by Gwen Moritz
Posted 6/14/2010 12:00 am
Updated 11 months ago
If we were prone to micromanaging the demographics of the annual "Forty Under 40" honorees, we wouldn't have taken as much heat as we have during the past 17 years. So when you see that 17 of this year's class of young professionals are women, rest assured that we weren't trying to make a statement. Instead, we went where the nominations led us - to the most diverse group we've ever recognized.
The young men and women you see profiled here were selected by Arkansas Business staffers from hundreds of nominations. Since the nominations process isn't perfect, and neither are we, we make no claim that these are "the most" impressive or "the most" promising young leaders in the state. But when you read these 40 brief profiles, I think you'll understand why they were chosen: Each one is an up-and-comer that readers of Arkansas Business need to get to know.
And we needed to get to know them, as well. Now, some of these people are already well known to us. We did our first article on Audrey House, the dynamo behind Chateau Aux Arc Vineyards & Winery at Altus, more than eight years ago, when she was only 25. And it almost feels overdue to have Courtney Henry in the group; is there anyplace for an up-and-comer to go after being elected to the Arkansas Supreme Court? But others - including Elizabeth Bintliff at Heifer International and Sam O'Bryant, the administrator of the Brownfields Program for Pulaski County government - have been improving our world in relative obscurity.
These 40 newcomers, and the 640 honorees who preceded them, are invited to identify themselves with an alumni group on LinkedIn, the online social networking service for professionals. The easiest way to get there is ArkansasBusiness.com/40Alumni.asp.
An event honoring past and present Forty Under 40 honorees will be held at the Doubletree Hotel on Wednesday, June 23. The luncheon is open to those of us who never made the cut. For more details, click here.
As you learn more about this year's honorees, you may think of someone who would fit right in. If so, you can go ahead and drop a nomination for 2011 at ArkansasBusiness.com/nominate.