The Times Media Co. is honoring 20 people who have absorbed lessons in business and are willing to be leaders in the region.
The Times has named Northwest Indiana's new group of business leaders to watch as part of its annual 20 Under 40 awards. Since 2005, The Times has honored 20 unique residents under 40 years of age who have outstanding leadership qualities, have become key members of the region's business community, and show their commitment to the growth and development of Northwest Indiana and the broader region.
Honorees, which include a 20-year-old technology dynamo, a compassionate police chief and a philanthropy consultant, will be recognized Oct. 11 in a celebration at Avalon Manor in Hobart. The event, which The Times and BusINess magazine are hosting, begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $60 each and are available online at www.nwi.com/20under40 .
"I am so impressed with this year’s group," said Bill Masterson Jr., publisher of The Times. "We often look at these people as up and comers who have the potential for great positive influence as their careers mature. The truth is these people are already doing that and have been for some time. I congratulate all of them."
Pat Colander, associate publisher of BusINess magazine, said she's found that even if former 20 Under 40 winners change jobs, they are eager to remain in professional networks and often remain key players in Northwest Indiana economic development.
Winners also include Manoj Bahl, 33, owner of Excel Dental Studio; Bill Hanna, 38, president and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority; Alfred Martin, 36, executive director of Urban Suns Community Development; and Colleen McCoy-Cejka, 39, principal of Bishop Noll Institute.
Several 20 Under 40 honorees said their involvement with mentors contributed to their drive to be successful.
Bahl said his parents, Ramesh and Kamal, who came to the U.S. from India 40 years ago, were his heroes and mentors.
When she was younger, McCoy-Cejka said the influence of teachers helped her develop a passion for the profession she now covets as the head of a private college prep high school in Northwest Indiana.
Hanna said he draws inspiration from a variety of sources, especially his family, and his personal success lies in living conditions improving in the region.
"With any kind of progress, it has to be an absolute team effort," Hanna said. "It's really a privilege to be part of these things as a trusted team member and to deliver results and not be highlighted as an individual."
Other honorees see the work they do as part of an important calling in their lives. Martin made a pact to return to Gary after attending college out of state because he didn't want to pass on an opportunity to mentor youth in his hometown.
"It was about the love I felt for the city I grew up in and the need I saw amongst the young people who still lived there," he said. "I knew I could make a difference."
For more information or sponsorship opportunities, email Times Marketing Coordinator Katie Dorsey at firstname.lastname@example.org .