build a strong law firm that serves our community and to eventually serve as a member of the judiciary. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads Traffic. Dream dinner party As long as someone else is cooking, I’m happy.

Balancing time I aim to deliberately and routinely assess whether I’m living my priorities and do my best to make changes and reclaim balance when I realize I’ve lost it.

Downtime What’s downtime? I have a husband, two boys, a new business and am building a house. One of these days, though, I’m going to scuba dive again.

Choosing organizations I have joined organizations that have a meaningful impact on our community and that will help me serve others and grow both personally and professionally.

What really gets under my skin? Lack of Integrity. We all fall short, have flaws and make mistakes regularly. When someone lies, though, it undermines everything they do and say.

Amanda C. Jarratt, 31 PRESIDENT AND CEO, FRANKLIN SOUTHAMPTON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INC. At work Manage the economic development office for both the city of Franklin and Southampton County. We focus on the recruitment of new business and industry, retention and expansion of existing industry, small business development, and tourism for the two communities. Home and family Courtland; husband Billy; daughters Chloe, 4, and Claire, 1, and son, Ethan, arriving Dec. 6; dog, Little Buddy. Volunteer activities Our family attends Capron Baptist Church where I am the coSunday school director, finance committee member, Youth AWANA teacher and Children’s Ministry Committee Chair. I am also a member of the Franklin Rotary Club, Franklin Southampton County Fair Board and the South of the James William & Mary Alumni Board of Directors. Balancing time This is something I think about daily. I am blessed to have an amazing husband, family and broader support network that allows me to try to stay balanced. I am constantly analyzing priorities and trying to maintain a healthy balance between family life, work and civic activities. I try to include my family in as much volunteer work as possible. Choosing organizations I volunteer where I can see a direct positive influence on the Franklin Southampton community to make it a better place for the next generation. Advice for young people Stay focused

on your goals, work hard and make a concerted effort to improve your community. You should never be scared to take risks for fear of failure. The lessons will bring future success. Proudest accomplishment Personally, it is my family. My husband, two healthy girls and our son due in December, are my motivation. Professionally, I am proud I have a leadership role in my community that allows me to have a positive impact on its future. Professional goal in five years I would like to see Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. continue to be an integral part of the area’s growth and development. Our community is on the cusp of great change and I would like to see FSEDI be a conduit for that change. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads Traffic. Dinner party Founding fathers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and others to get their take on how our country has evolved and advice for moving forward. Downtime When I do have downtime I spend it with my husband and children. This includes picnics at the park, swinging outside, coloring, painting, you name it. What really gets under my skin? People who complain about a problem they see, but are not willing to roll up their sleeves and become a part of the solution.


T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Brad H. Jones, 33 DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE SERVICES, SPECTRUM At work I provide leadership and focus to six core corporate business areas at Spectrum: information technology, facilities management, graphics/marketing and multimedia resource development, corporate communications, culture and facility security officers. I oversee Spectrum’s Quality Manager and ISO 9001:2008 Quality program, all internal computer-based training development and management, and manage the company’s transformation initiative. Home and family Yorktown; I have been married to my beautiful high school sweetheart for nearly 15 years. Together we have four children: Karter, 11; Addisen, 7; Paetyn, 6; and Blakely, 3. Volunteer activities Youth Volunteer Corps of Hampton Roads Board of Directors – I assist with marketing efforts, fundraising events and other public relation initiatives. I gain a sense of accomplishment in helping make a difference in the lives of youngsters. NATASHA House – In addition to typical board member responsibilities, I provide ongoing marketing support, full website administration and other technical services related to digital communications. York County Schools, Mount Vernon Elementary School PTA – I am the volunteer webmaster. Balancing time The more I serve others, the more abundant my time seems to be. When I’m more inwardly focused, that’s when I feel the most strained and stressed. Choosing organizations My goal in

choosing volunteer positions related to youth development is to leave a lasting impression on the younger generation, which will hopefully lead to a better future for everyone, including my own children. Advice for young people Don’t rest on your credentials, experience or qualifications alone – work harder and smarter than anyone else and success will follow. Proudest accomplishment Hands down, my family. I devote significant energy into ensuring my family is happy, we love one another and are working toward a common purpose of serving others. Professional goal in five years Continue expanding my skills, both creatively and from a business leadership standpoint. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads The transportation infrastructure. It’d be nice if traveling around Hampton Roads wasn’t such a challenge. Dream dinner party My closest friends. Both those I’ve made here in Hampton Roads, as well as friends from other areas that I haven’t seen in a few years. Downtime I love to read about new technology, hang out with my wife, read a good Jack Reacher novel, or spend time with the family. I love the sun, sand and surf as well. What really gets under my skin? Mindnumbing TV shows like celebrity reality dramas or shows that feature the ignorance of certain redneck backwoods cultures in America.

Tamara A. Jones, MD, 39 PROFESSOR/HOSPITALIST, EASTERN VIRGINIA MEDICAL SCHOOL, DEPARTMENT OF INTERNAL MEDICINE At work I provide and coordinate care for hospitalized patients from admission though discharge covering a multitude of diseases such as diabetes, stroke, heart failure and pneumonia. Home and family Portsmouth; mother, Barbara; sister, Tara; nieces/nephews, Tre’, Tiana, Troy and Taryn; and a Silk Terrier named Miles.

have been exposed to through my sorority. Advice for young people You must have a passion for what you do so that you will enjoy most of your days from now until retirement. Proudest accomplishment Being the first minority to serve as president of the graduating class at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

Volunteer activities Relay for Life, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority community service projects, health fair presentations, Red Cross Blood Drives, Portsmouth Seawall Festival, community health fairs and seminars, Norfolk State Alumni Association.

