20 Under 40: Among Good Company

by Melissa Brunner

If you're as good as the company you keep, then I might have just stepped it up a notch.

I was honored to learn that I've been selected as one of the first class of "Greater Topeka's 20 Under 40" honorees. The Jayhawk Council of Boy Scouts came up with this idea to recognize people under the age of 40 who are leaders in the community. Since the Boy Scouts is about developing leadership skills, they say showcasing young leaders who can be an example to their boys with whom they work is a logical fit.

Tuesday morning, we got together for a phot shoot at Nathan Hamm's studio in North Topeka. I have to say, my fellow honorees are a group of people I've admired as I've encountered them in my line of work. John Fager, continuing his family's strong sense of community pride as they do business; Patrick Woods and Fred Patton, balancing a dedication to serving their local schools with their professional lives; Alissa Sheeley pushing me to think outside the box and embrace social media; Michelle De La Isla, rallying the community around building homes for families; and Corrie Wright, who couldn't be there because she is donating one of her kidneys! That's just a start.

And all I do is have a job where I get to be around people like this every day!

With people like this making Topeka their home and dedicating themselves to making it an even better place to live, the future of the Capital City is bright. In fact, Topeka's "20 Under 40" is actually "21 Under 40" because the selection committee couldn't bring themselves to cut one more nominee!

Here's the list of honorees - congrats!

Paul Bossert - Premier Employment Solutions
Melissa Brunner - WIBW-TV
Amber Gentry Bullock - Networks Plus
Michelle De La Isla - Habitat for Humanity
Andrea Engstrom - MB Piland Fat Free Advertising
John Fager - CoreFirst Bank & Trust
Karl Fundenberger - FryeAllen
Justin Glasgow - Performance Tire
Matt Goodwin - Oakland Church of the Nazarene
Angie Haggard - Valeo Behavioral Health Care
Desmond Henry - US Bancorp Investments
Cyndi Hermicillo-Legg - Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce
Jared Holroyd - Atria Hearthstone
Kerrice Mapes - FSGC/785 Magazine
Fred Patton - Patton Law Office
Kim Ribelin - Kansas Secretary of State Office
Alissa Sheley - jones huyett Partners
Julie Swift - Topeka Periodontics
Richard J. Wells - Security Benefit
Patrick Woods - Topeka Public Schools
Corrie Wright - City of Topeka

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