How the 40 Under Forty winners are selected


In order to pick the honorees for the 19th annual Worcester Business Journal 40 Under Forty Awards, WBJ opened the nomination period from October through May where anyone could nominate an eligible business leader, including self-nominations. This year, WBJ received 206 nominations for 131 nominees – both record highs. The nominations were then sent to three judges selected for their expertise and background. The nominees with the highest cumulative judges’ score are vetted by WBJ staff to verify their eligibility, as they must work in Central Massachusetts, live in Massachusetts and be under 40 years old as of the day of the awards ceremony, which this year is Sept. 12. Those eligible high-scoring nominees are then declared the winners. Here are the judges for 2018.

Kate Sharry is owner and president of Group Benefits Strategies, an insurance consulting firm in Auburn. Starting in the family business as a teenager, Sharry has been in the insurance industry for more than 20 years and is involved in policy and administration strategic changes at both state and local levels. Born and raised in Worcester, Sharry is the board chair for the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce and on the boards for the Worcester Business Development Corp., The Worcester Club and Planting the Seed Foundation. Sharry is a 2013 WBJ 40 Under Forty winner. She is co-founder of the Worcester Community Action Council, a group of young professionals dedicated seeking to benefit the local community, formed at the request of Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. An avid runner and hiker, Sharry balances her professional life with travel and outdoor adventures. She is married to John F. Kennedy and has three children, Hannah, Jake and Austin.

Milka Njoroge is co-founder, CEO and administrator of Century Homecare, LLC a Medicare-certified home healthcare company based in Worcester. Century provides skilled nursing services, rehabilitation services and home health aide services to people in their homes, and has offices in Springfield and Brockton. Njoroge is working to build an organization with a culture of excellence where people love what they do as well as care and support each other. As a business owner and CEO, Njoroge believes businesses should invest in their staff and the communities they serve and has implemented initiatives to support this. Njoroge is a 2017 WBJ 40 under Forty winner. She previously worked at UMass Memorial Medical Center as a clinical pharmacy specialist and the director of the cardiology pharmacy specialty residency program.

Michael Arnum is the director of marketing and public relations at Old Sturbridge Village, New England’s largest living history museum welcoming more than 250,000 visitors annually. He previously served for more than 10 years as the same role at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in Boylston, where he launched the introduction of the Winter Garden and Limonaia (Lemon House), an $8-million expansion, and helped grow the organization from a $1-million to a $3-million operation. He received his undergraduate degree in horticulture from Cornell University, and earned his MBA with a concentration in public & nonprofit management at Boston University. He did an internship at the National Tropical Botanical Garden in Kauai, Hawaii. Arnum’s work has appeared in Horticulture Magazine and other publications. He has served on the board of the Central Massachusetts Convention & Visitors Bureau, marketing chair of the MetroWest Visitors Bureau, and with Norumbega Lodge – Sons of Norway and the Sudbury United Methodist Church.
Read about the entire 2018 Class of 40 Under Forty
Michael Alden - Ascentria Care Alliance
Che Anderson - City of Worcester
Victor M. Archila - VMA Electric Inc.
Allison Beckler, DO - YOU, Inc.
Sam Bitar - Webster Five
Mark A. Borenstein - Seder & Chandler LLP
Kate D. Campanale - Massachusetts House of Representatives
Derek Canton - paerpay
Ryan Canuel - Petricore, Inc.
Jennifer Caron - Body Therapeutics
Danielle J. Clark - Clark Career Coaching
Heidi Cooper - Cooper’s Hilltop Farm
Matthew M. Copeland, P.E. - Copeland Building Envelope Consulting
Pat Davis - The DAVIS Cos.
Efua T. Dufu, MSW, LCSW - Ellite Event Planning
Grace Elton - Tower Hill Botanic Garden
Ursula Furi-Perry, J.D. - Becker College
Jared E. Gentilucci - Nitsch Engineering
David Gilchrist, MD, MBA - UMass Memorial Health Care
Alvara Gjylapi - Santander Bank
Erica Grinkis - The GazBar Sports Grill
Meredith Harris - Marlborough Economic Development Corp.
Erin Jansky - Worcester Housing Authority
Ben Jones - Boston Scientific Corp
Alexis Kelleher - Crust Bakeshop; North Main Provisions
Bert LaValley - Sustainable Comfort, Inc.; deadhorse hill & simjang restaurants
Jennifer Leger - Fidelity Bank
Brian Lemerise - Quiet Logistics, Inc.
Tom Lubelczyk - The Worcester Jazz Collective
Laura Marotta - Creative Hub Worcester
Ryan Matson - Small Business Insurance Agency
Michael P. McDonough, CPA - McDonough, McDonough & Corsini, LLP
Madeline Mendoza - NewVue Communities
Jessica Morris - MCPHS University
Nathan Oriol - Oakdale Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing Center (Oriol Health Care)
Nicholas Pelletier - Pelletier Properties at Keller Williams North Central
Courtney E. Pelley - Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center
Lilian Radke - Unic Pro Inc.
Blaine Schnare - Harrington HealthCare System
Bonnie J. Walker - Worcester Polytechnic Institute