Professional goal in five years I plan to gain more experience and a larger role in hospital administration and leadership.

Balancing time I put everything on my calendar from my call schedule, to volunteer activities, to social activities and working out. If it is not on my calendar, it likely will not happen.

Dream dinner party President Barack and Michelle Obama

Choosing organizations I volunteer at Norfolk State University as they were monumental in my education and success. I also choose organizations and service projects that provide education on health in minority populations. Several of the organizations I

The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads I wish that Hampton Roads had a professional football or basketball team.

Downtime I golf, travel, league bowl and create various arts and crafts. I also enjoy entertaining, hosting, catering and events in my home for family and friends. What really gets under my skin? Misspellings or misprints in public materials and signs.


T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Amy B. Jordan, 35 REDEVELOPMENT MANAGER, HAMPTON DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT At work I implement Hampton’s economic development vision and mission by generating new retail, office, commercial and mixed-use opportunities in strategic investment areas of the city. Home and family Hampton; husband, Thomas Jordan; son, Andrew, 4; and daughter, Alexis, 19 months. Volunteer activities Downtown Hampton Child Development Center, Hampton PTA Council, Smart Beginnings Virginia Peninsula, School Health Advisory Board for Hampton City Schools, American Planning Association, Urban Land Institute and Olde Wythe Neighborhood Association. Balancing time As Albert Einstein said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” I have to schedule my priorities. Technology helps. Choosing organizations It is essential we provide working families affordable opportunities for early childhood education and quality day care. These programs are the earliest form of workforce development and make great economic sense. My passion for my community also keeps me engaged with professional organizations dedicated to sustainable development. Advice for young people Find something you are passionate about, volunteer and give back on the most local level. Proudest accomplishment As the city’s

project manager for the redevelopment of Peninsula Town Center, I was able to help shape the development from its conceptual vision through tenant build-out. Professional goal in five years There is nothing more meaningful than seeing the imprint you are able to create through proper planning and development and I would like to continue that momentum. I also hope to take my knowledge of local government and run for public office. The one thing I’d change As a Hampton Roads native, I have lived or worked in seven localities and witnessed regional cooperation but not always collaboration. As a collaborative body, the region has a stronger voice to market itself, accomplish common goals and provide an unsurpassed quality of life to its residents. Dream dinner party Thomas Jefferson, Walt Disney, Jim Gaffigan, Jeanne Robertson, Ronald Reagan, Daniel Burnham, Billy Graham, Sandi Patty and my closest friends and family. Downtime As a mother of two, there is none. I try to cherish each moment with my family whether it is time at home or trips to the Virginia Zoo, Bluebird Gap Farm, Busch Gardens, historic sites or our parks and natural resources. What really gets under my skin? Those who are unwilling to set upon a course and work toward beneficial goals.


Tamara Jones, MD


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T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Aaron J. Kelley, 33 ASSISTANT VICE PRESIDENT - COMMERCIAL LENDING, TOWNEBANK At work I work with closely held businesses providing them a variety of ways to meet their banking needs. Home and family Portsmouth. Volunteer activities. I am a board member for Future of Hampton Roads and continue my involvement with Lead Hampton Roads. I am a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and I have recently formed a nonprofit called the Portsmouth Heritage Initiative, which focuses on highlighting the historical value of Portsmouth in fun interactive ways. I also serve as the chairman of the Economic Development Authority for Portsmouth. I also serve on the board for Junior Achievement and the Virginia State Bar Association’s 1st District Disciplinary Action Committee. Balancing time My work and volunteer activities tend to blur together. Luckily the company I work for is supportive of community involvement. Choosing organizations I find I spend more energy on the boards and organizations where I feel I can make the biggest impact. Advice for young people Try to think long term and focus on the learning experience. If you can, work as an intern and hold a second job. Your peers may be working fewer hours and having more fun, but investing in yourself will pay off. Proudest accomplishment My biggest accomplishments are ahead of me this

year. Looking back, it would be working my way through college. Professional goal in five years To watch my members build equity and help make them more profitable. I want to be considered an asset to both them and my employer. The one thing I’d change The media’s perception of Portsmouth. Dream dinner party Besides family and friends, I’d love to hear the dialogue between Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain), P.T. Barnum, Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan. I’d like to hear stories from Robert E. Lee, Douglas MacArthur and George Patton. It would be fun to invite Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler. I would hope D.B. Cooper and Jimmy Hoffa would stop by to provide some closure. Downtime I like to keep busy, but when I break away from work and projects around the house, I enjoy trap shooting, billiards, throwing darts and getting out on the water. Each year for the past 10 years I pick at least five things that I have either never done, places I have never been or a topic I know little about; then I try to do it, go there or know it. What really gets under my skin? I find many people do not consider left lanes to be passing lanes and drive as if they don’t have a destination or a time to be there. I wonder if that has ever been a part of Hampton Roads transportation studies?

