More than 300 people attended this year’s Accomplished Under 40 dinner and award reception, which honored 40 Idaho business people less than 40 years old for their achievements in business and philanthropy.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the event was held on June 20 at the Galaxy Event Center at Wahooz, in Meridian.
The 40 awardees came from around the state, in a variety of industries, ranging from large for-profit companies to small nonprofits. Guests included many past Accomplished Under 40 honorees, a handful of CEO of Influence winners and representatives from all three major universities, as well as coworkers, friends and family.
“This year’s class comes from a wide diversity of backgrounds and industries, and I am confident that they will continue to shape Idaho as our next generation of leaders,” said Rebecca Palmer, Idaho Business Review special sections editor, introducing the honorees. “We have honorees in oncology, education, the law, architecture, banking and more. Each one goes above and beyond after hours, working on charitable endeavors that make Idaho great.”
Nicole Skinner, a recent graduate from the University of Idaho with bachelor’s degrees in economics and political science and a minor in psychology — who also served as student body president and as a recent substitute for Judge Judy — led off the evening.
“I really relied on the mentors in my life to challenge me,” Skinner said, saying that they exposed her to different kinds of thought than the ones with which she grew up. We are all standing on the shoulders of the people who came before us, she said.
Skinner encouraged attendees to be mentors to the next generation, which is eager for its own opportunity to change the world. Attendees should consider it their responsibility to find them, she said. “Celebrate yourselves,” but also think about how to bring more people in to spread the impact that you have created, she told attendees.
To acknowledge the program’s 20th anniversary, presenters were drawn from the ranks of previous Accomplished Under 40 honorees — one of whom, Troy McClain (2005), went on to be named a CEO of Influence this year as well for his work as founder and CEO at Tovuti.
Other Accomplished Under 40 alumni who acted as presenters for the evening included Todd Grande (2002), now national channel manager for Max Giving; Suzie Hall (2003), president of Cornerstone Design; Rhea Allen (2006), co-founder of Peppershock Media; Karena Boesel (2010), vice president of membership for the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce; Natalie Lemas Hernandez (2016), chief executive officer and owner of Commercial Northwest Property Management; and Paul Hales, CEO of Mass Mutual of Idaho.
Representing the value of music to this generation, attendees chose their own favorite retro music, and presenters came on the stage to music that was popular the year they received their own Accomplished Under 40 awards.
In addition, Idaho Business Review multimedia sales executive Autumn Kersey appeared throughout the evening to throw confetti and remind attendees of “fun facts,” trivia and other tidbits from the past 20 years. These included Idaho-specific events such as the first Boise State University football Fiesta Bowl victory (2007), the naming of former governor Dirk Kempthorne as Secretary of the Interior under President George W. Bush (2006) and Snowmaggedon (2016-2017), In addition, she mentioned national and international milestones such as the founding of Facebook (2004), the Salt Lake City World Winter Olympics (2002) and the formation of the national Do Not Call registry (2003).
The evening ended with a dance party featuring music from many decades.
The Idaho Business Review received scores of applications for the honor, which recognizes outstanding young people for excellence in leadership, professional accomplishments, mentorship and community service.