40 under 40 2009

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These young professionals are recognized for their passionfor service, a willingness to do the hard work, an ability to lead and motivate others, and a dedication to making the Mahoning Valley a better place to live.


The Valleys Business MattersISSN 1047-8582 Vol. 26 No. 9

www.business-journal.comNOVEMBER 2009 EXTRA $2.50

40 Under 40 Builds Strong Networks2009 nominees will be recognized Nov. 19 at DeYor Performing Arts Center.By Jeremy Lydic eing a 40 Under 40 honoree provides those nominated with a strong network other local professionals. That network provided Chris Jaskiewicz, chief operating ofcer and senior vice president of Valley Electrical Consolidated Inc., a great opportunity and he has taken advantage. Jaskiewicz met Michele Merkel, president of Junior Achievement of Mahoning Valley, at the 40 Under 40 Awards banquet last year. During the dinner, he mentioned his desire to be a teacher, and Merkel gave him information on how he could do that in behalf of JA and remain in the business world, he says. Last spring, Jaskiewicz taught Junior Achievements Our Nation program, which focuses on the global economy and marketing, he says. Jaskiewicz teaches the half-day seminar to fth-grade students in the Boardman Center Middle School and expects to do it again next spring.


It all comes down to networking, Jaskiewicz says. I was so overwhelmed with what these young people were in, so I really started getting involved in the Youngstown area. Its really opened up my eyes to whats out there. As a 40 nominee, Jaskiewicz says he has been introduced to many organizations and young professionals that I never would have known outside of this ofce. To give others the experience, Jaskiewicz nominated one of his employees this year, Larry Mohn, who was selected as an honoree. Jaskiewicz technical experience with Valley Electrical made him a natural choice to teach JAs Our Nation program, which integrates science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, Junior Achievements Merkel says. In addition, it exposes the students to career choices with which they are unfamiliar. Merkel had been president at Junior Achievement just a year when she was nominated. Her boards nomination was a vote of condence in her progress in advancing the organization forward, she says. While she neither expects nor seeks gratitude for her work with other community organizations, her involvement with 40 Under 40 has helped Merkel raise awareness of Junior See 40 UNDER 40, page 8



40 Under 40/The Business Journal

Allen Ryana For being nominated as40 Under 40 Awards Recipient


Sam Covelli & Covelli Enterprises

The Business Journal/40 Under 40



Nominators Value Service of 40 Under 40Tribute to young people who often arent recognized.By Dan OBrien


t wasnt just a single accomplishment or characteristic that led some of the Mahoning Valleys most experienced professionals and community leaders to select the nominees for the 2009 40 Under 40 Awards. Those who nominated the young professionals for the recognition often cite the nominees passion for service, a willingness to do the hard work, an ability to lead and motivate others, and a dedication to making the Mahoning Valley a better place to live. These are young people who have decided to make it here in the Mahoning Valley, says Bob Hannon, chief performance ofcer of the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley. Thats huge, because a lot of people leave here, and you dont nd a lot of young people willing to do this. Hannon says the 40 Under 40 Awards are a way to convey appreciation for these younger adults who typify the next generation of movers and shakers. These are the people that will lead this community in the future, he says. This year, Hannon nominated Kristen Olmi, a part-time United Way staff member in her early 20s. Hannon says he was impressed with Olmis persis-