Shannon L. Kendrick, 34 CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT DIRECTOR FOR U.S. REP. SCOTT RIGELL At work I oversee every aspect of operations in the district for Scott Rigell, and I am the congressman’s district representative. Home and family Norfolk; single, no children. Pet fish named Scuttle-Butts. Volunteer activities New Life Providence Church member, board member of Tidewater Boy Scouts of America, Norfolk Sister Cities Association and Urban League of Hampton Roads, co-founder of the Hampton Roads Black Caucus, founder of the National Black Conservative Alliance, Big Brothers Big Sisters mentor since 2004, Compassion International child sponsor since 2002, Hampton Roads Global Commerce Council member, supporter of United Way and Pregnancy Crisis Center. Balancing time I make every moment count. I see Virginia’s 2nd District, my friends, my church and our community as the best investments of my time. It’s easy to make time for what you love. Choosing organizations I chose according to what I care about, the needs of the organization and the community, and if I am equipped to assist in meeting the need. Advice for young people Do whatever it takes to do the job well. Accept no other option than excellence and no other outcome than success. Proudest accomplishment Receiving my master’s. I am a first-generation college graduate. I earned my MBA while running

a congressional district during a campaign year. It was bananas, but I got it done! Professional goal in five years I want to run my own business. I have a knack for event planning. I also want to see more people politically engaged. I may start a nonpartisan, non-intimidating nonprofit to connect people to the political process. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads Its seemingly relaxed attitude toward maximizing its potential. When I look at Hampton Roads I see advancements in alternative energy, bustling seaports, a variety of transportation options with fast commutes to D.C. Hampton Roads has the potential to be the best economic region in the nation. Dream dinner party My boss, Scott Rigell, and his wife, Teri, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former Congressman J.C. Watts, Bishop T.D. Jakes, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, Bruce Willis, Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, John Mayer, Fred Hammond, my immediate family and best friends. In the seat of honor is my last living grandparent, Mattie L. Kendrick, the life of the party! Downtime I enjoy taking care of my home, cooking, reading and watching TV. I also like catching up with friends and family. What really gets under my skin? Ignorance, self-inflicted helplessness and smallmindedness.


T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Jenny Lester, 39 CORPORATE RELATIONS MANAGER, VIRGINIA ARTS FESTIVAL At work I maintain the Corporate Sponsorship Program, generating the business-related revenue of the festival’s budget. I maintain existing sponsorships, identify and cultivate new sponsors, develop proposals and grant requests, and handle corporate sponsor recognition. Home and family Norfolk; husband, Whitney; son, Chas, 11; daughter, Lexie, 9; stepdaughters Zoe, 12, and Madeline, 10; and a turtle named Crush. Volunteer activities Founder/member of the Magnolia Circle of The King’s Daughters, Norfolk Collegiate Alumni Board, Redwood Junior Garden Club, Downtown 100, The Arc of the Virginia Peninsula (now VersAbility). Balancing time When I was 13, I began volunteering for Operation Smile and Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, and those activities became part of my everyday life. Once something becomes a priority, you can find time. I am organized and avoid procrastinating. Choosing organizations It’s best to limit yourself to volunteer opportunities that resonate with you. I’ve been volunteering with CHKD since 1987. When I moved back to Norfolk after college, I formed the Magnolia Circle, and we still serve the hospital today. I also volunteer with The Arc of the Virginia Peninsula, where my husband works.

Advice for young people When we think we don’t have the time to give back, we usually do. I encourage people to work hard but remain balanced with leisure/ family time – easier said than done. Proudest accomplishment I’m proud I was able to return full-time to the workforce after seven years as a stay-at-home mom. I’m proud of my two children, plus my two stepdaughters, who remain wonderful, well-adjusted kids. Professional goal in five years I would like to continue providing thorough satisfaction to my corporate sponsors, surpassing my annual development goals and achieving new heights for the Virginia Arts Festival. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads I wouldn’t change much, because I’m a huge proponent of the area, but if the transportation woes could be resolved, life here would be even better. Dream dinner party I am incredibly fortunate to have a wonderful family who lives close by and a plethora of great friends, old and new. I am very lucky to be able to entertain my dream dinner party quite often. Downtime Cook, relax at the beach, entertain friends, play tennis. What really gets under my skin? Waiting for people who procrastinate, people ending sentences with “at,” and people being unnecessarily unpleasant.

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T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Dena Liston, 32 MAJOR GIFTS OFFICER, EASTERN VIRGINIA MEDICAL SCHOOL At work In the simplest terms, I ask for money. But asking for money is more than running a successful solicitation; it is about building a relationship and understanding my donors. As a major gifts officer, I share the vision of EVMS with people who want to make a difference and together we align the goals of the school with the impact they want to make in the community. Home and family Chesapeake; husband, David; and sons Ian Matthew, 5, and David J., 2; along with our dog, Dani, a boxer. Volunteer activities Board member and Giving Circle leader, YWCA South Hampton Roads; board member, Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach Inc.; member, Chesapeake-Virginia Beach Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.; and volunteer, Generation Hope. Balancing time Balance?! I juggle more than balance my time with the help of my iPhone and the team of positive, energetic people I surround myself with. My husband, family, colleagues, board and committee members are incredible and always willing to hold a few of the balls I have in the air at any moment. Choosing organizations I’m most passionate about organizations that empower women and children by providing opportunities for education, promoting economic selfsufficiency and physical and mental health. Advice for young people It’s OK to make

mistakes, you just have to learn from them. I live by this quote I found on Pinterest, “On particularly rough days when I’m sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100 percent and that’s pretty good.” Proudest accomplishment I’ve been really inspired by the major donors I’ve worked with. They enact profound change in our community and they do it because they want to make a difference. My proudest accomplishment is when donors thank me for helping them make that difference. Professional goal in five years There are several major research initiatives at EVMS specifically in the areas of diabetes, maternal fetal medicine, and head and neck cancer that I would like to have fully funded in the next five years. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads The tunnel system. Dream dinner party Iris Apfel, Hillary Clinton, Diane von Furstenberg, Sara Blakeley and Judith Rodin. Downtime I like to watch the Food Network; the competitive cooking shows are my favorite. I also play a mean game of indoor soccer, a Liston household tradition where our dog, Dani, is the goalie. What really gets under my skin? Email messages that go below the fold. I love to read, but not via my inbox.

