Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

July 24, 2009

40 Under Forty Winners 2009 G-L

Samuel S. Gray Jr.

Age: 38
Title: President and CEO
Company Name: Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford Inc.
Company Location: Hartford
Residence: Bloomfield

Career Highlights: I first walked through the doors of a Boys Club at the age of 8. I was a member for 10 years. Now, I am the president and CEO of the country’s first Boys & Girls Clubs organization, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford. I have been a Boys & Girls Clubs professional for more than 18 years. I have had the opportunity to help thousands of young people develop into productive and responsible citizens. To know that I have inspired and guided young men and women to become doctors, lawyers, or engineers is rewarding and is one of the many highlights of my career. I have had the opportunity to meet former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush and I look forward to meeting our current president, Barack Obama.

Community Involvement: I am presently a board member of the Pillar Community Development Corp., Covenant Preparatory School and The First Cathedral. I am a volunteer assistant coach for a 9- to 12 -year old instructional baseball league in which my sons participate. I am also an avid fan of my children who are actively engaged in sports and other activities in our town.

Musical Inspiration: I am inspired by several musical artists. I like the soulful sounds of Luther Vandross, the precision of The Temptations and sultry voice of Patti LaBelle. My musical inspirations are many but one song can best describe my character and disposition, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” Listen to the lyrics, “No matter where you are, no matter how far, just call my name, I’ll be there in a hurry, you don’t have to worry.” I have had the privilege to touch and help so many youths and others during my professional career. There is truly no mountain too high or valley too low that would prevent me from trying to reach someone in need.

Person you admire most and why: I admire the fortitude and determination of my parents who raised five children to dream and have compassion for others. My father taught and showed me what a hard worker should be and what qualities he/she should possess. My mother showed me the importance of family and how to care for and love one another. She was the backbone of my family. My wife is the backbone of our family, and, together, we are raising three wonderful boys.


Kevin Greene

Age: 39
Title: Partner
Company: Halloran & Sage LLP
Company location: Hartford
Residence: West Hartford

Career Highlights: I am a partner in the law firm of Halloran & Sage LLP in Hartford. Three years ago, at age 36, I was appointed chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Group. The bulk of my practice consists of defending employment cases. I have extensive trial experience in state and federal court and routinely appear before the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. After graduating from Conard High School in West Hartford in 1988, I received my B.A. in political science from Fordham University in 1992 and my J.D. degree from Western New England College School of Law in 1995. Following law school, I obtained a clerkship in federal court, working for The Honorable F. Owen Eagan in the United States District Court in Hartford. I truly believe that one of the keys to my success was the chance to work with Judge Eagan at the start of my legal career. I also had the opportunity to be trained by and work with several great trial lawyers like Jim Flaherty and Michael O’Connell at O’Connell, Flaherty & Attmore (where I worked until 1998) and Tom Hagarty Jr. and William McGrath at Halloran & Sage. Private practice is certainly a challenge, but I truly enjoy the analytical and strategic aspects of working on a legal matter, the competitive spirit it requires and the collegial atmosphere at Halloran & Sage.

Community Involvement: In my spare time, I enjoy basketball, golf and running and completed four marathons in the last five years. I reside in West Hartford with my wife and two young daughters. I enjoy working with youth and have coached and mentored in the West Hartford Youth Basketball League. I am a member of the Hartford County Bar, Connecticut and American Bar Associations.

Musical Inspiration: U2, Bruce Springsteen, Toby Keith, Eminem, Tim McGraw

Person you most admire and why: The person I most admire is my mother because she made sacrifices to support me and always stood by me in everything I did. She also showed me how to persevere during times of adversity by working hard and maintaining a positive attitude.


David Horace Greer

Age: 38
Title: Strategic Planning and M&A Manager
Company: Pratt & Whitney
Company location: East Hartford
Residence: Hartford

Career Highlights: I am originally from rural Kentucky. Currently, I’m a Pratt & Whitney mergers & acquisitons manager, where I lead a team in assessing strategic fit, performing valuation analyses and building executive buy-in for new ventures. I also lead a team in benchmarking best-in-class practices in serving our military customer base. Previously, I worked in leadership and support roles at Comerica Bank (Detroit), Barden Companies (Detroit), Arthur Andersen (Cairo), and General Motors (Dubai). I also co-founded One World Epic (OWE), an event production firm. We recently wrote, directed, produced, and debuted Peculiar People, a musical play about the civil rights movement which sold-out the Hartford Stage. A University of Chicago Booth School of Business and cum laude Centre College (KY) graduate, I was selected for a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship at the American University in Cairo (AUC) and an American Economics Association Summer Fellowship at Stanford University.

