September 8, 2017
40 Under Forty: Behind the scenes

40u40: We should have gone outside

Erika Sidor
At the Mercantile Center in Worcester are 40 Under Forty winners (from left) Francisco Torres, Keith Reardon, Greta Bajrami Campoverde and Jody Staruk.

This is the ninth 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, Wormtown Brewery, Crompton Collective.

The first photo shoot of this year's 40 Under Forty awards was the one that got away.

Team Mercantile Center (Francisco Torres, Keith Reardon, Greta Bajrami Campoverde and Jody Staruk) had done their homework – meeting each other beforehand and developing a natural camaraderie – resulting in a very nice photo of good-looking people in an interesting background. What nagged me afterward was we could have used those positives to create an even brighter photo.

Erika Sidor

The main reason for choosing to shoot the photos at the Mercantile Center while it was under construction was to translate the notion that the new Worcester is still under development. Along with the shoots at the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center and Creative Hub Worcester, these photos would show a city fulfilling its potential.

The development firms making the upgrades to the Mercantile Center – Franklin Realty Advisors of Boston and Washington Capital Management of Seattle – were more than willing to show off the new property, especially the new glass staircase replacing an old escalator in the building's lobby, which debuted in late August. Furthermore, Staruk is a senior project manager at Consigli Construction – the contractor on the Mercantile project – enabling us to get all the access we needed.

Mercantile Center project co-developers (left) Gary Schwandt, president of Washington Capital Management, and Charles (Chip) Norton, president of Franklin Realty Advisors, unveil the completed staircase, which is the center of the updated lobby.

The shots photographer Erika Sidor took checked off all the boxes: the winners looking comfortable and relaxed, construction equipment in the background, the unique lighting fixtures to show the potential of the property. As we were shooting the photos, I was very pleased with the results.

Of course, five minutes after the shoot ended, as I was walking to my car, I realized Mercantile was doing plenty of work outside, too. With construction equipment and materials abound on a bright sunny day against these larger than life picture murals of the developer's vision for the property, all I could think about was the photos we could have gotten.

Erika Sidor

Yet, the grass is always greener. Regardless of what might have happened, what actually happened means the potential of the outside photo will never match the reality of the photos on the glass staircase.

- Brad Kane, editor

Meet the entire WBJ 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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