John M. Mannino, 33 EXECUTIVE CHEF/OWNER, MANNINO’S ITALIAN BISTRO At work All aspects of running three upscale Italian restaurants. Home and family Portsmouth; parents, Evelyn and John; sisters, Ali, Laura and Dina; girlfriend, Marissa; and pets, Max, Milo, Ralf and KC. Volunteer activities Signature Chefs for March of Dimes, Taste of Hampton Roads for the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, Strolling Supper for WHRO, SPCA and Wounded Warriors Project Dinners. Balancing time I get very little sleep. Choosing organizations I think they choose me. I try to help whenever possible, but I am more inclined to helping kids, animals and wounded vets. Advice for young people Work hard, be aggressive and appreciative at the same time.

Proudest accomplishment Graduating from the Culinary Institute of America. It was a longtime goal. Professional goal in five years More restaurants, and to continue learning and being active in the community. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads I would change it into a place to be known as a food destination. Dream dinner party Sylvester Stallone, Adam Sandler, Tony Bourdain, Danny Myer and Alissa Milano. Downtime Don’t really have any, but when I do, I enjoy gardening and competing in triathlons and races. What really gets under my skin? Laziness.


T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Nicole A. McGowan, 39 PRESIDENT AND OWNER, SPIVEY PAVEMENT MARKINGS INC. At work I manage a business that works on roadways. Our expertise is in pavement markings, traffic control and sign installation/sales. I focus daily on maintaining a safe and efficient work environment, delivering a quality product, and providing professional service. Home and family Chesapeake; husband, Joe; and children, Maya, 9, Marin, 7, and Joey, 5. Volunteer activities Portsmouth Service League; Portsmouth Sports Club, board of directors; and Relay for Life, committee member. Balancing time Maintaining a balance is a challenge for many working moms. I couldn’t be successful without my husband and parents. My husband is a true “family man” day in and day out. My parents live close by and play a huge role in making sure my children’s needs are met. Choosing organizations Sports have always been an integral part of my life. Competing taught me many things that have helped me in business. Therefore, I am honored to be part of an organization that encourages young athletes to be involved in sports and helps them achieve goals and dreams. I was born and raised in Portsmouth, so through the Service League, I give back to the community that helped raise me. As for Relay for Life, that’s a no-brainer! Thanks to the American Cancer Society, people with cancer are living longer, enjoying an

improved quality of life. I can’t wait for the day when they find a cure! Advice for young people Many of today’s youth enter the workforce with a sense of entitlement. My advice is to appreciate every opportunity that comes your way and work hard. Have pride in all you do. Proudest accomplishment My children, of course. Professionally, I am fortunate to be surrounded by great people. My employees have helped me reach many of the goals I initially set when entering my field. I am very proud to be surviving in a male-dominated industry. Professional goal in five years To continue building an organization that creates a quality work environment for my employees. I’d like to offer more opportunities for them to give back to the community through service. The one thing I’d change Traffic. The transportation bill will go a long way toward getting our roads back in shape. Dream dinner party Ronald Reagan, Michael Jordan, Bill Cosby, Sarah Palin and my dad, JoJo. I would have him cook the meal! Downtime What’s that? Seriously, I love time at the beach and playing with my kids. What really gets under my skin? Apathy, inefficiency and people not being accountable for their actions.

Lauren D. Mehosky, 33 ATTORNEY/DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT, LEGAL AID SOCIETY OF EASTERN VIRGINIA INC. At work I wear many different hats at Legal Aid: I fundraise, coordinate local pro bono efforts, handle the marketing and public relations, and as an attorney, I handle a full load of cases for clients. Home and family Norfolk; I have a Dad, Mom, and older brother out in Arizona, and am currently in between pets – I lost my beloved Scottish terrier, Beans LaChoy, last year. Volunteer activities Actively involved with P.E.O., an organization that provides scholarships and grants for women, and previously involved with Volunteers of America, who assist the area’s homeless. I also enjoy working with several of the local bar associations in various capacities, like planning Continuing Legal Education programs. Balancing time I try to never spread myself too thin in one area, and make sure I build in time to recharge my battery. I also try to have some fun along the way, so that I won’t burn out. Choosing organizations A particular cause that appeals to me is important, but as is said time and time again, it’s more often the people involved in a cause who bring me in. Advice for young people Be conscious that all of your actions, both in and out of the workplace, online and in real-life, are building your personal brand – how do you

want to be known? Proudest accomplishment Becoming an independent adult, with a lot of tenacity, to boot. I was born with a physical disability, and when I was younger, my doctor told me that I would likely not be able to do much for myself, like feed myself or be able to write using a pen or pencil. I never let that stop me, and I’ve showed the world that there’s not much I can’t do. Professional goal in five years To have a name and reputation in the community that are synonymous with compassion, integrity and proficiency in the law. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads Expanding the Tide – how great would it be to ride the Tide to Town Center, the airport or even the beach. Dream dinner party Margaret Atwood, Anthony Bourdain, Salvador Dalí and my dog Beans. Downtime What’s that? Kidding aside, my passion is travel. I love seeing new places and am fascinated by different cultures. Receiving an atlas at age 5 sparked my wanderlust, which continues to pull me to different parts of the globe. My most recent adventure: South Africa. What really gets under my skin? People who refuse to take responsibility for and ownership of their lives and decisions they have made, and then complain about it all.


