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Opinion: Life's best moments can be found in a gamble

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When my then-boss first introduced me to the newspaper’s new graphic designer, I thought he was weird.

Two years later, I married him.

Dating a co-worker is a dicey proposition. If it works out, you get daily lunches together and a sweet story to tell your grandkids. If the relationship goes south, you get awkward office gossip and are forced to forever avoid their wing of the building.

According to a 2014 survey of 8,000 workers by job-search website CareerBuilder.com, four out of 10 employees rolled the dice and dated someone at work – 17 percent doubled down, doing it twice.

It’s a gamble I almost didn’t make. I was just starting out as a journalist. I needed to focus on the story, not the boy two cubicles over.

Love, like life, can be a game of chance. Make the right bet and it pays dividends.

What’s the biggest gamble you’ve taken in life?

It’s a question that would give anybody pause and a question I posed to each of this year’s 40 Under 40 honorees for our Vegas-themed event.

As could be predicted among a class of up-and-comers, most gambles involved rolling the dice on a new career path. Honorees such as architect Stephanie Shadwick left home for work. Shadwick traveled to China to oversee a project for six months and ended up with a mullet thanks to a haircut lost in translation. Jennifer McClean took a promotion which saw her cross four states with a 6-month-old baby. Ten of this year’s honorees decided to go it alone and start their own businesses. Honorees such as Chris Jarratt left a great job at 26 to start Revel Advertising, and Craig Wright launched a financial services business during the recession.

Learning about the lives of each 40 Under 40 honoree is a favorite here at Springfield Business Journal. So much so, everybody wants in on the writing action. From our editorial intern to our president and chairwoman, each took a turn crafting the profiles in this booklet.

It’s our chance to get to know each honoree. These are the up-and-coming business leaders of our community, the movers and shakers and the people we’re likely going to continue writing articles about in the future.

To honor the 17th class of 40 Under 40, SBJ has once again partnered with a local charity to raise community awareness during the event. This year it’s Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks, which aims to make meaningful matches between adult volunteers – bigs – and children – littles – to help develop positive relationships.

It’s a program near and dear to many of our honorees, such as Noah Alldredge, who has served as a big for the past five years.

“During this time, I have experienced my little being in five different homes from foster care to group homes,” Alldredge says, noting it breaks his heart to see.

That’s a gamble on life that a little chooses not to make, but Alldredge always bets against the house.

“It has been my priority with all his transitions to always track him down and let him know I always will be there and care for him,” he says.

I invite everyone to join the party March 24 and roll the dice to support BBBS. Gambling is a game of chance, but for this year’s honorees it seems luck has nothing to do with it.[[In-content Ad]]

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