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WBJ names its 2018 Hall of Famers, Business Leaders of the Year

BY Brad Kane

3/5/2018
Photo | Nathan Fiske
Photo | Nathan Fiske
(Back row, from left) Innovative Business Leader of the Year Amy Lynn Chase, Family Business Leader of the Year Rachel Lopez, WBJ Hall of Fame Inductee Barbara Cotter, (front row, from left) Small Business Leader of the Year Amjad Bahnassi, M.D., WBJ Hall of Fame Inductee Ed Manzi, Nonprofit Business Leader of the Year Laurie Leshin, Ph.D., and WBJ Hall of Fame Inductee Kevin Condron.

Kevin Condron took a $2-million plumbing business and turned it into a $200-million behemoth. He then used his reputation built on that success to play an outsized role in improving the quality of life and the economy of his adopted hometown, Worcester.

Amy Lynn Chase grew tired of her limited options to sell retail, so she invented new ones. James M. Knott, Jr. expanded his father's seafood trap manufacturing company internationally. Amjad Bahnassi, M.D. never loses sight of his patients while expanding his business. Rachel Lopez has been a stabilizing force in the region's largest minority-owned business since she was a teenager.

The accomplishments of this year's five Business Leaders of the Year and three WBJ Hall of Fame inductees are awe-inspiring and humbling. That is why we honor them in these pages and will ask their career and life advice at WBJ's event March 28 at Cyprian Keyes Golf Club. We'll ask Ed Manzi how he 5X-ed the assets at Fidelity Bank without losing its community focus. You'll hear Barbara Cotter tell how she has been wowwing event attendees for decades.

And Laurie Leshin helped put a rover on Mars. Instead of dropping the mic like any reasonable person would have done, she made it her mission as president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute to make one of the country's best engineering schools even better.