FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. – The top young leaders of Okaloosa and Walton counties were recognized at the annual ‘40 Under 40’ awards celebration hosted by the United Way Emerald Coast.
United Way Emerald Coast (UWEC) held the awards celebration on Friday, September 16, at The Island Resort. Nearly 200 people attended the sold-out event.
“40 Under 40 is my favorite annual event,” said UWEC President & CEO, Kelly Jasen.
“It is incredibly inspiring to see the great work being done by this group of young professionals. We are proud to recognize these awardees for their outstanding contributions and are grateful to the many volunteers and sponsors who made the event possible.”
The 40 Under 40 were selected for their excellence in the areas of leadership, community involvement, and professional accomplishment, UWEC said.
UWEC received more than 150 nominations for the award. The applications were reviewed by a selection committee comprised of professionals from a variety of local businesses and nonprofit organizations.
United Way Emerald Coast’s 40 Under 40, Class of 2022
- Alexander Fogg, Okaloosa County, Destin – Fort Walton Beach
- Arielle May, Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida
- Ashley McCallum, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Brieanne Raines, Vitas Healthcare
- Brittnee Orr, Fort Walton Beach Housing Authority
- Carrie Parker, Bridgeway Center Inc.
- Chrissy Hartley, Dream Team Realty of Northwest Florida
- Courtney Dollson, Eglin Federal Credit Union
- Deanna Simonsen, Waste Management
- Eva Wise, Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida
- Hillaree Durso, Frances Roy Agency
- Jenna Seebeck, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office
- Jessica Speas, Northwest Florida State College
- Jessica Trimboli, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office
- Joanna Soria, Waterstone Mortgage
- Jordan Staggs, VIE Magazine/The Idea Boutique
- Joseph Richardson, Richardson Realty International
- Kaitlyn Sanchez, Habitat for Humanity of Walton County
- Katie Anderson, Let’s Get Social Society + Bleached Babes
- Kelly Cash, Westonwood Ranch, Inc.
- Kelly Curry, The Idea Boutique
- Kevin Henderson, CHELCO
- Matt Langford, Shalimar United Methodist Church
- McKayla Hale, Extra Ordinary Delights
- Megan Harrison, Walton Area Chamber of Commerce
- Melissa Ehlers, Hurlburt Field Airman & Family Readiness Center
- Misty Rae Ruthrauff, Saltwater Restaurants, Inc.
- Mitch Anderson, Okaloosa Gas District
- Nic Dezinski, Vertex Solutions
- Pamela Clarke, Cox Media
- Reid Soria, Autism Sings, LLC
- Robin Donlon, SmartBank
- Shiri Brandenburg, Air Force Enlisted Village, Inc.
- Stephanie Wedel, Coca-Cola United
- Ta’ki Brown, United States Air Force
- Taylor M. Goode, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast
- Terry Mauer, SBDC at UWF
- Thomas Everidge, Publix
- Tim Haney, Fresh Prints of South Walton
- Whitney Lee, Sociallee PR & Digital Media
At the event, UWEC also recognized the Emerging Leader of the Year and presented the first Forever Young award.
Ryan Mims, Chief Health Strategist and Public Health Services Manager at the Florida Department of Health in Walton County, was recognized as the Emerging Leader of the Year. Mims volunteers as a ReadingPal, serves on the Emerging Leaders committee and is a champion of United Way Emerald Coast’s work in the community.
40 Under 40 awardees were invited to nominate a mentor over the age of 40 who lives and/or works in Okaloosa/Walton that has contributed to their success. Several nominations were received, and the Emerging Leaders Committee selected Tim Bolduc, City of Crestview City Manager as the first Forever Young award recipient. Bolduc was selected for the outstanding leadership, mentorship, and guidance he offers young professionals throughout the community, UWEC said.
The second annual event was planned and coordinated by UWEC’s Emerging Leaders committee. Emerging Leaders are young professionals under the age of 40 dedicated to creating a lasting impact in our community.
These professionals make an annual contribution of $120+ to UWEC and receive opportunities to connect, serve, and lead throughout the year.
To learn more about Emerging Leaders, including eligibility requirements, upcoming socials, and volunteer opportunities, please contact Aubrey Robbie (email@example.com) or Briley Kennedy (firstname.lastname@example.org),