T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Drew Monroe, 30 PRESIDENT, PROSPER INSURANCE GROUP At work Like most entrepreneurs of small companies, I end up doing a little of everything. Ideally, my job is to take steps every day to drive our culture and processes toward being the best in our industry. Home and family Virginia Beach; two daughters, Kailey, 10, and Ryan, 9. Volunteer activities I’m a big supporter of the Up Center, a broad social services nonprofit based in Norfolk. With the help of my business partner, Rohan Shetty, and our vice president of marketing, Jessica Dodge, we’re running a fundraiser April 5 to benefit the center. We’ll be breaking the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest Twister game at the Virginia Beach Field House – Additionally, my company plants a tree for every policy we write. Since 2012 we have supported The Nature Conservancy to plant more than 5,000 trees. Balancing time I think this will always be a challenge. The thing that has worked for me is to create and monitor personal goals as much as my business goals. Choosing organizations I really like local nonprofits because it’s personally motivating to able to see the work they do in the community. Advice for young people Accept that educating yourself in the field you’re in should be a never-ending commitment. Try to emulate business leaders you look up to. Knowledge and expertise is the best way

to separate yourself from your competition and build your value. Proudest accomplishment While we still have a long way to go, I am most proud of the company my business partner, Rohan Shetty, and I have built. We are a small company, but little by little, it has been rewarding building a company with a unique culture and way of doing business. Professional goal in five years To be the largest personal lines agency in Virginia and to write 100,000 policies. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads Regionalism. Every city and community within coastal Virginia has unique resources, and the more they collaborate and work together the more the region will be able to achieve. Dream dinner party In business: Jack Welch, Colman Mockler, Darwin Smith, Bill Gates and some local business leaders. In science: Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman, Thomas Edison, Leonardo Da Vinci. In the arts: Van Gogh, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway. In politics: Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Franklin Roosevelt and whoever the president is at the time of the dinner. Some friends and family, and sitting next me would be my business partner, Rohan Shetty. Downtime Tennis, golf, chess, travel and spend time with my friends and family. What really gets under my skin? Negativity in work or social settings.


At work I have oversight of 18 recreation centers, three neighborhood service centers and citywide events. This includes evaluating programs, community relations, professional development, managing a $2.5 million budget, writing and enforcing policies and procedures, and analyzing reports. I am the department liaison for emergency operations and chair of the city’s Employee Engagement and Recognition Committee. Home and family Norfolk; mother, Patricia Owens; brother, Cedric Owens; nephew, Cayden Owens. Volunteer activities I am active in the Junior League. I serve on the boards of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeast Virginia and the YMCA of South Hampton Roads. I am on the steering committee for the Old Dominion University Girls Conference and Sen. Mark Warner’s Young Professional Summit. I am a member of the First Ladies Giving Circle for the YWCA. I was also the director of community outreach for the Urban League of Hampton Roads Young Professionals. Balancing time I use calendars. I schedule time to ensure I’m able to accomplish all activities. Most of my volunteer activities take place on the weekends. Choosing organizations I enjoy being around like-minded people, so I’ve

joined organizations that have young professionals with a heart for service. Advice for young people Find a mentor and be a mentor. Proudest accomplishment Being a role model to so many young people. I feel honored when one of my babies, as I call them, calls, texts or sends me a message. I’ve been blessed to work with some awesome young people. Professional goal in five years To start a nonprofit organization that focuses on young people who are in or have just aged out of the foster care system. The one thing I’d change I’d like to see more regional efforts, whether through transportation, tourism, entertainment or education. Dream dinner party Ophelia Bolden Owens (my grandmother), my mom, my brother, my nephew, Randy Green, Ellen Harvey, Barak and Michelle Obama, Christian Okoye, Derrick Thomas, Ewing Kauffman, Kendall Gill, Bill Gates, Thomas Rhone, Vicki Lucas, Geoffrey Canada, Eric Roberson and Muhammad Ali. Downtime Reading, volunteering, beach time, music, time with friends and family. What really gets under my skin? When people are dishonest and unfair.


T O P FORTY UNDER 40 John “Brad” Reaves, 35 PARTNER AND OWNER, REAVESCOLEY PLLC At work I provide legal help for government contractors and small businesses. Home and family Chesapeake; wife of 11 years, Katie; and two boys, Joshua, 7, and Caleb, 5; and three office fish. Volunteer activities Bayside Church of Christ – adult Bible school teacher, Women in Defense – Greater Hampton Roads board member and legal adviser, vice president for Tidewater Association of Service Contractors, Service Disabled-Veteran Owned Small Business Council, Women’s Business Center Advisory Council, Tidewater Government Industry Council, and I’m a baseball and football coach for my boys. Balancing time I work from home occasionally. My children are homeschooled. And I take frequent, short getaways with my family. Choosing organizations I joined groups where I could leverage my professional abilities to help the organization succeed. Advice for young people If you are dissatisfied with work, want to take control of your life/career, and you are willing to work hard – start your own business.

Proudest accomplishment Personally – my two sons. Professionally, there have been a couple of times when I have helped people facing some of the most difficult moments of their lives. Those have been important to me because I felt deeply that I was put on this earth for moments like those. Professional goal in five years As our business continues to grow here in Hampton Roads, I plan to expand training I currently do for government contractors and small businesses to provide that training across the country. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads A professional sports team. Dream dinner party Rob Bell, Shane Claiborne and Brian McLaren, who are Christian authors. Downtime Binge-watch TV shows on Netflix with my wife, travel, beach and golf. What really gets under my skin? People who only treat others well if they perceive those people have something to offer them in return.

