Last night I attended the Toledo area’s 20 under 40 event. This is an annual affair that showcases the very fine talent of young people within our region. This was the 19th year of the event whose past winners feature many of the current leaders of the community. I was honored to be one of the winner’s in year two of the program. As I like to tell people, I was very fortunate that year that there were on 20 nominees! Actually, I am very proud of this honor and as I hear the accomplishments of the nominees and award recipients, I challenge myself to do more.
This year, there were over a 100 nominees. Among them were several people that I know well and very much appreciate a business, community and personal relationship. These include Moyad Dari, Adam Davenport, Danielle Jones, Doug Mallette, Erica Portillo, Jeff Schaff, Jason Slattery, Sara Swisher among a variety of many other very special and influence young leaders.
Award recipients include Ashley Schade from Plante Moran, Zack Ottenstein from Health Care REIT, Dana Syrek with Toledo Botanical Gardens, Chris Denman from Devonshire REIT, Lindsay McKibben with Signature Bank and 15 other incredibly talented and giving people.
While Toledo Business Journal has done a great job of hosting this event and providing a terrific summary of each of the award winners, I wanted to give a quick summary of my relationship.
Ashley Schade is a superstar! A talented professional in our Toledo office of Plante Moran. Ashley finds time for everything, yet, never appears rushed or flustered. Her great attitude is contagious and her natural leadership attracts many from within and without the firm.
Dana Syrek is a uniquely talented development professional. Her passion and persistence allowed for many successful fund raising campaigns, yet, her passion toward other less fortunate, including her love of her special pets radiates as you are with her. Her energy is strong and positive and she is a great influencer of others with this.
Chris Denman coming from a family of winners. I don’t mean this as lottery winners or of big ego’s. They are winners in life. Full of passion and energy toward whatever they are involved. Chris’ positive outlook and drive is always a pleasure to be around.
Lindsay McKibben is more than just a terrific banker, she is a terrific person. Being a role model to so many younger women in this community is not something she is driven to be, but rather the result of her leadership and efforts. She has a warmth and empathetic outlook that radiates.
Zack Ottenstein is a star. Zack’s energy and capacity leads to success with everything he becomes involved. A wonderful attitude combined with an unending appetite for learning (and great food), Zack is embraced by his company and his community. I look forward to working together with Zack for many, many years!
Being fortunate to know many of these individuals, including the award recipients and nominees, makes me proud to be from the Toledo region, being educated here, and raising a family and a business. It brings such confidence that this region has a phenomenal group of young people! Only great thanks will happen!