Forty successful Calgarians under 40 are being recognized for their contributions to the city, as Avenue Calgary published the names in its latest Top 40 Under 40 list Tuesday morning.
The group is “wide-ranging, high-functioning and high-achieving,” said Käthe Lemon, Avenue Calgary’s editor in chief.
“There’s just a huge range and I think that is what’s really exciting about it and why people get so interested in it is to see it’s not just one thing,” she said. “It’s not one type of achievement and it’s not even just one type of success.”
Apples to oranges
The Top 40 list represents a broad definition of what success can mean, honouring people from researchers to physicians to artists to non-profit workers.
“It’s the quintessential apples to oranges comparison, to compare someone who is doing life-saving medical research and someone who is doing historical research, for example — that’s even just within research,” Lemon explained. “And then to layer on somebody who’s an entrepreneur and has started a new business or somebody who is working in the nonprofit sector, you just see a huge number of different types of things.”
“It really does give a snapshot of the highest levels of achievement that are happening in Calgary right now,” she added.
The Top 40 list, now in its 20th year, used to be more corporate-focused without much of a range.
This year, Avenue Calgary scoured through all 400 nominations.
The process starts with a coworker or friend nominating someone. Then the nominee has to fill out a form to provide career background and references. From there, 70 people are shortlisted and sent to a judging panel, which consists of Avenue and business and arts representatives who are or have been involved with the Top 40 program. The judges give a mark out of 100 and debate what success means, comparing different industries and fields to each other.
Judges look at how each person makes a difference in the community.
“People who have either changed something within their field or they’ve changed something within the city,” Lemon said.
In certain fields, that’s hard to accomplish, especially so young.
“As someone who’s just turned 40 myself, I understand the dismay of the people who are like, ‘But can’t you make it under 50?’ ” Lemon said.
“Success after 40 is just success,” she added. “If you’re able to move the needle in your field or you’re able to make a demonstrable difference in your city under the age of 40, you’re really a mover and shaker. And it doesn’t mean that those successes that come later in life are less significant, it’s just that you had more time.”
“If you’re able to build a business or you’re able to find something out and discover it and you’re able to make a change in the world in that critical period when you’re young, when you’ve just gotten out of school if you’ve gone through university — which not all of our candidates do — but also in that time period when people are not only building their careers, they’re building their families, they’re building their futures. If you’re able to really move the needle during that time, you are really working hard and this program is to recognize that success.”
No secret formula
Nominations for the 2019 Top 40 Under 40 list will be accepted until the end of April.
Lemon said there is no secret formula to make the list.
“All you have to do is really impress a group of people who are themselves really impressive,” she said.
“We’ve seen such a diversity of Calgarians whose success is amazing and whose success is changing the city,” Lemon added.
Tickets are available for a gala celebrating the Top 40 at the Jack Singer lobby at Arts Commons on Nov. 8.
Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2018 (alphabetical order)
- Carrie Bruno – Founder and CEO, The Mama Coach; Registered Nurse, IBCLC Lactation Consultant
- Dr. Sean Carleton – Assistant Professor, Mount Royal University; Co-founder, Graphic History Collective
- Col Cseke – Artistic Director, Inside Out Theatre
- Katie Davies – COO, Boys and Girls Clubs of Calgary
- Jerilyn Dressler – Executive Director, Distress Centre
- Dr. Kirsten Fiest – Assistant Professor, Departments of Psychiatry, Critical Care Medicine and Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
- Kirsten Fleming – Executive Director, Run Calgary
- Christina & Hyder Hassan – Co-founders, FullSoul Canada
- Jason Kingsley – President and Executive Producer, Calgary Pride; Vice President, Travel Gay Canada; Founder and Chief Facilitator, Collectivity; Co-founder, Kingsley Creative; Program Lead, Event Management Program, Bow Valley College
- Jeremy Klaszus – Founder, The Sprawl
- Kye Kocher – urban farming advocate
- Dr. Christy Lane – Founder, and Co-CEO, Vivametrica; Associate Professor, Mount Royal University; Visiting Associate Professor, Stanford University
- Derek Luk – Founder, Mimentra
- Jil Macdonald – Vice President, Science & Evaluation, Alberta Energy Regulator
- Renée MacKillop – Associate Director of Food and Wellness, The Alex Community Health Centre
- Dr. Amy Metcalfe – Assistant Professor, Departments of Community Health Sciences, Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
- Rebecca Morley – Corporate Director and Audit Chair, Birchcliff Energy; Past Board Chair, YW Calgary
- Devin Morrison – Director of Operations, Teatro Group
- Corinne Ofstie – Strategic Initiatives Coordinator, Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services
- Claire O’Gorman – Program Coordinator, Safeworks
- Kerry Lynn Okita – Partner, Bishop & McKenzie LLP
- Peter Oliver – Co-founder, Beltline Neighbourhoods Association; Lead Product Design Engineer, General Dynamics Mission Systems—Canada
- Allison Onyett – Marketing Director, The CORE Shopping Centre
- Ellen Parker – Founder and CEO, Parker PR
- Ryan Roberts – Senior Vice President, Water Project Delivery, Stantec
- Dr. Won Hyung (Andrew) Ryu – Researcher and Chief Resident in Neurosurgery, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
- Dr. Tolulope Sajobi – Statistics Lead, O’Brien Institute for Public Health; Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, Departments of Community Health Sciences and Clinical Neurosciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
- Dr. Prism Schneider – Orthopedic trauma Surgeon and Assistant Professor, Departments of Surgery and Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary
- Vivek Shraya – Author, Artist, Musician; Assistant Professor, Department of English, Faculty of Arts, University of Calgary
- Jake Stika – Executive Director and Co-founder, Next Gen Men
- Amanda Rae Storteboom – Former Director, Integration and Special Projects, CUPS Health Education and Housing
- Su Ying Strang – Executive Director, The New Gallery
- Adam Thompson – Owner and Designer, Friday Sock Co.
- Matt Toohey – Senior Advisor, Sustainability, TransAlta Corporation
- Doug van Spronsen – Co-founder and Managing Director, Versett
- Zain Velji – Partner and Vice President, Strategy, Northweather
- Dr. Rita Watterson and Dr. Kimberly Williams – Co-founders, Kolabo
- Tara Weber – Western Correspondent, BNN Bloomberg
- Scott Westby – Executive Producer, Full Swing Productions
- Megan Zimmerman – Business Development Manager, Energy, Green Economy and Technology, Calgary Economic Development