Central Illinois Business magazine has announced the winners of its seventh annual Forty Under 40 Awards. According to The News-Gazette, the awards recognize young professionals for their achievements, experience, innovation, leadership and community involvement.
Brett Hays, 32 Producer/co-owner, Shatterglass Studios
Community involvement: Rotary Club member; founding board member of the C-U Film Society; organizer of Pens to Lens screenwriting competition and film festival, an opportunity for K-12 students to write original screenplays that are turned into short films.
Proudest professional accomplishment: The success of Pens to Lens and the impact it’s already made on young kids. I’m very excited for its future.
Biggest professional challenge: I tend to not think of things as challenges, but opportunities to grow and learn. I think I could say that things don’t happen in life at the exact moments you want or expect them to and it can be “challenging” to wait sometimes. It’s worth it to be patient.
Important professional lesson: Give to the community in any way that you can before ever expecting to get something back. By the time you get something back, you probably weren’t expecting it and it will mean all the more to you.
From the nominator: “Brett is an innovative thinker with a passion for creating new and exciting media. He is creative, dedicated, giving of his time and talents, an astute businessman who exudes integrity and thoughtfulness, and is, in short, a force to be reckoned with.” — Jeffery Geis, president and principal advisor, Geis Asset Management Inc. (one of two nominators).
The Forty Under 40 Award winners this year are:
— Shane Allen, vice president and commercial real estate relationship manager, Busey Bank.
— Amanda Baker, program and events coordinator, 40 North 88 West — Champaign County Arts Council.
— Laura Bleill, co-founder of Chambanamoms.com and assistant director for external relations, University of Illinois Research Park.
— Kirk Builta, assistant vice president of ag financial services, Farm Credit Illinois.
— Toni Burkhalter, associate professor of biology and kinesiology, Parkland College.
— Samuel Byndom, director of the Urbana Adult Education Center, Urbana school district.
— Michael Cation, play-by-play broadcaster for USTA Challenger Circuit and sports announcer for University of Illinois men’s basketball, soccer, baseball and tennis.
— Karly Combest, director of membership relations and events, Champaign County Chamber of Commerce.
— Ashley Dye, assistant dean of students and director of fraternity and sorority affairs, University of Illinois.
— Kelly Formoso, branch manager, American Red Cross.
— Kyle Galbraith, manager of human subject protection for the Carle Institutional Review Board.
— Bathel Gilbert Sr., special education teacher, Urbana Middle School.
— Josh George, director of public relations, Intelliwheels Inc.
— Stephanie Grussing, school counselor, Unity Junior High School.
— Brett Hays, co-owner and producer, Shatterglass Studios.
— Jackie Hohn, manager, McGladrey LLP.
— Heather Horn, labor and employee relations coordinator, University of Illinois Staff Human Resources.
— Tonya Horn, owner/president, Rogards.
— Erik Kotewa, deputy director, Champaign County Economic Development Corp.
— Thane A. Jackson, patrolman, Rantoul Police Department, and captain, Illinois National Guard.
— Jeremy Johnson, metal fabricator, Litania Sports Group.
— Leia Kedem, registered dietitian and nutrition and wellness educator, University of Illinois Extension.
— Tricia Keith, Vermilion County truant officer and homeless coordinator, Regional Office of Education, Danville.
— Jacqueline Lacy, chief public defender, Vermilion County.
— Katie Madigan, speech and language pathologist, Unit 7 school district.
— Mike Marron, owner/operator, Marron Family Farms.
— Austin McCann, general manager, the Art Theater Co-op
— Kelly O’Neill, associate director of student and academic services, University of Illinois.
— Alyx Parker, attorney, Ansel Law Ltd.
— Scott Redenbaugh, regional field director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
— Christina Reifsteck, sergeant, Rantoul Police Department.
— Terri Reifsteck. marketing and business development manager, Visit Champaign County.
— Sky Sanborn, project manager for Broeren-Russo Construction and owner/coach of Crossfit Champaign-Urbana.
— Stephanie Stuart, community relations coordinator, Champaign school district.
— Jason Van Antwerp, vice president and business banker portfolio manager, Busey Bank.
— Daniel Walk, president and chiropractor, Walk Chiropractic and Acupuncture Center.
— Joseph T. Wiemelt, director of equity and student learning, bilingual and multicultural programs, Urbana school district.
— David Woodrow, artistic director, Beef House Theatre, and banquet manager, Beef House Restaurant.