They are bankers, restaurateurs, chambers of commerce leaders, physical therapists, financial planners, marketing executives, landscapers, architects, tattooists and more.
Since 2010, Cape & Plymouth Business has recognized the achievements of more than 400 Cape Codders and South Shore and Plymouth-area men and women aged 40 and under, whose accomplishments have made them stand out from their peers.
The award was the idea of former Cape & Plymouth Business Magazine owner Bob Viamari. A former Springfield, Mass., resident and businessman who moved to the Cape, Viamari was shocked that no one was recognizing young professionals on Cape Cod. In Springfield, a business magazine owned by a friend was doing exactly that.
“‘Why don’t we have this?’ I said. It’s so tough for young people to be in business and to live here, why not acknowledge them in a special way?” Viamari said. “Keeping a young workforce on the Cape has always been a big issue; why not acknowledge them?”
He and then-editor Joy Jordan came up with the criteria and 40 Under 40 was born in 2010.
The format has remained much the same since: the magazine solicits nominations each spring, receiving hundreds of submissions and the top 40 are chosen. They are asked to answer questions about themselves, from more basic career background questions and who were their role models or mentors, to lighter, more reflective questions, such as “Where can you be found on the weekends?”, “What was the last book you read?”, and “What is your superpower?” The Q&As are published in the magazine and the honorees are feted at a special event.
“Everyone loved the event,” said Viamari. “I wanted it to be a fun time. We had guest speakers; one year a magician and, sometimes, raffles and giveaways. It really took off.”
Viamari was always impressed with the honorees’ stories.
“I met some truly amazing people, their stories blew me away,” he said. “I remember Mark Corliss (2017) had started Spilt Milk Tattoo Company and he was giving nipple tattoos to women who had had mastectomies due to breast cancer. Amazing.”
For honorees, the acknowledgement was a validation that propelled many to career advancement and career change.
“I was honored to be nominated and receive the 40 Under 40 Award,” said Andrea Ponte of Cape Cod 5, where she is now Chief Operational Services Officer. “It’s a terrific program that highlights the contributions and commitment to give back to the region’s young business leaders. It’s also meaningful to share this recognition with so many of my Cape Cod 5 colleagues who have also received this award over the years.”
Christopher Ward was one of the original 40 Under 40 honorees in 2010.
“I was a Trusts and Estates attorney at Latanzi, Spaulding & Landreth, in Orleans, and I’m still in that position, but I’m also a managing partner in the firm,” he said. “As a young lawyer, this award validated the extra hustle of early mornings and the sacrifices of late nights. It takes hard work to find achievement and this award proved that my path was the right one.”
“Receiving the 40 Under 40 was such a proud honor, and I feel the most impactful part of that recognition for me was the encouragement that came with it,” said Amy Naples, now Executive Director of Plymouth Chamber of Commerce. “The support was incredible, and the sincerity of happiness was very empowering. At that time in my life, I was much younger and certainly not as confident, professionally, as I am now. I was shocked to receive the award and knew it meant I was doing great things and wanted to keep going!”
This year, the 40 Under 40 alums will be honored in a gathering on April 26 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Ryan’s Ten Pin Eatery, Cape Cod Mall, Hyannis. If you’d like to attend, visit here.
What did the award mean to other past honorees? Read more below.
Will Rubenstein, Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce
Back then, my wife Sandy and I were running Camp Wingate Kirkland. When I received the award, it was unexpected and therefore, filled my bucket with gratitude because we had only been on Cape Cod for six years (we moved here in 2004 to take over Camp Wingate Kirkland in Yarmouth Port and start our family at the same time!), and we weren’t seeking any recognition! Then I worked at impactful organizations like Big Brothers/Big Sisters of The Cape & Islands, Entrepreneurs Forever and The Animal Rescue League of Boston (Brewster Branch). In March 2023, I became the Director of Membership at The Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.
Kristin O’Malley, Cape Cod Foundation PHOTO
Back in 2012, I was Manager of Community Investment Services for The Cape Cod Foundation. Now I am president and CEO of the organization. I was honored to be recognized amongst a talented and dedicated group of peers, each inspiring in their own way. As someone who was born and raised on Cape Cod, to be acknowledged by the community in which I grew up for the work I am now blessed to do here is truly the highest compliment!”