Community Involvement: As a board of directors member, I help bring new audiences to TheaterWorks and serve as vice president, fundraising chair and guest instructor for Footlights, an after-school arts program. As a performer, I’ve appeared at theaters, schools and churches from Hartford’s Bushnell and First Cathedral to Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel and Egypt’s AUC. I run the Hartford Marathon, Susan Komen, and other races and am a member of the World Affairs Council, National Black MBAs, and Hispanic MBAs.

Musical Inspiration: James Brown: the “Godfather of Soul” and quintessential “American Dreamer.’’ Orphaned, James worked the fields, hustled the streets, and danced for nickels to survive … as a child.

Person You Admire Most and Why: Initially, Dr. Martin Luther King. But, ultimately, I admire my mother, Julie Hayes, most. With only an elementary school education, she worked multiple jobs, pinched pennies, and kept me in church so that I would have a good home, education, and spiritual foundation.


Nathan Grube

Age: 34
Title: Tournament Director
Company Name: Travelers Championship
Company Location: Hartford
Residence: West Hartford

Career Highlights: My career highlights revolve around being able to work with some of the most talented people in the event management industry. I was a member of the original team that launched the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Academy of Golf in 1999. I was fortunate to be able to work with the Bruno Event Team and run operations for the Barber Motorsports Park, serve as executive director for the First Tee of Greater Alabama and also be the tournament director for the Southern Farm Bureau Classic (Mississippi’s PGA Tour event). In 2001, I received my Class ‘A’ membership from the PGA of America. I have been the tournament director for Connecticut’s PGA Tour event since 2005 and also serve as the executive director of the Greater Hartford Community Foundation.

Community Involvement: Each year, our tournament gives back hundreds of thousands of dollars to local charities. Last year, we distributed funds to more than 120 different charities throughout the state. I feel fortunate to be a part of giving back to these organizations that are doing such amazing work in our communities. Getting to know these charities and their different missions helps us serve them more effectively and raise additional funds and awareness for their various causes. It is important to me to spend time with the charities we serve. We strive to never lose the connection between the tournament we run and the fact that 100 percent of what we raise goes back to support the charities that serve our state.

Musical Inspiration: I would have to say U2 inspires me. They have been together for close to 30 years and have not compromised on their family values, their faith or their commitment to social justice.

Person you most admire and why: Carmen Grube. My wife is an amazing person. She is a woman who is brilliant, talented and gifted beyond description. She has chosen to selflessly support me in my career even though hers could have been much brighter. She has chosen to be at home with our children for these few short years while they are young and invest everything she has into them. Her daily sacrifice inspires me.


Mathew Jasinski

Age: 28
Title: Associate attorney
Company Name: Motley Rice LLC
Company Location: Hartford
Residence: Hartford

Career Highlights: In March, I made a major move in my young career by joining Motley Rice LLC, one of the nation’s largest plaintiffs’ litigation firms. I represent institutional investors, unions, governmental entities and consumers in securities and consumer fraud cases. Although I strongly support making Connecticut, generally, and Hartford, specifically, more business-friendly, I also know that all too often victims of corporate wrong doing do not have the means to pursue valid claims. To that end, I also am grateful to my former firm, Robinson & Cole LLP, for the opportunity to argue an appeal — my first — before the Connecticut Appellate Court on behalf of an individual client.

Community Involvement: I fell in love with Hartford as a student at UConn Law. Living in a turn-of-the-century house, playing softball in Elizabeth Park and downing pints at the Half Door, I became eager to help others discover an already great place and, of course, make it better. Hartford Symphony Orchestra performances were a favorite study break, and I now have the privilege of repaying my generously discounted student tickets as a member of the HSO’s board of directors. Just as the arts are crucial to Hartford’s success, so, too, is better government. I currently serve on the city’s Charter Revision Commission, as well as the Hartford Young Professionals Task Force, which is charged with helping the city engage young professionals and position them for future business and community leadership.

