To help introduce this year’s class of Top 20 Under 40: Millennials on the Move, I wanted to share “How to Identify a Top 20 Under 40 Honoree in 3 Easy Steps:”
1) “I don’t know how you do it all?” is a question they hear frequently.
2) They desire to improve others around them versus their own status.
3) They tend to champion community and all things local.

After being immersed in the words written by and about this year’s class of honorees, I was struck by their incredible enthusiasm and also their sense of personal ownership (read their words for yourself starting on page 33).

More than one said something akin to “If you want to see change, then you need to do something about it.” And they have. Among this year’s nominees you’ll see executive directors for regional nonprofit organizations, several educators and mentors, numerous entrepreneurs who decided to scrap the rule books and just try something new. You’ll read their words and hopefully find inspiration for your own dreams—I know I have. More than anything, I hope you are struck by their collective belief in community and the power of togetherness. We learned it in grade school, but it still holds true: there are few forces quite as powerful as teamwork. Unbeknownst to them, several of this year’s honorees actually nominated one another, revealing their dedication to elevating others above self. This class of nominees wants to honor those who are serving, striving and thriving beside them. If that’s not a testament to the power of community not much is.

And on the note of millennials, be sure to read our feature on page 27, discussing the housing market and how this demographic is interacting with it in brand new ways. These trends should be indicative of several market developments. We also had a contributor go on location to Baltimore, Maryland, with our regional business development representatives to learn more about budding entrepreneurship and ways to promote business growth locally. Read Suzanne Ramsey’s insights on page 57.

Finally, before the close of 2016 and the rush of the impending holidays, it’s our hope that you are mindful of what allows us these opportunities to slow down and enjoy our friends and families. I’m talking, of course, about the sacrifices of our veterans. Too often we forget the incredible sacrifices they made to preserve and protect freedoms we regrettably take for granted. If you know a veteran, reach out. Say thank you. And don’t just wait for November 11 to do so. Do it today, because we are free today and that’s no small reality. (For ideas on how to honor and reach out to local veterans, see our recommendations on page 15.)

Jennifer Redmond,
Guest Editor

I have my own thanks for Shelley Basinger in allowing me the chance to step back into editing while she is adjusting to life with a precious newborn. Drop her a line with your well wishes as her family embarks on this new adventure!