Kendra S. Robinson, 23 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, COMMUNITY OUTREACH COALITION INC. At work I collaborate with the board of directors to implement programs for youth with developmental disabilities and underprivileged youth. I also manage the day-to-day operations that the organization offers, such as the preschool, before- and after-care, academic enrichment programs, summer day camps, cultural art programs, etc. Home and family I am blessed to have my mother, father, sister, nieces and nephew close to me in Portsmouth. Volunteer activities I am a mentor for the young women who participate in the Pearls of Purity program sponsored by the Community Outreach Coalition. I am also a mentor for the girls who participate in the Alpha Kappa Alpha Debutante Cotillion. I volunteer at local nursing homes assisting the residents with their physical activities for the day. Balancing time I write a reminder list of everything I have to do for the day, week or month. I constantly refer to my reminder list and calendars to keep me on top of my schedule. Choosing organizations I chose programs that have missions I am passionate about. I love assisting organizations that have a great mission and don’t mind getting help from community volunteers.

Advice for young people I would advise them to be the best at whatever job they are working. Those in the workforce should stand out among their fellow employees and do their job with excellence at all times, because hard work never goes unnoticed. Proudest accomplishment Starting an organization that impacts so many lives each year. Every time I receive a hug, an “I love you, Miss Kendra,” or a simple smile, I know that all my hard work is worthwhile. Professional goal in five years My goal is to obtain my Ph.D. in organizational leadership and expand my organization’s programs so that we can build a community outreach center for children and adults with developmental disabilities. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads I would find a way to improve the highway system so the flow of traffic along the interstates wouldn’t be backed up every day. Dream dinner party Jill Scott, Michelle Obama, Farrah Gray, Geoffrey Canada, Valerie Jarrett. Downtime Sewing, traveling to new places and spending time with family and friends. What really gets under my skin? Negativity.


T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Lita M. Staskey, MBA, CEAP, 30 ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AND REALTOR, TIDEWATER COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND WILLIAM E. WOOD & ASSOCIATES REALTORS At work Two of my biggest passions are teaching and business. As a professor of business administration at TCC I am able to marry the two and provide students with not only textbook information but real-life applications that will help them determine the education and career path that they would enjoy waking up for every morning. Home and family Virginia Beach; parents, Robert and Lita V. Staskey; and a puppy, Preston. Volunteer activities Court Appointed Special Advocates Inc., Susan G. Komen and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Balancing time I am able to balance my time by being present and focused. I also think it’s extremely important to continually reflect on my goals and objectives. Choosing organizations Volunteering with the organizations I have chosen is always based on the mission of each of them; however, with both Susan G. Komen and the National MS Society, I wanted to do my

part for loved ones that were diagnosed with a disease that would forever impact their lives. Advice for young people First, reach for the stars, because anything’s possible with a dream, but do your absolute best work to make sure that you get there. Proudest accomplishment The proudest moment of my life was giving my mother a car. I would say it is my proudest moment because it was something I promised but never knew would be possible. Professional goal in five years I want to own and operate a nonprofit that helps at-risk youth and have my book “The Two Faces of Success” published. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads I would enhance our school system. Dream dinner party Oprah Winfrey. Downtime Paint and write. What really gets under my skin? People who consistently complain but are not willing to do anything to change their circumstances.

Michael B. Steele, 32 ASSOCIATE, WILLIAMS MULLEN PC At work My job is to creatively solve our clients’ legal problems in the most effective and efficient way possible. Specifically, I help business clients address their workplace- and employment-related issues, such as employment discrimination claims, wage and hour compliance, unions, administrative investigations and litigation.

Choosing organizations Most of the time, I don’t choose them; they choose me. For example, I met someone connected with CFAC very much by accident, and it was a natural fit. The one big exception was the Chesapeake Humane Society, which posted on Volunteer Hampton Roads. Volunteer Hampton Roads is a wonderful service.

Home and family Chesapeake; wife, Cristina; children, Jillian and Brian; and two cats.

Advice for young people Surround yourselves with professionals who are smart, successful and kind.

Volunteer activities I serve on Chesapeake’s Fine Arts Commission, focusing on promoting arts education and increasing access to the arts. I also chair the city’s Public Art Committee, which is developing the city’s 9/11 memorial. I also serve on the program committee for Hampton Roads Business OutReach, an LGBTsupportive business group. Additionally, I provide pro bono legal representation to a variety of local nonprofits, including a humane society, an AIDS charity and a regional arts organization. In the past, I’ve been a board member for the Chesapeake Humane Society, volunteered as a pee-wee soccer coach for Chesapeake United, and have been an adjunct professor at William and Mary Law School. Balancing time I try to remember that I can’t do everything, that my wife and children come first, and never miss the important moments in their lives. I also have an understanding wife and very supportive in-laws. There is no way I would be where I am without them.

Proudest accomplishment My two beautiful children. Being a father is the most important job I’ll ever have. Professional goal in five years Making partner at my firm. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads I have always dreamed that one day we will be one city with separate boroughs, just like New York, working together. Imagine the attention a city that size would garner. Dream dinner party My wife and I would throw a most excellent dinner party, with Napoleon, Socrates, Billy the Kid, Freud, Beethoven, Genghis Khan, Joan of Arc, Abraham Lincoln, and, of course, George Carlin. Downtime Spend as much time with my wife and kids as possible. What really gets under my skin? Narcissism.


T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Rhonda A. Stewart, 35 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, THE VILLAGE AT WOODS EDGE At work I manage the operations of a senior living community that provides both independent and assisted living services. As the executive director, I get to be involved in every aspect of the business, focusing on strategic planning, customer service delivery, marketing strategy, budgeting and health care oversight. Home and family Suffolk; husband, Steve; and dogs, Asa and Lucy. Volunteer activities I serve on the boards of Bronco Federal Credit Union and the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce. I am a member of the Franklin Rotary Club and serve as the fundraising chair. Balancing time Planning is how I maintain balance. Of course, life is unpredictable, and being flexible is equally important. Choosing organizations I like to volunteer for organizations whose services directly impact the community where I live and work. I also want to know my work will make a difference for the organization. Advice for young people Be committed. Learn everything you can to become an invaluable member of your organization. Also, don’t feel entitled to receive something you haven’t earned.