Musical Inspiration: My musical inspiration is clarinetist and band leader Benny Goodman. Benny Goodman was classically trained but brought jazz to Carnegie Hall with his famous 1938 concert. He introduced swing to a new audience and — nearly three decades before the Civil Rights Act — led an integrated ensemble. I can only imagine what it was like to experience such a pivotal and important concert first hand. Today, as Hartford and the HSO reach out to new audiences, it is my hope that we can bring such experiences and inspiration to new generations.

Person you most admire and why: The person I admire most in the world is my father. He is the wisest and most selfless person I know, with a wide range of interests and thirst for knowledge. He has taught me to be curious and honest.


Stephen Jewett

Age: 34
Title: Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Company Name: ConnectiCare
Company Location: Farmington
Residence: West Hartford

Career Highlights: If I help shape the current debate on health reform towards a private business solution and away from government control, I’ll put it on the list. I believe in government, but I think their role should be to help support business initiatives and be a watchdog, not run the system. It’s been a challenge though, as most people see health care as a right, and not as a system that has been greatly enhanced by private innovation. Early in my career, I enjoyed working on the campaigns of many public officials. I ran George Jepsen’s campaign for governor when I was still in my 20s and that was a great experience. Though he was not elected, the campaign was rewarding as Jepsen is one of the most educated and qualified elected officials the state has had. The state could use more leaders like him now. More recently, I worked as part of the Democratic National Committee team that runs the speakers and stage for the last three national conventions. I have gotten some up-close experience with many of the nation’s top leaders. It has been an inspirational experience and makes one think of running for office.

Community Involvement: As part of my job, I get to oversee ConnectiCare’s community giving. There are many wonderful organizations in the region, and they all need resources, so I would like to recommend one that we support: The Connecticut AIDs Resource Coalition. They have an enthusiastic staff and a real need. I sat on the Hartford Zoning Commission for several years, but with young kids, Max (3 ½) and Hannah (2), my volunteer time goes to them, and, after that, any extra time and money goes to political candidates I support. I would also recommend getting involved in the MetroHartford Alliance. We are lucky to have such a great staff there promoting the region.

Musical Inspiration: The White Stripes. It’s amazing how much sound comes out of this 2 person rock band.

Person you most admire and why: Easy, my father. He was my teacher and coach. But more so, I admire how he conquered the challenges of his generation: limited jobs, Vietnam, racism, and an eroding view of major public institutions. Our generation has challenges too, but they are much better, like global competition.


Gabriel J. Jiran

Age: 37
Title: Partner
Company: Shipman & Goodwin LLP
Company location: Hartford
Residence: West Hartford

Career Highlights: Upon graduating from law school in 1996, I was hired to become an attorney for the State of Ohio Office of Collective Bargaining. After two years, I was appointed chief legal counsel, the youngest attorney to be appointed to the position at the time. In 1999, I decided that I wanted to become a litigator and was appointed an assistant attorney general for the State of Ohio litigating labor and employment cases. In 2001, my wife and I decided to relocate to the east coast and I began working with Shipman & Goodwin LLP. In 2007, I was elected partner in the firm.

Community Involvement: I am very active in promoting diversity efforts within the legal community. I serve as the chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee. I am a member of the board of directors for the Lawyers’ Collaborative for Diversity. I have served as a mentor to two minority students at the University of Connecticut Law School and am currently working on initiatives to reach out to minority high school students in the Hartford area to educate and inspire them about the legal profession. I believe that we all need to invest in our community and was pleased to be nominated to the Leadership Greater Hartford Quest Class of 2007. I believe that individuals can incorporate their own interests within community service and have used my interest in athletics as a vehicle for participating in different causes. For example, I have raised thousands of dollars for charities through various athletic events. I am also a founding member and vice president of the Hartford Extended Area Triathletes (“HEAT”), which is a nonprofit entity dedicated to athletic socialization and wellness in the Greater Hartford area. Another area of interest to me is the support of nonprofit organizations in our community. I volunteer my time to the Connecticut Association of Nonprofits periodically presenting seminars on various labor and employment topics to its members.

