April Issue

Current Issue
May 2018

Business of the Year winners announced, big events, staffing in a tight market, and more. Purchase your copy or subscribe to BNH today.


Newsletter Signup

Sign up for email updates for when the new magazine comes out.



Celebrating NH's Rising Stars
Published Tuesday, December 6, 2011 7:00 am

Celebrating NH’s Rising Stars

By Erika Cohen

While NH’s population is aging as a whole, if you look beyond the numbers at the state’s young professionals and the companies and organizations that support them, you get a different picture. There are many young people starting innovative companies and helping make NH a vital place to live and work. These are companies committed to cultivating the next gen workforce: From supporting training and education opportunities to creating workplaces that are fun, vibrant and offer opportunities to advance into leadership. These companies want young professionals to stay in NH, succeed and be happy.

The second annual Rising Star Awards honors young professionals and the companies and organizations that support them for their vital role in making NH a great place to live and work now and in the future. The awards are presented by Business NH Magazine in partnership with Stay Work Play NH.

We received an impressive pool of applicants from across the state. The Rising Star Awards are given in five categories: Young Professional of the Year, Cool Small Company for Young Professionals, Cool Large Company for Young Professionals, Young Professional Program of the Year, and the Stay Work Play NH Leadership Award.

The Cool Companies for Young Professionals Awards recognizes one large company  (more than 125 employees), one medium company (51 to 125 employees) and one small company (50 or fewer employees) that create outstanding workplaces with innovative programs and benefits to attract and retain young professionals. The Young Professional of the Year award honors outstanding professionals who are 40 years old or younger, who are rising stars in their industry, and who have demonstrated leadership and a commitment to giving back to the community.  The Young Professional Program of the Year honors an original program developed by a YP group that helps to further young professionals socially or professionally and helps young professionals to become more connected to their communities. The Stay Work Play NH Leadership Award honors an individual, organization, initiative or program in NH that supports the recruitment and retention of young professionals.

We celebrated the winners at the Rising Stars Big Bash on Nov. 7 at the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord. To check out photos of the winners, go to pour Facebook page. Congratulations to all our 2011 winners!

We thank our panels of judges, who had the difficult task of selecting winners from an exceptional pool of applicants, for donating their time and talent.

The judges for the Young Professional of the Year and Young Professional Program of the Year awards are:

•            Alex Allen, co-executive director of City Year NH

•            Steve Boucher, communications and legislative director of the NH Division of Economic Development            

•            Graham Chynoweth, vice president of business operations and general counsel for Dyn in Manchester (winner of the 2010 Coolest Small Company for Young Professionals award)

•            Kate Luczko, executive director of Stay Work Play NH

•            Cathleen Schmidt, former president of Citizens Bank NH/Vt.

We asked representatives from the executive teams of the young professionals groups in the state to judge the Coolest Companies for Young Professionals awards. They are:

•            Brandy Blackinton, co-chair of Young Professionals of Sullivan County; vice president and branch manager at Lake Sunapee Bank in Claremont

•            Helen Donington, president and founder of Catapult Seacoast Young Professionals Network; marketing and investor relations for Lincoln Vale in Lincoln, Mass.

•            Kathryn Ferguson and Kathleen Keleher, event planners for HYPE! Salem’s Young Professionals Network; branch service specialists with Enterprise Bank in Salem

•            Thanh Nguyen, board member of Keene Young Professional Network; program coordinator of co-curricular programs at the Nelson A.

            Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and Social Sciences at Dartmouth College

•            Kate Luczko, executive director of Stay Work Play NH

•            Josh Robinson, chair-elect for Concord Young Professionals Network, director of sales and marketing for Checkmate Payroll Services in Concord

•            E.J. Powers, immediate past chair of Manchester Young Professionals Network; vice president of Montagne Communications in Manchester

•            Chris Williams, founding member of IUGO (Nashua),  president and CEO of the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce

Members of the board of directors of Stay Work Play NH and one member of last year’s honored organization, judged the Stay Work Play NH Leadership Award:

•            Jason Alexander, principal of Alexander Technology Group in Bedford

•            Lori Harnois, director of NH Division of Travel and Tourism Development

•            Thomas Horgan, president and CEO of the NH College and University Council in Concord

•            Kate Luczko, executive director of Stay Work Play NH

•            Stephanie McLaughlin, principal of Savoir Faire in Manchester; one of the founders of Manchester Young Professionals Network who were honored with the inaugural Stay Work Play NH Leadership award in 2010.


Send this page to a friend

Show Other Stories