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Monday, July 20, 2015

Making the 40

Past recipients reflect on prestige of YPI award

This month is vital for young professionals seeking the prestige of the 2015 40 Under 40 class as nominations for the award will come to a close July 31.

Each year, 40 of the top young professionals are selected by a special committee of the Young Professionals Initiative in conjunction with The Greater Shreveport Chamber and Bossier Chamber of Commerce. 40 Under 40, presented by The Forum, has become one of the most sought after awards locally by young professionals.

“40 Under 40 winners are viewed as assets in this community,” YPI President Emerie Gentry said. “Their contributions to the various businesses and organizations make Shreveport-Bossier City a better place for everyone, which in turn attracts more young professionals to the area. They are mentors to the next generation of community catalysts. We are proud to honor such a talented group of young professionals for the prestigious 40 Under 40 awards every year.”

Gentry said recipients are heavily involved in the community outside of their professions.

“These leaders have made strides in their careers and education, in addition to donating their time and resources to many worthy philanthropic causes,” Gentry said. “They are the stand-out faces in the crowd, the employees you want at your organization, the entrepreneurs you want to collaborate with, the movers and shakers, and the trailblazers. Young Professional Initiative’s 40 Under 40 winners are the future of Shreveport-Bossier City.”

To Shreveport City Councilman Jeff Everson, being named a 40 Under 40 recipient in 2007 meant to him that the community valued his work.

“It helped to give me added confidence in achieving my professional and civic goals and then setting new, higher goals,” Everson said.

Everson shared his advice for young professionals seeking the award.

“I think the best advice for someone hoping to become a 40 Under 40 is to do what you do best, and take the opportunity to meet other young professionals and build a network. [YPI] at the Greater Shreveport Chamber provided a great opportunity for me to meet people in other fields and from different backgrounds that has enriched my life both personally and professionally.”

Angie White, senior vice president of the North Louisiana Economic Partnership, was named a 40 Under 40 recipient in 2008 and said, aside from the award, getting involved in YPI has helped her professionally.

“Being a part of YPI in general is a tremendous tool in developing your professional and personal networks, and I made great connections at those events, many of whom have become close friends,” she said.

White said the 40 Under 40 ceremony brought the honor to another level.

“Awards night is always a great time, even if you are just there to cheer on someone else. Who doesn’t love a good reason to dress up in your finest attire?” White said. “I was so pleased to have my mother, grandmother, close friends and young lady I was mentoring sit with me that night.”

All eyes will be on the 40 Under 40 announcement party Sept. 24 at the Petroleum Club, where the Top 40 will be revealed.

This year’s ceremony will be held Dec. 5 at the Shreveport Convention Center.

For more information on the 40 Under 40 or to nominate a young professional, go to www.shreveportchamber.org/ nominate_40under40.php.

–Lydia Earhart

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Letters to the editor may be sent to: The Forum Attn: Editorial Dept. 1158 Texas Ave., Shreveport, La. 71101 Or email: editor@theforumnews.com


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