Musical Inspiration: Many, but I have to choose Bob Marley. What could be better than a warm, sunny day with Bob Marley playing in the background?

Person you most admire and why: Currently, Lance Armstrong. Not only does he have unbelievable athletic prowess, but he is one of the few sports figures who is also sincerely passionate about a cause.


Matthew Kirk

Age: 36
Title: Senior Vice President, Director of Government Affairs
Company Name: Hartford Financial Services Group
Company Location: Hartford
Residence: Glastonbury

Career Highlights: During my tenure heading up The Hartford’s Washington office, I played a role in the authorization of a seven-year Terrorism Risk Insurance Program. As a White House legislative affairs aide, I helped to develop and ultimately achieve passage of the Medicare reform and prescription drug legislation in 2003. While leading the President’s Senate legislative affairs operation in 2004-2005, I guided the confirmations of Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court nominees, and hundreds of other positions in the government. Prior to the White House, I worked for Senate Majority Whip Don Nickles on efforts to balance the federal budget, reform welfare, and countless attempts to deliver a more effective and efficient government.

Community Involvement: I have enjoyed working with organizations such as “Christmas in April” which helps fix up homes down in Washington D.C. I have also spent time working with Habitat for Humanity. My ultimate goal is be able to spend time coaching disadvantaged kids in recreational sports. Sports, especially team sports, can provide great opportunities for friendship, learning and maturing for kids who struggle with participating in group events and focusing on projects. Team sports always have the potential to bring out the best in kids and leave them with valuable life lessons and experiences.

Musical Inspiration: I have grown into country music since my high school days. My favorite artist is George Strait. I enjoy a wide range of music, but if I could have only one artist on my iPod it would be King George.


Person you most admire and why: This one is easy, my Old Man. My parents have been married for over 40 years. I have two brothers, two sisters, and a brother- and sister-in-law. My Dad always put his family first. He coached us in sports, never misses anything in our lives, knows our friends, can be tough when needed and kind at just the right moments. He ran his own business, made his own rules, and has lived a principled life. Of course, none of that would have happened without my Mom keeping the whole ship, including him, heading in the right direction. If I’m lucky enough to look back on my life and my kids feel even half as strongly about my wife as a mother as I do about my parents, that will be a lasting and real achievement.


Kathleen (Katie) LaManna

Age: 39
Title: Partner
Company: Shipman & Goodwin LLP
Company location: Hartford
Residence: South Glastonbury

Career Highlights: I enjoy a challenging, satisfying career as a national commercial litigation, corporate bankruptcy and creditors’ rights attorney at Shipman & Goodwin in Hartford. I’ve been privileged to chair my firm’s corporate trust practice group, and to work alongside truly brilliant deal and default lawyers who are the finest in the industry. I have represented clients in some of the largest, most complex Chapter 11 cases in the country, helping creditors, including bondholders, recover on defaulted investments in restructurings, liquidations and workouts. I’ve been involved in cases in Connecticut, New York, Delaware and throughout the country. My practice includes the representation of banks in their role as trustee, as fiduciaries for public and private debt, in connection with defaulted secured and unsecured financings and leveraged leases.

Community Involvement: Shipman & Goodwin holds community service in the highest regard, as do I. I have treasured the opportunity to engage in the community, whether it’s serving on the board of The Cove Center for Grieving Children, mentoring, or coaching my daughter’s soccer team. My experience with the Cove has been extraordinary, giving me first hand experience with amazing volunteers dedicating their time and skills to help children who have lost a loved one through the most difficult times in their lives.

Musical Inspiration: Besides listening to my daughter on guitar or my son on drums, I’m a big Springsteen fan. His music can brighten the most dreary of days and provide energy to deal with even the most contentious of cases.

Person you most admire and why: My dad always taught me by example that hard work breeds success, and that he/she who tries the hardest usually wins and always holds their head the highest. He raised me never to think that gender could be an issue in my career choices, and to never let those who saw it differently stand in my way. My dad, whose parents came from Ireland to Brooklyn, New York, worked hard from the ground up and is currently President and CEO of Fortune Plastics in Old Saybrook. He has persevered through difficult times, has a successful career to show for it, and has always been an inspiration.


