September 6, 2017
40 Under Forty: Behind the scenes

40u40: Is there such a thing as too much beer?

Erika Sidor
At Wormtown Brewery in Worcester are 40 Under Forty winners (from left) Kevin Peterssen, Avra Hoffman, Kathryn Behan and Patrick T. Royce.

This is the seventh in a series of 11 stories describing the photos behind this year's 40 Under Forty awards, where rather than shooting all the images in one location, WBJ took the winners to 11 properties around Worcester, showcasing the new developments of a city on the rise. Check out the parts: Burns Bridge, public murals, deadhorse hill, The Edge at Union Station, Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center, The Grid District.

John Hannafin, general manager at Wormtown Brewery, is a generous man.

After he and the rest of the Wormtown team agreed to let WBJ shoot one of the 40 Under Forty photos at the brewery, Hannafin was kind enough to come in when the tasting room was closed on a Monday to let us hijack the operations for an hour that afternoon.

On top of that, immediately after meeting myself and photographer Erika Sidor, Hannafin decided to ditch our previous agreement where WBJ would pay for everything the winners drank, instead declaring everything was on the house. Hannafin was pleased with the exposure Wormtown would receive from being in WBJ's most read issue of the year, plus he seemed really intrigued in getting to see the process from behind the scenes.

Erika Sidor

My plan, from the beginning, was to order one drink for myself right away, so when the winners arrived on the scene, they would feel comfortable drinking in a photo shoot for a business magazine with people they just met that day. The fact I was drinking beer during the work day was just a bonus.

The photo shoot was a breeze, frankly. All four winners (Kevin Peterssen, Avra Hoffman, Kathryn Behan and Patrick Royce) fell into a natural camaraderie almost immediately, posing in locations all around the brewery. This was due in no small part to Hannafin, who showed off his love of beer and was happy to pour whatever the winners wanted to try. If you'll notice in the main photo WBJ ran in the 40u40 issue, 10 beers are visible for the four winners.

Erika Sidor

The hardest part of the photo shoot was leaving. The energy between the winners was palpable, after spending more than an hour drinking beer and taking photos. Hannafin was more than willing to keep the beer flowing after we had finished the photo shoot. Yet, Sidor and I had to move onto the next scheduled photo shoot that afternoon, proving to me what I should have known from the beginning: If I am going to schedule a photo shoot at a brewery, I should set it for the end of the day.

- Brad Kane, editor

Meet the 40 Under Forty Class of 2017

Asmar N. Akman – Akman Enterprises Inc.

Brendan Aylward – Unified Health and Performance

Greta Bajrami Campoverde – Golden Group Construction Corp.

Kathryn Behan – UMass Memorial Healthcare

Heather Belair – Bay State Savings Bank

Neil Callahan – R.H. White Construction

Michelle L. Cote, Esq. – Law Offices of Richard S. Ravosa

Julianne Dahrooge – Chan & Dahrooge Financial Group, LLC

Patrick J. DiGregorio – Veterans Inc.

Justin Dufresne – VHB, Inc.

Courtney Ross Escobar – Doucette & LaRose, LLC

Robert Fecteau – BirchTree Bread Co.

Hilary Gardner – The Davis Cos.

Ashleigh C. Gelinas, Esq. – Gelinas & Ward, LLP

Avra Hoffman – BirchTree Bread Co.

Maryann C. Johnson – Oak Hill CDC

Kevin G. Johnson – O'Connor, Maloney & Company, P.C.

Heather Mangione – United Way of Central Massachusetts

Jay Merrill – Clifford & Rano Associates

Meghan E. Montaner – The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts

Edward Murphy – Baystate Investment Fund

Joy Rachelle Murrieta – Main IDEA

Dr. Milka Njoroge, PharmD – Century Homecare, LLC

Jim Notaro – Fidelity Bank

Andrew B. Palumbo – Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Kevin Peterssen – United Bank

John T. Pitcavage – Endless Energy

Julia Randall, M.D. – Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center

Keith Reardon – Commonwealth Consulting Group, LLC

Giselle Rivera-Flores – The Learning Hub & IgWorcesterMA

Patrick T. Royce – UniBank

Jamie Salois – Atlas Distributing

Lindiana Semidei – Raices Latin Dance

Jody Staruk – Consigli Construction Co., Inc.

Francisco Torres – Town of Westborough

Abel Travis – Hanover Insurance Group

Elizabeth Tripp – Hanover Insurance Group

Alexis G. Vallejos – Columbia Tech

David Viens – Bowditch & Dewey, LLP

Ryan A. Wagner – Robert Fine & Associates

Meet this year's judges

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