Proudest accomplishment Developing the business plan to obtain funding for a memory-care addition at The Village. The Franklin/Southampton community does not have this level of care available today. When The Village’s addition is complete, families will no longer have to make the difficult decision to move a loved one outside of their local community because the service isn’t available. I’m proud my work will make a difference in the lives of those impacted by dementia. Professional goal in five years To have a positive impact on my organization by identifying the next growth opportunity in senior living for my community. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads Traffic. Dream dinner party Definitely my husband and close friends. Since it’s a dream, I would include Tina Fey, Oprah Winfrey, the late Nora Ephron and Tim Russert, Gov. Chris Christie, Sheryl Sandberg, Mark Cuban and Phil Jackson. Downtime Spend time with my husband and dogs, exercise, read and go to concerts. What really gets under my skin? Dishonesty.

Tamikia C. Vasquez, 34 VICE PRESIDENT, COMMUNITY SOLUTIONS, UNITED WAY OF SOUTH HAMPTON ROADS At work I act as a liaison between United Way and our network of partner agencies. I am primarily responsible for the oversight of UW’s grant-making process. We raise more than $18 million and support more than 100 programs. Home and family Virginia Beach; husband, Daniel; and a Maltese dog named Pebble. Volunteer activities My recent volunteer activities include involvement with several organizations including Wave City Care, fundraising auction volunteer, school makeovers and food distribution events; Hampton Roads Conference for Girls & Young Women, presented by ODU’s Community Development Corporation, Steering Committee member; Clear Channel Communications Local Advisory Board; City of Virginia Beach Community Organization Grants Committee; Wave Church, Host Team Leader; 2010 Graduate of LEAD Hampton Roads. Balancing time It’s important to set priorities and to understand that you can’t do it all. You must operate out of a place of strength and not weakness. There will be times that I have to say no to things or take a lesser role to do all things well. Choosing organizations My volunteer activities reflect the things that are important to me: my faith, inspiring young people and a commitment to building a better community.

Advice for young people Be willing to accept coaching from more-seasoned professionals and understand you won’t always have all the answers. It’s OK to ask for help. Proudest accomplishment I am proud of my educational achievements. I have a master’s degree from Regent University. I grew up in Mississippi, raised by a single mom. Unfortunately, many people with my background aren’t able to overcome these circumstances. Professional goal in five years I envision myself continuing to make a difference in the community. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads I would create one city known as Hampton Roads. I think we could accomplish so much more as a region if we were one city instead of many. Dream dinner party Serena and Venus Williams and Condoleezza Rice. Downtime I enjoy playing tennis, watching HGTV, traveling with my husband, attending the many festivals Hampton Roads has each year and staying active in my church. I also enjoy spending time with my twin sister and my baby niece. What really gets under my skin? Complaining. I generally try to make the best of all situations.


T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Jim Weigl, 37 PRESIDENT AND CHIEF INVENTION OFFICER, VIRGINIA TOY AND NOVELTY CO. At work We design, develop, import and distribute amazing and unique gift, toy and novelty items. Home and family Virginia Beach; my family is primarily up north, but my brother and his family are here in town. Volunteer activities I’m very appreciative of the sacrifices made by the current and veteran members of the military and their families, which is why I volunteer and support Honor and Remember. The Southeastern Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization also earns a lot of my attention because it substantially helps entrepreneurs living the same challenges I experience and motivates us, which helps drive the local and worldwide economic engine. Balancing time Establish priorities and determine what will make a difference long term, then do those first. Choosing organizations They chose me. The universe works in amazing ways to connect the right people as long as you’re open-minded to accepting them. Advice for young people Work as if you already have the job you want. Don’t expect, but earn your achievements. Work passionately for something you enjoy. Live beneath your means.

Proudest accomplishment Professionally, my most significant achievement is creating a multimillion dollar import/distribution company, essentially from the living room floor. Also, I currently hold three U.S. patents with two more pending. Professional goal in five years Every few years the business encounters an awkward growth phase. In five years, we’ll be through this one and likely encountering a new one with different and interesting challenges. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads Light rail to the Oceanfront connecting to a regional railway system, a true international airport with direct flights to international destinations and an additional tunnel crossing to the Peninsula. Sorry, that’s three. Dream dinner party Walt Disney and Steve Jobs, for their great vision; Abraham Lincoln, for his leadership; and Ellen DeGeneres, because she makes me laugh. Downtime Spend time with family and friends, travel, and I love to cook. What really gets under my skin? The overwhelming sense of entitlement in America today, and dishonest people.

Jennifer M. White, 30 SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETING SPECIALIST, NORFOLK REDEVELOPMENT AND HOUSING AUTHORITY At work I handle the marketing efforts and public relations for the organization. Home and family Portsmouth; fiancé, Landon, and cats, Caldeeze and Chalupa. Volunteer activities Portsmouth Humane Society – shelter volunteer and foster parent; Future of Hampton Roads – Next Generation Committee and board member; Roundtable of Business Leaders – board member and committee chair for the Intern Scholarship Mentoring Program; Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate – committee chair of Mix & Mingle and member; Commercial Real Estate Women – committee chair for public relations and member. Balancing time I have a strong work ethic, come in early, leave late, whatever I need to do to get the job done. To maintain a good work-life balance I find myself “making time” for things important to me. Whether it’s friends, family or volunteering, if it’s important, I make it happen. Choosing organizations I volunteer in the areas I’m most passionate about. I love animals so I volunteer at the Portsmouth Humane Society. I want to help keep the best and brightest college graduates in Hampton Roads so I manage the Roundtable of Business Leaders Internship/ Scholarship Program. Advice for young people Have patience, work