Annette Larabee

Age: 39
Title: Senior Vice President/Senior Loan Officer
Company: Connecticut River Community Bank
Company location: Wethersfield, Glastonbury, West Hartford
Residence: South Glastonbury

Career Highlights: I began my career at Connecticut River as a vice president in July 2003, and was promoted in early 2008 to senior vice president. I was promoted again on June 1, 2009, to senior loan officer. I left a wonderful group of coworkers at Savings Bank of Manchester, in particular, a wonderful friend, mentor and boss Roger Somerville, to join this start-up company. I am so glad to have taken the opportunity and I am also glad the board, and William Attridge and Dean Morgan took a chance on me. My husband of 16 years, Jonathan H. Larabee, and I have supported one another in our successes.

Community Involvement: I am a board member of WomenLead. I am chairperson of the Ambassadors for the Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce. I am a board member of the Glastonbury Town Center Initiative, an organization that helps draw the community downtown through events including The Strawberry Moon and Kidding Around the Center. We are striving to make downtown Glastonbury pedestrian friendly and a real walking/biking community. I am also the chairperson for the Glastonbury YMCA and a volunteer at Glastonbury’s Hopewell School.

Musical Inspiration: Andrew Lloyd Webber, the music and the voices of Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman — take my breath away. A performer I admire and love to watch is Rob Thomas. His talent in writing his music and lyrics comes through and makes me want to dance. His newest song, “Her Diamonds,” about his wife’s struggle with her illness, is amazing. Lastly, my 10-year old son Austin sings all the time and amazingly — I thank him for always lifting our hearts.

Person you most admire and why: I admire many people including Shirley VonDassel — a friend and former coworker who continues to be a wonderful role model, mentor and friend; and Ora Nerenberg — my mother — who left her home country to explore the world, who settled in America to raise two children while her husband was at sea in the US Navy, who battled breast cancer, and who is now again exploring the world. She knows how to sing.


John C. Larkin

Age: 34
Title: Principal
Company: JC Larkin Company LLC
Company location: Glastonbury
Residence: Glastonbury

Career Highlights: In the past two years, I have started my own consulting company. There is an extraordinary amount of work involved in starting and running a company, but I have been rewarded in the new relationships I have developed with my clients and peers at the Capitol. It is both exciting and nerve-wracking to be in charge and to chart a course for myself and my clients. I look forward to continuing the growth of the JC Larkin Company and my contributions to the community.

Community Involvement: I am the current chairman of the Department of Environmental Protection Conservation Advisory Council. This is a group of key stakeholders who review the policies within the DEP under the Division of Natural Resources. In addition, I annually help coordinate the John Blair Capitol Basketball Tournament which raises money for the Veterans Who Care Inc.

Musical Inspiration: Ronan Tynan is my musical inspiration because of the determination, strength and humor he has shown throughout his life. His legs were amputated below the knee after an auto accident when he was 20, but he has gone on to win gold medals in the Paralympics. He is a medical doctor, and, in 1998, he joined The Irish Tenors, a world renowned singing group. Through his singing career, he has come to think of America as his second home and he became a voice of hope during the 9-11 attacks on New York City. He has contributed much time, energy and money to the charities that benefit the victims of 9/11.

Person you most admire and why: The person I admire the most is my mother, Christine Hennessey Larkin. She worked her way through the University of Hartford while raising me in Wethersfield. While she was fortunate to have the strong support of her family, this is something I have always admired about her. After graduating, she went on to have a very successful career at The Hartford, where she continues to work today. Throughout my childhood, she taught me many lessons that remain with me today. I plan on sharing these with my children. Most importantly, she always taught to me to work hard, that it will always pay off in the end. She remains an important part of my life today, along with my growing family. I could not have achieved what I have, nor aspire for future success, without her support. Thanks Mom!


Deborah Laviero

Age: 39
Title: Vice president of Marketing and Business Development
Company: OFI
Company location: Newington
Residence: Farmington

Career Highlights: Most recently, I received the Construction Institue’s Distinguished Service Award. I started the Architects Contractors and Engineers (ACE) Mentor Program, Connecticut Chapter in 2000, and have since served on the Hartford chapter board of directors, annual state dinner and local chapter committees. I created and chair OFI’s “Green Group,” the internal sustainability committee implemented to support wellness initiatives for employees. I am responsible for OFI’s signature marketing event, “Cinco de Mayo,” which has become one of Connecticut’s most successful construction industry promotional events, drawing hundreds to the company’s Newington office.

