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Introducing the 2010 Class of 40 Under 40

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The individuals featured in this special booklet are the latest entrants in a group of 480 Ozarks professionals who have earned one of Springfield Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Awards.

This award is designed to honor up-and-coming young professionals for their professional achievements, community endeavors and leadership capabilities. This year’s class was chosen by an independent panel of judges from among a pool of more than 100 nominees. You can read more about the five individuals who selected the 2010 40 Under 40 below.

For the team at Springfield Business Journal, it’s always interesting to see the diverse mix of industry sectors and community organizations represented by the 40 Under 40 class. There’s typically a mix of familiar faces and young professionals who are just making their way onto our collective radar, and this year is no different.

As you read about the 2010 40 Under 40 honorees, you will no doubt see some recognizable faces, but don’t be surprised to learn about someone new.

This year’s class includes bankers, lawyers and educators, as well as representatives of the health care, marketing and construction fields. Our writers have put together profiles of each honoree using their application materials. We uncovered a few surprises.

• Which recipient used to pitch for the minor league Springfield-Ozark Mountain Ducks?

• Who has an associate degree in missile technology?

• Which honoree got to compare energy policies with the deputy prime minister of Malaysia?

• Who has started six businesses in six years?

Something that will no doubt stand out is that this is a very busy group.

In keeping with our vaudeville theme, we compared our honorees to live performers and asked what “props” they can’t live without every day. There are some wild-card answers – there’s someone in here who can’t get through the day without a certain kind of lip balm – but there are some constant themes, too. This group likes its caffeine, and staying connected via iPhones, BlackBerries and the like seems to be essential.

That’s not really surprising, though, given the many hats each member of this class is called upon to wear on a regular basis.

Just reading about these honorees might be tiring, but at least for me, it had the opposite effect.

When a schedule’s already full with work, family and community commitments, sometimes, it is easy to find reasons not to do more and give more to the people and organizations in need of assistance. But this group, apparently, doesn’t say “no” very often.

At work, beyond their daily tasks, they find ways to mentor colleagues or further their educations, and when they’re done with their day jobs, they switch gears to volunteer. As I read their stories, it motivates me to look for other opportunities in my own life to serve others. Maybe it will do the same for you.

As you join me and the rest of the SBJ crew in saluting these deserving 40 Under 40 honorees, take a look at the people in your lives. Do you know someone younger than 40 whose professional and community achievements are worthy of public recognition? It’s never too early to start thinking about the 2011 class of 40 Under 40. Nominations can be submitted year-round at sbj.net.[[In-content Ad]]

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