This is the 10th year that Arkansas Business has recognized the youngest business and community leaders, those who are still in their 20s. This feature is a spinoff of the 40 Under 40 recognition program that we’ve been doing since 1994, and we started it specifically because so many impressive 20-somethings seemed to be overwhelmed by the nominees who had had many more years to hone their resumes.
These “New Influentials” have risen to our attention through nominations, generally by employers who want to show off the talent they have been able to attract. We’re pleased to see such diversity in gender, race, industry and geography. Yes, Little Rock is heavily represented, but we also found worthy young leaders in Clarksville, Conway, Fayetteville, Fort Smith and McGehee.
As usual, these honorees come from banking, law, real estate and construction. The accounting and marketing industries are in there. So are health care and government. Caroline S. Robbins has made nonprofit work a career as development director for Our House in Little Rock, but many of the others are engaged in community service as volunteers and as directors of nonprofits. That desire to serve others is a character trait that stands out when we consider nominees for this feature.
We invite nominations for this feature, but we make the selections internally. While every one of these honorees is clearly deserving, I always suspect that young leaders who are equally deserving somehow slipped through, possibly because they weren’t nominated. If reading through these profiles makes you think of someone who would fit right in, I would encourage you to submit a nomination. We are already accepting nominations for the 2020 class of 40 Under 40 at ArkansasBusiness.com/40, and nominees who are under 30 are automatically considered for the 20 in Their 20s.