Albany Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Chris Hardy presents Schemika Ash-Foster of the Albany Police Department with a plaque recognizing her as one of this year’s 40 Under Forty. (Staff photo: Brad McEwen)
Southwest Georgia 40 Under Forty -- 2014
Forty Southwest Georgia leaders under the age of 40 were recognized Thursday as members of the 2014 class of Southwest Georgia 40 Under Forty. Each year, The Albany Herald has a blue-chip committee review a list of nominees, designating 40 for the honor. Thursday's luncheon at Stonebridge Golf & Country Club was sponsored by Emerge Albany, the young professionals division of the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce.
ALBANY — More than 200 business and community leaders turned out Thursday for a reception honoring Southwest Georgia’s 40 Under Forty for 2014.
The Albany Herald and the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce recognize some of area’s best and brightest by naming them to the prestigious 40 Under Forty each year.
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This year’s 40 Under Forty honorees were honored with a luncheon at Stonebridge Country Club where each member of the 2014 class was presented with a plaque commemorating the event.
“This is an outstanding event and one of my favorite things that we do all year,” said Albany Area Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Jim Deal during his opening comments. “I congratulate all of you. It’s a big honor and not to be taken lightly.”
Ken Boler, general sales manager of The Albany Herald, which spearheads the 40 Under Forty recognition, explained that the individuals chosen were nominated by their peers and then chosen by a selection committee made up of a cross section of the community that understands the business, civic and leadership needs of the region.
The 2014 selection committee made up of Patsy Martin, Barbara Bryant, Donald Davis, Michael Harris and Bobby McKinney went through hundreds of nominations before narrowing it down to the top 40 individuals chosen by their colleagues, both personally and professionally, for their activities in the workplace and in the community.
“This is a strong event, a healthy program,” said Boler. “I’m truly happy for this year’s class of 40 Under Forty. It’s speaks volumes for the community. We’ve got Southwest Georgia covered. We’re in every corner, we’ve got just about every block covered. We come from all demos, we work in all kinds of crafts and we’re masters in our crafts and that’s what we need you to continue to do. (You) need to continue to push, pull and drag people through the door. I challenge all of you to continue to push Southwest Georgia and Albany forward.”
Like Boler, Albany Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Chris Hardy also issued a challenge, urging the newest 40 Under Forty class to become even more active in the community and become Albany’s future leaders.
“I have a different challenge for you,” Hardy said. “Some of you I knew, a lot of you I didn’t. I challenge you to be more of a part of this community moving forward. The more involved you are the better we’re all going to be. You have no idea how much what you have done means for us and what you are going to do in the future.”
This year’s 40 Under Forty includes Sarah Lynne Adams, Schemika Ash-Foster, Kristel Baranko, Stephanie Bowens, Sabrina Caldwell, Keisha R. Callins, Ivy Chupp, Candice D. Clark, Tomekia Cooper, Kajuana P. Farrey, Rashad Flournoy, Tracy A. Goode, Milton Hall Jr., Stephen Harrell, Julie Irvin, Lee N. Johnston III, John Hall Kirbo, Mandy Lanier, Billy Mann, Marci Garner Marshall, Rebecca McKinley, Amanda Merritt, Roger M. Mishoe, Clint Newsome, Brian Perkins, Audrey A. Pike, Marci Prisant, Daaiyah Salaam, Erica Savage, Juana L. Snell, Courtney Spencer, Melissa Strother, Melissa Bello Sumner, Jacquelyn Teemer, Trav Walden, Zandrea Marie Waldon, Krissy Ann Waller, Lewis D. Webb, Danita B. Wiggins and Danielle Meshaye Willis.