Chamber of Commerce announces ‘Albany Under 40’ finalists

Barbara Rivera Holmes

ALBANY — The Albany Area Chamber of Commerce announced the 2018 Albany Under 40 finalists on Wednesday.

The awards are part of a program launched earlier this year that honors and celebrates the Albany area’s emerging leaders and professionals in a variety of business sectors, each representing a component of the area’s diversified talent pool and economy.

“The Albany area is home to young leaders who are making their mark through excellence in their professions, through their innovation and through their commitment to building a stronger region,” Chamber President Barbara Rivera Holmes said. “We’re honored to recognize these diverse, outstanding professionals and proud they’ve chosen to live, work and invest in the Albany area.”

Finalists were considered from among nearly 300 nominations that were received and include the following:

Arts, Entertainment, Culinary Arts, Events, Tourism, Hospitality

— Chloe Hinton, Albany Museum of Art

— Anthony Johnson, singer/songwriter

— Michael McNeal, Eggs Up Grill

Civics, Defense, Government, Public Affairs

— Kerrie Davis, city of Albany

— Tennasha Gresham, city of Albany

— Emilia Lake, Marine Corps Logistics Command

Financial, Insurance Services

— Kelly Courtney, F&W Forestry Services

— Merrit Garnto, Draffin & Tucker

— Allison Ray, PeopleSouth Bank

Innovation, Start Up

— Gene Kirk, Break Away Cycles

— Morgan Layfield, Dawsyn Boutique

— Brianna Wilson, Southern Point Staffing

Journalism, Marketing, Public Relations

— Morgan Burnette, Chehaw

— Candice Franklin, Albany Convention & Visitors Bureau

— Matt Reed, Georgia CEO


— William J. Godfrey, W.J. Godfrey Attorney At Law

— K. Campbell Kirbo, Kirbo & Kirbo PC

— Smith Nall Wilson, Gardner, Willis, Sweat, Plair & Prickett LLP

Manufacturing, Service Industries, Energy, Architecture

— Mike Gonzalez, Pro Outdoors

— Milan Patel, Indusa Investments

— Joseph Richard Wade Jr., Pfizer

Medicine, Health Care

— Clifton Bush, Albany Area Primary Healthcare

— Jessica Michelle Collins, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital

— Melissa B. Sumner, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital


— Mary Allen-Martinez, Lily Pad SANE Center

— Joshua Bower, First Presbyterian Church of Albany

— Rosalynn F. Fliggins, Open Arms

Sports, Wellness, Fitness

— Sherie Gordon, Albany State University

— Kiani Rodriguez, Marine Corps Community Services

— Haley H. West, Aspire Behavioral Health


— Jodie J. Kretzer, Albany State University

— Kenyetta Nesbitt, Albany State University

— Daniel Titus,

Youth, Education

— Chevonne Denson, Dougherty County School System

— James Little, Dougherty County School System

— Kanese Rachel, Dougherty County School System

Finalists will be recognized at the Albany Under 40 awards reception on Aug. 16 at the Albany Museum of Art, during which category winners will be announced. One overall Albany Under 40 award winner, selected from among the category winners, will be announced at the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce’s 109th annual dinner on Jan. 24, 2019.

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