HOBART | Mentors have made a difference in the lives of today’s young leaders, according to those honored at Thursday’s 20 Under 40 awards ceremony at Avalon Manor.
“It’s humbling (to receive this award) because it makes me reflect on how many people invested in me, who have been a part of my life – mentors, team members, friends,” said Bill Hanna, 38, of Valparaiso and president/CEO of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development.
“We keep hearing about how important the raising up of young leaders is,” Hanna said. “I have found a lot of support in Northwest Indiana.”
Daniel Timm of Valparaiso said his mentors taught him that “hard work pays off.”
The 34-year-old said he’s proud to serve as chief of staff in the Porter County Assessor’s Office and help carry out the customer service-oriented programs of his boss, Jon Snyder.
“It’s the relationships you make that make a difference,” Timm said.
Alfred Martin, 38, of Gary, mentors youth through the Urban Suns Community Development, an Gary-based organization he helped establish and now leads as executive director.
“We’re a not-for profit agency that provides mentoring, tutoring and athletic training for youth as young as 8 to collegiate athletes,” Martin said.
Meeting other young leaders and their supporters as a member of the 20 Under 40 Class of 2012 means gaining more exposure for the Urban Suns program, he said. “When you’re always working in the community, sometimes it’s hard to get the word out.
Kasandra Tenbarge, 31, of Munster, also said the potential for collaborative efforts among the current and emerging young leaders is invigorating.
“Imagine the partnerships that could be formed by people in this room, what could happen for Northwest Indiana. I’m always interested in non-traditional ways to accomplish things,” Tenbarge said. “This is an opportunity to get to know more people.”
The 20 young leaders honored at the dinner “come from every industry in Northwest Indiana, from non-profits to government to businesses and from Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties,” said Brett Riley, director of audience development at The Times Media Co. and the master of ceremonies.
“These people we honor tonight are already leaders and the future of Northwest Indiana,” Riley said.