hard and be grateful. Proudest accomplishment The internship/ scholarship program I chair for the Roundtable of Business Leaders. I’m able to give college students an opportunity to start their career path in Hampton Roads. Professional goal in five years Work hard and stay employed. The one thing I’d change Hampton Roads needs to do more to secure its future economic prosperity. Great work has been done already in terms of “economic gardening,” but we’re far from where we should be. We need to have the right players in place to see the plan through – current leadership as well as the nextgeneration leaders. As the region grows, our transportation network will choke us if we don’t plan. Work has been done to plan for expanding roads, improving bridges, establishing light and high speed rail; we need to keep the momentum going. Dream dinner party All of my close friends and family. Downtime You can find Landon and me having a drink at our favorite spot, the Bier Garden in Portsmouth. What really gets under my skin? Poor customer service, poor follow-through, people who do not perform to their own potential, lack of accountability, canceling plans at the last minute.


T O P FORTY UNDER 40 Kenneth N. Whitehurst III, 36 TRIAL ATTORNEY, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRUSTEE At work The U.S. Trustee acts as the “watchdog over the bankruptcy process,” ensuring compliance with the bankruptcy law, supervising a panel of bankruptcy trustees, and combating fraud. I am one of two trial attorneys representing the U.S. Trustee in all bankruptcy cases filed in Hampton Roads. I also serve as regional appellate coordinator, reviewing and advising the U.S. Trustee on all bankruptcy appeals in Virginia, Maryland, South Carolina, West Virginia and D.C. Home and family Virginia Beach; wife, Whitney, and son, Kenneth. Volunteer activities President, Tidewater Bankruptcy Bar Association; member, Virginia State Bar 2nd District Disciplinary Committee; cubmaster, Cub Scout Pack 600; bass, First Presbyterian Church of Virginia Beach Chancel Choir; Board of Trustees, Washington Literary Society and Debating Union; board member, Birdneck Point Civic League. Balancing time My family comes first. Choosing organizations My commitments reflect my interests in the law, music and spending time with my son. Advice for young people Treat everybody with respect. Everybody. Listen, think, speak, in that order. Know your audience. Proudest accomplishment My marriage and my family, both of which are more credit to my wife than to me. In my

professional life, I am proudest of my work with the leadership of TBBA, especially in organizing its annual Hal J. Bonney Seminar on Bankruptcy Law and Practice. Professional goal in five years I would like to present oral argument at a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court. Our appeals are frequently decided by the courts after reviewing written briefs, without oral argument. I truly prefer being on my feet in a courtroom to writing. Aside from my day job, I plan to publish a game. The one thing I’d change I’d like to see the area economy diversify to become less dependent on military spending. Dream dinner party My wife. If we absolutely had to invite others, Joe Biden (as portrayed in The Onion), Neil Blomkamp, Jenson Button, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Jenova Chen, Bill Clinton, Joel and Ethan Coen, Stephen Colbert, George Clooney, David Coulthard, David Drake, Dale Dye, Michael Fassbender, Tina Fey, Rebecca Horn, Ice-T, Jane Lynch, Steve Martin, Steve Matchett, Jane McGonigal, Sir Ian McKellen, Syd Mead, Bill Murray, Leonard Nimoy, Barack and Michelle Obama, Michael Schumacher, Patrick Stewart, Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Downtime I play and design games. What really gets under my skin? Lying, willful ignorance, refusal to consider the opinions and perspectives of others.

Catherine E. Williams, 32 MANAGER, DELOITTE CONSULTING LLP At work As a consultant, I help clients in developing their strategic goals, executing operations and building relationships with their critical stakeholders. As a manager, I find opportunities for my colleagues to enhance their technical skills, grow their professional networks, give back to their communities and ultimately improve professionally and personally. Home and family Virginia Beach; two cats. Volunteer activities Women In Defense Greater Hampton Roads Chapter, vice president; Deloitte Virginia Beach office, community involvement lead; Cape Henry Collegiate School, volunteer cross-country coach. Balancing time I try to live in the moment and give the activity at hand 110 percent. This way I can be more efficient, successful and enjoy my free time without feeling guilty or being distracted by outside obligations when I’m with my family and friends. Choosing organizations They were all easy choices. As a former naval officer and a current reservist, I have always been an advocate of females in the military and enjoyed supporting activities that promote diversity. As an avid runner my whole life, I wanted to share my passion of running with the younger generation to help them achieve their athletic goals, become more

confident in themselves and to be part of a foundation for a healthy lifestyle. And I chose to lead the Deloitte Virginia Beach Office Community Involvement group because it is a great feeling when you can empower your colleagues to give back to so many charities in our local area in an impactful way. Advice for young people Don’t be afraid of the unknown and a challenge – this builds character. And never stop asking questions. Proudest accomplishment Graduating from the Naval Academy because it symbolized all the hard work I had accomplished, but at the same time opened the door on a whole new chapter of my life with endless exciting opportunities. Professional goal in five years I’d like to make senior manager, promote to commander and strengthen my relationships with charity groups in Hampton Roads. The one thing I’d change about Hampton Roads Traffic. Dream dinner party Prince Charles. Downtime I like to run with my boyfriend, swim, travel and hang out at the beach. What really gets under my skin? Lazy and ignorant people.

Hard work and dedication. Commitment to family, job and community. Ever-increasing levels of achievement. Proud friends and family.


Aaron Kelley



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