Jeff Rea, President and CEO, South Bend Regional Chamber
Jun 22, 2023
SMCAA Operations Manager awarded Michiana 40 Under 40.
It’s such a rewarding feeling to hear our Michiana Forty under 40 recipients express their delight and gratitude for being recognized. For the Chamber, it’s our honor to bring to light the amazing talent that exists in our region.
Seventeen years strong, Michiana Forty under 40 recognizes and celebrates the professional achievements and community engagement of 40 young adults under the age of 40 in Michiana. Including this year’s class, the program has honored 680 individuals throughout St. Joseph, Elkhart, Marshall, Starke and LaPorte counties in Indiana, as well as Berrien and Cass counties in Michigan.
The recipients are some of the brightest and most compassionate individuals in the region. Beyond their accomplishments at work, the honorees are recognized for their contributions to the community and their selfless desire to give back. With talent still being a focal point in driving economic development, a program like Michiana 40 Under 40 is another asset that differentiates our region from others. Highlighting the amazing gifts of our young people is another integral part of the quality of place environment that exists in the region.
The process to get selected as an honoree is as follows. Any young adult, professional, executive or leader under the age of 40 (by a specified date) can be nominated for Michiana Forty under 40, but first he/she needs to be nominated. The online nomination process began in late January and concluded in mid-March. After nominations close, an eight-person selection committee composed of business leaders throughout the region reviewed and scored all nominations to arrive at the class. This year saw 190 nominations received.
I have absolutely no influence over the selection committee. No Chamber employees are on the selection committee. It is a process that works, year after year. Nominees are scored on a number of factors from professional accomplishments, charitable/civic engagement, awards/certifications, age and more. View the full list of criteria on the michiana40.com site.
This year showcases a diverse class of honorees, from their educational attainment and backgrounds to the type of work they do and their journeys to get there. You’ll see small business owners, entrepreneurs, managers, builders, marketers, attorneys, realtors, educators, financial advisors, doctors, customer relations representatives and more included. This year also marks the first time we are aware that an individual with Down’s syndrome has been recognized. For all the honorees, their accomplishments are truly inspiring.
In May, honorees took part in a fun photo/video shoot at South Bend’s Howard Park, where they were able to share in the celebration and joy with family members, nominators, employers, colleagues and friends. In addition to this special publication, the Chamber created a recognition video showcasing the class and their personalities that can be viewed at michiana40.com. On Aug. 30, we continue the celebration with a Michiana 40 Under 40 alumni bash at Four Winds Casino South Bend, so ALL classes can connect.
It is important to perpetuate the talent that exists in the Michiana region. The Chamber is proud to present this program each year and looks forward to continuing this for many years to come with great partners like the Community Foundation of Elkhart County, First State Bank, Mendoza College of Business at Notre Dame, Gibson, and the South Bend Tribune.
To read the full profiles, please go to: https://www.southbendtribune.com/story/business/2023/06/22/chamber-unveils-40-under-40-from-st-joseph-elkhart-marshall-starke-laporte-berrien-cass-counties/70259039007/