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August 21, 2017 Class of 2017

40 Under Forty: Asmar N. Akman

Erika Sidor At the Kenneth F. Burns Memorial Bridge spanning Worcester and Shrewsbury at 40 Under Forty winners (from left) Maryann C. Johnson, Ryan A. Wagner, Dr. Milka Njoroge, PharmD. and Asmar N. Akman.

Born as a first-generation American from parents Sabri and Meryem Akman – who left Turkey to give their children a better future – Akman moved from Webster Square to New York City for leadership roles at places like Bank of New York and Carnival Cruise Lines. He returned to Worcester and learned the jewelry trade from his father before striking out on his own with Pleasant Pawn & Jewelry in 2005, seeing the rising demand in the pawn industry. Akman markets his custom jewelry and focuses on superior customer service, a friendly environment and workmanship.

Akman serves on the board for St. Mary's Church in Shrewsbury and support nonprofits like the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester. He and wife Barbara have two children, Joey and Adessa.

What do you daydream about? Making my kids' quality of life better.

Best career advice? My parents said, “Always be honest in business.”

What Central Mass. location should everyone visit? LifeTime Fitness. Best gym I've seen, and I love to workout.

Meet the other 40 Under Forty winners for 2017

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

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