Movers and shakers. Trend-setters. Progressive thinkers. These words describe the people we are honoring this year who are bringing a modern approach to the way we do business.
This group of successful individuals is constantly motivated to reach and surpass goals set forth by their organizations and, in many cases, by themselves.
Constantly focused on solutions, their practical and creative thinking allows them to find possibilities and answers to difficult questions. Not only are they unafraid to adapt, but they are eager to help make significant advancements in their respective fields.
Do not let their ages fool you. They are working hard to change policy, advocate for your health, define better infrastructure and fight for your rights now and as you move forward in life. They are rebuilding communities, creating memories and caring for those less fortunate.
I remember my days as a young reporter, starting out at the Daily Record in Morristown, N.J. I was looking to make my own mark as a young journalist. It was important to me to not just write for my editor, but to make sure that the information I was putting out was going to make a difference in the communities I covered.
Once I gained the experience, and confidence, I moved on to Syracuse, where I worked at The Post-Standard. Still striving to do more, my career took me to the Kansas City Star, a far cry from the suburbs of New Jersey where I grew up.
It was there that I learned so much about what I could accomplish at 34 years old. I was proud of myself for the work I produced and the recognition I received in state and national awards as well as a Pulitizer Prize nomination.
I also learned a lot through “horizontal mentoring” – listening to my peers, cultivating relationships and working collaboratively. Although my father ran a successful consumer electronics chain on the East Coast, I knew that path was not for me.
Perhaps I was too self-assured, maybe even a little bit naïve. But that did not stop me at a young age to go after what I dreamt about, being an award-winning journalist and eventually owning my own group of newspapers.
I learned early on that the best way to move forward with a successful career is to be open-minded to learn new things, to not be afraid of the unknown, and to always look ahead without being consumed with past mistakes.
I see how passionate this group is and how they are invested in their careers, without compromising their standards and values.
The stories of who they are as people and what they have accomplished, in and out of the workplace, are found in this special section. Their talent, passion, drive and commitment to excellence should inspire confidence that the future of the county is bright.
I offer my congratulations to all the honorees for recognition that is well deserved.