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August 20, 2018 Class of 2018

40 Under Forty: Alvara Gjylapi, 39

Photo | Erika Sidor Winnders of the WBJ 2018 40 Under Forty awardi: Kate Campanale, Bert LaValley, Alvara Gjylapi and Ryan Canuel.

Senior vice president and credit practices manager

Santander Bank, Worcester & Boston

Lives: Worcester

Birthplace: Korce, Albania

Colleges: Stonier Graduate School of Banking, Assumption College, Worcester State University

Gjylapi has grown her professional career from her early days in the financial industry as a personal banker in 2003 to now, where she is part of the senior leadership team in business banking at Santander. Prior to joining the bank in 2017, she worked for Unibank for Savings for five years as assistant vice president and credit and loan review officer. Before that, Gjylapi was a commercial credit analyst for Clinton Savings Bank and worked her way up the ranks of Avidia Bank from assistant branch manager to branch manager and then junior credit analyst. In her current job managing credit practices and quality control, the quality assurance rating and level of undetected policy exceptions have improved significantly bank-wide in less than a year. In addition to managing the finances of Central Massachusetts businesses, Gjylapi has made her mark in several nonprofits, including as a director and chair of the finance committee of Worcester Common Ground and the same roles in Clinton-based Growing Places, Inc. She regularly supports United Way of Central Mass. both financially and with volunteering and is a member of the American Economic Association.

From 40 Under Forty judge Michael Arnum: “Alvara's banking acumen and community involvement have truly made a difference.”

What TV character is most like you? Violet Crawley in “Downton Abbey” because she is smart, sassy, and always there for her family. But she won't stand for any of their nonsense (just like me).

Whose career would you most like to emulate? Not to emulate, I couldn't be that prodigious, but I grew up idolizing Marie Curie because of her passion for science and her contributions to society.

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

Learn how the winners were picked on our judges' page.

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