WATERTOWN – The 2021 NNY Business 20 Under 40 class was celebrated Friday night at the Hilton Garden Inn ballroom.
The room was filled and 20 tables each with eight seats. Four televisions showed rotating images of the 20 Under 40 award recipients.
“It’s a privilege to be able to do this,” said Holly C. Boname, editor and designer of NNY Magazines and public relations manager for Johnson Newspaper Corp.
The keynote speaker was Alex Hazard of ABC 50, who said he was a bit surprised when he received the call and said he wrote his speech on an elliptical using speech-to-text.
“I think about it a lot, and what leadership is and what it means to me,” he said. “I had to decide what it meant to me, but what it would mean to the recipients and I tried to mix the two.”
In his speech, Hazard, who is gay, said it was important to have representation, and he saw representation in 20 Under 40 recipients. He added that he saw television representation as a child and didn’t fully understand how important it was, but he understood that people “represent something I like.”
“In the same way, Chris Marshall, you represent Bryson, your son, whom I love, that dad will be the boss and he can too,” he said. “In the same way, Mykel (Myrick), you show kids in the north that people of color can be in the local media, something we rarely see, on a local scale, and even on a national scale. measure.And I’m sure you all have your own story of who you’re looking at, to know that you can do what you’re doing here right now.
Mr. Hazard recounts the events that shaped his life-his mother forced him to make morning announcements for school and go to Brazil as a Rotary Club exchange student. But one moment really impressed him.
“I made a place about fish fries during Lent at a church and I was told I wasn’t welcome,” he said. “I was at a grocery store, and someone told me I was a pedophile. I was at a country club, and someone told me they wanted me to die and that he wasn’t afraid to do it with his own hands while I was walking in my car, so I better be careful . At that point I realized I didn’t deserve to defend myself … As you guessed, these times happened because I was gay, in public, but what I left out of the story was that it happened in a nutshell year of my transfer. to Central Pennsylvania … that the threat of death was a life -changing moment for me.
She said that after she received death threats, she lost 85 pounds, started speaking publicly about her sexuality, and returned to the northern country.
“Here in the northern country, we don’t pick on people when they have a hard time, we encourage them,” Mr. Hazard said.
The 2021 20 Under 40 class includes Catherine Bennett, Milkweed Tussock Tubers; Jessica Blair, Watertown City School District; Andrew Boulter, Watertown Savings Bank; Nicole Caldwell, Better Farm/betterArts & Stacker; Corey Campbell, Jefferson Community College; Jason Hendricks, H3 Designs LLC; McKenzee Fisk-Kamide, GYMO Architecture Engineering & Land Surveying; Jordan Jones, CREDO Community Center for the Treatment of Addictions; and Dr. Asim Kichloo, Samaritan Medical Center.
They also recognized Jeffrey Kimball, Northwestern Mutual; Josh Leviker, Barret Paving Materials Inc .; Christopher Marshall, High School Governor; Mykel (Quince) Myrick, Tunes 92.5 and Holddown Upstate; Dr. Jennifer Nightingale, Countryside Veterinary Clinic; Suzanne Renzi-Falge, Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library; Cheyenne Steria, Lewis County Economic Development/Natural Lewis; Meredith Taylor, Hiring Heroes Military Spouse Professional Network; William Trithart, Great Kitchen Spoon; Matthew Turcotte, North Shore Solutions and U Store; and Lisa Virkler, Lewis County and Samaritan Medical Center.
Mr. Hazard said the recipients represent the best in the northern country, and that they show the next group of leaders that they too can be community leaders.
“Because representation is important, kindness is important, service to others is important, compassion is important, this is leadership, and if you do these things, which anyone who wins this award does, you are a leader in things that matter, ”he said.
The 20 Under 40 awards are presented annually to people who demonstrate what it means to be a young leader in the northern country and have been an annual tradition in NNY Business magazine for over a decade.
“It is an honor for me to present this award to people in the community who can make a difference every day,” Ms. Boname. “I’m amazed at the amount of talent I’ve witnessed in the last six years in placing this award.”