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August 20, 2018 Class of 2018

40 Under Forty: Meredith Harris, 30

Photo | Erika Sidor Winners of the WBJ 2018 40 Under Forty award (from left): Michael P. McDonough, Meredith Harris, Nathan Oriol, Laura Marotta.

Executive director

Marlborough Economic Development Corp.

Lives: Marlborough

Birthplace: Norwood but grew up in Norton

Colleges: UMass Dartmouth, UMass Boston

Before Harris was tapped to lead MEDC in 2016, Marlborough had success attracting major corporate campuses like GE Healthcare Life Sciences and Quest Diagnostics. Harris' task, however, was more complex: Turn the city from a drive-in, drive-out corporate office park into a thriving destination where people can live, work and play. Under her guidance, MEDC created a small business financial incentive program, leading to 13 companies opening and growing, taking up 90,000 square feet of space, retaining 48 jobs and creating 214 new ones. During her tenure, Marlborough added the $160-million, 475,000-square-foot Apex Center of New England retail, hotel and entertainment complex, and MEDC launched a Zagster bikeshare program. She's kept the corporate wins going, too, landing the Northeast headquarters for Whole Foods Market. Harris sits on the boards of the 495/MetroWest Partnership, the Marlborough Regional Chamber of Commerce and the MetroWest Economic Research Center. To address the city's housing and transportation issues, Harris led the city to create a special-permit checklist for developers.

From 40 Under Forty judge Kate Sharry: “Meredith is a power player in the development and success of the economic growth in our area. I can't wait to see what she does next.”

What TV character is most like you? Leslie Knope from “Parks and Recreation.” She is the ultimate optimist.

Who is responsible for your success? My husband, Mike, encourages me every day to be my best self and celebrates even the smallest accomplishments.

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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