Twenty Under 40!

On June 21, ystark! and The Canton Repository will present the 200th Twenty under 40! award to a member of this year’s class of outstanding young professionals. That’s 200 talented, accomplished and involved local young professionals who have been recognized for their professional and community achievements over the past 10 years!

Letter from the chairwoman

On June 21, ystark! and The Canton Repository will present the 200th Twenty under 40! award to a member of this year’s class of outstanding young professionals. That’s 200 talented, accomplished and involved local young professionals who have been recognized for their professional and community achievements over the past 10 years!

Since 2008, the Twenty under 40! awards have recognized exceptional leaders under the age of 40 who live or work in Stark County. The inaugural Twenty under 40! event was held in Canton’s downtown Arts District, which had just undergone an exciting revitalization.

Each year since, the Twenty under 40! committee has spent weeks (and sometimes months!) wracking their brains to find that perfect, unique Stark County venue for the event. That search has resulted in events at a stunning, not-yet-renovated 1920s hotel, the top of the McKinley Monument, and an airplane hangar, to name a few! This year’s location will be equally memorable, I assure you.

I’m honored to be involved twice with this inspiring celebration of young professional talent—first as an award recipient in 2014, and now as chair of the event. The 10th anniversary is a testament to our county not only welcoming but embracing our young professionals. It is up to each of us as individuals and the places we work to encourage, recognize and promote our young talent every day. ystark! has made great strides in the last 10 years and deserves our commitment to doing the same.

Please take a moment to meet this year’s outstanding class of award recipients selected from a competitive field of nominees, and I hope to see you on June 21 at the event!

—Abby Honacker
Director, Regula Center for Public Service, University of Mount Union

How are they selected?

Twenty under 40! recognizes young professionals across various sectors of the business, civic, government, arts, education and nonprofit communities.

ystark!’s Twenty under 40! Steering Committee meets annually to review the process and ensure the guidelines are relevant.

The nomination process then begins with an open application available at ystark!, The Canton Repository, other media outlets and electronically through the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Nominators submit applications for consideration, and ystark! collects nominations for review.

The Twenty under 40! Selection Committee, an independent committee of five community members, is selected to individually review and rank all nominations. The committee comprises diverse community leaders, representing a variety of geographic areas, business sectors, civic interests, ethnicities and cultural diversity.

Individual review by the committee takes place with the names redacted so that the nominees aren’t recognizable. The committee then meets to select the group of 20 individuals to be recognized. Nominees are selected based on career acumen, community service and trusteeship, and personal and professional achievements. ystark! immediately notifies the honorees and the program culminates with the annual awards gala.