Melissa Pond, City of Quincy
“I’m still working for the City of Quincy in the Planning Department as I was in 2014, but now I am also building my own company, Melissa J. Pond LLC – a nonprofit strategy and grant-writing consulting agency.
Melissa Kolcz, Beacon Financial Planning
“I received the 40 Under 40 Honoree Award in 2015 when I was a Marketing Coordinator at Dennis East International. I am currently the Client Experience Manager at Beacon Financial Planning. Michaela Herlihy, President of Beacon Financial Planning and a fellow 40 Under 40 alum and I have always had a mutual respect and great professional relationship. I approached Michaela to pick up on a previous job offer conversation. As I reflect on my past career path and my 40 Under 40 Award, I can agree with Marc Anthony when he said, ‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life’.”
Sarah Colvin, Cape Cod Commission
“Being recognized with a 40 Under 40 Award in 2016 made me feel that my work made an impact in the community. In 2016, I was hosting and producing a daily municipal television program for the Town of Barnstable. This job allowed me to help educate and inform our viewers about the important work being done by our local government. Seven years later, I am now the Communications Manager for the Cape Cod Commission – a role that allows me to expand on the work I love to do – sharing important information that impacts our community every day.”
Kara Boule, Delude Communications
“At the time of my award, I was Marketing & Community Investment Manager for Nauset Disposal. I am now the Chief Operating Officer for DeLude Communications. Receiving the 40 Under 40 Award in 2017 provided me with opportunities to connect with other young professionals in our area, and to collaborate on projects with those professionals to benefit both business and our community. I felt valued for what I was contributing to our business community and receiving the award encouraged me to set higher career goals and gave me confidence to take on new challenges.”
JR Mell, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod & the Islands
“When I was selected as one of the 40 Under 40 for Cape Cod, I had just completed my first year at the helm of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cape Cod and the Islands. Six years later, I still have the privilege of being the Regional Director of this great agency. Born and raised on the Cape (minus college), I was truly honored to be selected out of so many others doing great work for this community.”
Amanda “Kai” Childs, EforAll Cape Cod
“At the time of the 40 Under 40 Award, I was the Event and Marketing Manager for Cape Cod Beer. Currently, I am the Program Manager for EforAll Cape Cod. For me, the 40 Under 40 Award felt like validation. Sometimes we get so busy with our day-to-day tasks that we forget to celebrate the things that we have already achieved. It was really nice to pause and enjoy a feeling of accomplishment.”
Charlotte Green, The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod
A lot has changed since being honored as a 40 Under 40 recipient! I’m still happily guiding the mortgage sales team at The Coop, helping people buy their own slice of heaven on the Cape, but my team has nearly doubled in size and I’ve been promoted from Residential Mortgage Sales Manager, Assistant Vice President to Residential Mortgage Sales Manager, Vice President. The Coop has been amazing in supporting my growth and further learning in the world of banking, where I have a fabulous mentor and inspiring peers. I’m currently attending the New England School for Financial Studies put on by the MA Bankers Association. The 40 Under 40 award made me feel like I’d made it, the 40 Under 40 Award had been on my professional bucket list for as long as I can remember! Over the years I’ve seen people who I know and deeply respect be recognized with the award, to be amongst that caliber of professionals is truly an honor, especially because my nomination came from leaders and peers at the bank and community.
Courtney Butler, Legislative Aide
“In 2021, I worked as the Executive Assistant to the Town Administrator in Dennis. I am currently Legislative Aide to State Rep. Chris Flanagan, whom I worked closely with in Dennis during my time there, through his role as a Selectman. Being honored as a 40 Under 40, when I was still under 30, was an achievement that is hard to put into words for me. I moved to the Cape eight years ago and knew no one and nothing about what I wanted to do or who I was. Meeting people here, and finding my passion for civic engagement has led me to so many incredible opportunities and introductions. For me, the award cemented my place on the Cape and affirmed that the time, passion, and heart I give to my work and community was making a difference.”
Our monthly newsletter will have details on how to nominate someone from your business who you’d like to acknowledge for this year’s 40 Under 40 awards on June 15. Not signed up? Visit capeplymouthbusiness.com