FCBJ 052013

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2013 FAIRFIELD COUNTY 40UNDER40 JUNE 20 | 5:30 TO 7:30 P.M. | HOTEL ZERO DEGREES NORWALK NATHAN ALLEN III, marketing associate, Ring’s End Inc. CRAIG BAKER, chief education officer, Domus RAMON BENTLEY, family advocate, Trailblazers Academy Inc. WILLIAM BRUCKER, director of communications, Family Centers Inc. CARA CERASO, attorney, Pullman & Comley L.L.C. EMILY CHALK, founder and senior managing partner, East of Ellie L.L.C. MANISH CHOWDHARY, founder and CEO, GoECart MICHAEL CHURCH, real estate consultant, William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty CHRISTA CLARK, director, McGladrey L.L.P. MICHELLE COLE, communications coordinator, Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation Inc. MARIA CONLON, agency sales director, Barnum Financial Group BRANDON DUFOUR, general manager and owner, AllStar Driver L.L.C. BRIAN FEIDT, chief financial officer, Moffly Media ANNE GAGNON, first vice president and financial adviser, Wells Fargo Advisors L.L.C. MARY GRANDE, partner, KPMG L.L.P. ELLA GUDWIN, senior vice president of strategic development, AmeriCares BRANDON HALL, co-founder and principal, Forstone Capital L.L.C. THERESA HATTON, executive vice president, Greenwich Association of Realtors DOODNAUTH HIRAMAN, vice chairman of the department of emergency medicine, St. Vincent’s Medical Center (not pictured) MITCHELL A. HOFFMAN, founder and president, Building Blocks Early Learning Center L.L.C. and co-founder and principal, Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy L.L.C. BLANCA KAZMIERCZAK, vice president and customer service manager, People’s United Bank CHRISTIAN KOETHER, vice president of business development, Kitchen Brains DANIEL L’ALTRELLA, mortgage loan officer, L’Altrella Lending Group L.L.C. JANEEN LEPPERT, executive director, Wilton Chamber of Commerce DANA LOCH, employee benefits manager, Nestle Waters North America Inc. MATTHEW R. MEIER, chief technology officer and chief branding officer, imedcenter.com L.L.C. THOMAS MCCARTHY, president, Bridgeport City Council SEAN MORITS, managing director, Charter Oak Insurance & Financial Services Co. KRISTIN OKESSON, vice president and general manager, Cox Radio Inc.’s 95.9 The Fox WFOX, Star 99.9 WEZN and 99.1 WPLR JODIE ORZECHOWSKI, public relations and marketing specialist, Cooperative Educational Services ROBERT RAHILLY, attorney, Robinson & Cole L.L.P. KEVIN RICHARDS, partner, Deloitte L.L.P. DAVID SCHAFFER, partner, Wiggins & Dana L.L.P. TIM SIMPSON, general manager, Hotel Zero Degrees MEGAN SMITH-GILL, director of marketing and sales, Gault Energy & Stone JON STELLWAGEN, partner, Elite Health Services L.L.C. GRANT TANKOOS, founder, Soundview Millworks L.L.C. JESSE TURLEY, senior vice president and private client adviser, U.S. Trust Co. NICHOLAS VAZQUEZ, project manager for corporate social responsibility, Bank of America DESIREE WOLFE, senior vice president of consumer product management and marketing, Webster Bank KERRY WOOD, chief operating officer, HK Group Inc. PHOTOS ARE ALPHABETICAL, BY ROW

Proving their worth


man once said, “Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have,” adding, “It’s not about the money — it’s about the people you have, how you’re led and how much you get it.” That very same man brought us the Macintosh computer — and at first, it was a flop. But he went on to take the world by storm with the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad. Steve Jobs said Apple Inc.’s leap into uncharted territory for a consumer products firm occurred not as a result of its cash horde (“When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D.”) but because of its people and leaders up and down its ranks. None of this year’s 40 Under 40 honorees is the next Steve Jobs — not yet, at least — but they are outstanding and proven leaders, nominated by their peers, who have found ways to be innovative in their respective fields despite a stagnant economy and an intensely competitive business environment. They are entrepreneurs, entertainers and educators, CEOs and owners, public servants in government and in health care. Their titles carry suffixes such as JD, CPA and MD. They are employed by nonprofits, startups, family businesses and members of the Fortune 100. They are all active members in their own communities. They are all veterans in their fields and yet all are still relative newcomers — each being under the age of 40. Faced with an exceedingly strong pool of applicants, we bent our own rules: This year’s honorees number 41 in all, one might observe, and not the traditional 40. Common threads among this year’s nominations were themes of energy and passion, selflessness and ambition. We hope you, as readers, join us in wishing these 41 individuals the best as they progress in their careers, because our collective hopes are riding on them and young innovators like them.