tence when she knocked on United Ways door as a building a career and establishing a family. salesperson for a local printer. She was relentless; It would be very easy for these folks to say they she wanted our business, he recalls. dont have time, Haddad says. But for them to That was just the kind of drive he was looking make time for community service is something that for, Hannon said, when needs to be rewarded. he hired Olmi part-time Others say the 40 Unto help raise funds and Hannon says the 40 Under 40 awards are der 40 Awards tell a story organize innovative ways a way to convey appreciation for these of a community that still to take the United Way younger adults who typify the next genera- has many young, innovacampaign to the comtive people and dispels tion of movers and shakers. munity. Shes organized the notion that many a youth leadership comhave to leave the Mahonmunity tied to the schools and opened doors we ing Valley if they want to succeed. never thought of, he says. There is this erroneous impression that anyone LuAnn Haddad, vice president of institutional with talent leaves the Valley, says Sister Kathleen advancement at Salem Community Hospital, relates Minchin, director of the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS shes known several of the past recipients and holds ministry. I get upset over the notion that if you all in high regard. This year she decided she should want to make it, you have to leave. offer a nomination. The 40 Under 40 Awards demonstrate just Its a really terric idea, she says. [Shawna the opposite, Sister Kathleen says. This year, she LItalien] is the rst person Ive ever nominated. nominated Brigid Kennedy, a young woman who Haddad nominated LItalien, an attorney at Harhas committed herself to work with HIV/AIDS parington, Hoppe & Mitchells Salem ofce, she says, tients in the Mahoning Valley. Even when she was because of LItaliens dedication to community causes in her early 20s, we felt that she had the wisdom of and her ability to tackle complex issues and get someone in her 40s, Sister Kathleen recalls. results. Haddad served on the board of directors of The awards are a wonderful tribute to young Salem Community Hospital with LItalien. people who often arent recognized, Sister Kathleen I think dedicating more time and energy to says. Its a public way of saying thank you for all community efforts is even more challenging when their hard work and what theyve done on behalf of youre young, Haddad says, noting the pressures of the community they serve.

CongratulationsWe love you,


Jaci, Boston, Ridley, Mom, Dad & Susan, Scott, Lauren & Steve, Elizabeth & Stephen



40 Under 40/The Business Journal

Ian J. Beniston, AB 05 Tyler Clark , AB 98

to our

YSU Nominees

Michael R. Cox, AAS 02 James R. Cyphert, BSBA 94 Joseph Damore, BSBA 02 Anthony Daprile, BSBA 01 Adam C. Earnheardt Assistant Professor Dept. of Communication Mary K. Farragher, BFA 07 Brian Higgins, AB 95 Frank J. Lellio Jr., BSBA 92 Marc Mazzella, BSBA 99 Kristen Olmi, AB 08 Julie Rauzan, AB 96 Daniel Reardon, BSE 95 Allen L. Ryan, AAB 74 Matthew G. Vansuch, AB 02 Holly K. Weimer-Watts, BSE 02 Miranda R. Young, BSBA 04


The Business Journal/40 Under 40



Susan Carsonie, donor-services coordinator for the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley, presents a check from the Young Philanthropist Fund to Jessica Shepherd, director of Casa Madre, and Brigid Kennedy, associate director of the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry.

Children Benet from Young PhilanthropistsBy Jeremy Lydic


ast year a much-needed grant from the Young Philanthropist Fund not only kept summer programs going at the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry, it doubled the number of children served. With the $2,500 the fund gave the ministry, it offered academic intervention, cultural enrichment, life skills and recreational activities to 63 children, up from the usual 30, says its associate director, Brigid Kennedy. Among the classes offered are robotics, art and music, how to ll out job applications, keeping a budget and preparing for college. The Ursuline Sisters help low-income children affected by HIV/AIDS, whether directly or indirectly. We really are a safety net for a lot of these kids and families, Kennedy says. When were feeling the pinch, families in crisis are feeling it that much more. The ministry didnt hold its annual fundraiser that year, so the donation from the fund was a big help, Kennedy says. At the time, the cost of basic needs such as gasoline and milk were high the former briey surpassed $4 a gallon and milk was $3.50 and income was down. The work the community foundation does with the Young Philanthro-

pist Fund is critical, Kennedy says, because it really gives them, as young people and potential leaders in the Mahoning Valley, a sense of what the programs are that are out there now and what they need. Since the inception of the fund in 2006, it has awarded about $6,000 to four nonprot organizations that develop programs for children, says the coordinator of the community foundations donor services, Susan Carsonie. The fund and its board are one of only few nationally, not just in the Mahoning Valley, says Carsonie, who has sat on the board since it began, and serves as treasurer-secretary. The board is composed of members from the Community Foundation and the MVP 20/30 Club with representatives from Youngstown State University and members of youth leadership groups in the Mahoning Valley. Were trying to get the young people of the community involved in philanthropy and teaching younger generations about what philanthropy is, Carsonie says. So, it really is a young board. We have teenagers on the board. The board advertises for applications in September and accepts them through November, Carsonie says. See PHILANTHROPISTS, page 6



40 Under 40/The Business Journal