Community Involvement: I am a volunteer and past chair of the golf committee, special community events and former chairperson for The Miracle of St Anthony community event at Bristol Hospital; a board Overseer and Business Committee member for The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts; a standing member of the Hartford Business Group and am a member of many civic organizations including several Chambers of Commerce, the Greater Bristol Boys & Girls Club and The New England Carousel Museum.

Musical Inspiration: Madonna — Madonna has developed her talent, marketed and transformed herself time and time again, perseveres through personal and professional hardships, rises to the occasion when a challenge is presented and keeps balance and diversity.

Person you most admire and why: Everything I have accomplished has been with the support of many individuals that I met through this amazing organization affiliated with the University of Hartford. Many of these professionals have become mentors that provided direction & guidance and leadership skills. My mom and dad have shown me the importance of hard work and community and organizational involvement. I have been fortunate to share in their passionate devotion to their family, friends, business and community. Their strong morals and values, integrity and love for so many have brought great admiration and provided purpose and vision.


Kevin Leahy

Age: 38
Title: CEO
Company: KR Wealth Management LLC
Company location: Farmington
Residence: Durham

Career Highlights: Professionally, I am most proud of three things. At the most general level, I have enjoyed watching our firm move from a concept — a boutique wealth management firm offering integrated tax and investment advice to a thriving professional practice. I also take great pride in having watched a number of individuals who had joined us very early in their careers, some as interns, blossom into essential members of our professional staff. Last, I take an enormous amount of pride in the day to day work that our team does in helping our clients maneuver through the financial minefields that they encounter on a daily basis, whether they are in the form of complicated tax law, unseen personal or business risk, or the latest financial product sales pitch.

Community Involvement: Consistent with having young children, I have been most active in supporting and coaching youth sports, specifically soccer and baseball in Durham. I have truly enjoyed being involved with teaching the fundamentals of sports — commitment, concentration, teamwork and sportsmanship. Of course, the best benefit of coaching youth sports has been the time spent with my own children.

Musical Inspiration: Superman, by Five for Fighting. I heard a child dedicate this song on the radio to his father eight years ago while I was driving home from visiting my wife, who at the time was pregnant with twins and hospitalized with premature labor. Given the early stage of pregnancy, the prospects for two healthy children were not great. Now, every time I hear this song I am reminded of both the frailty and miracle of life that our healthy twins, Ryan and Kaitlyn represent.

Person you most admire and why: I most admire my grandmother, Eva Campbell. Despite having passed away nearly 10 years ago, she has left an indelible imprint on me. Her simplicity, selflessness and devotion to family were no doubt inherited from her widowed, shoemaker father who raised seven children during the Great Depression.


Jessica Lyon

Age: 29
Title: Vice President
Company: Co-Communications, Public Relations & Marketing
Company location: Simsbury
Residence: Farmington

Career Highlights: Storytelling is in my bones. Throughout my career, I have walked, run, skipped and tripped down many avenues to find the right medium to express each unique story. Educated as a journalist, I began my career at Hometown Publications (now Hersam Acorn). I started as a general assignment reporter with 10 coverage areas. Within a year, I was editor of their largest circulating newspaper, the Stratford Star. My articles garnered two Mark of Excellence Awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. I filmed and edited an award-winning documentary, “BETA GIRL,” which documented a year-in-the-life of Jennifer Platt, the only female photographer at Connecticut’s News Channel 8. Once I transitioned into public relations and marketing, I placed clients in many top national newspapers and industry trades. I have been recognized by industry peers with six Big W Awards from the Ad Club of Westchester and three Mercury Awards from the Public Relations Society of America. A vice president at the age of 26, I opened and led the Connecticut office of Co-Communications.

Community Involvement: I have served as a delegate in the Society of Professional Journalists National Conference; media chairwoman for the Rett Syndrome Research Foundation and Sara Taccone Foundation for the Arts; and, off-campus representative for the Southern Connecticut State University Media Board. I also spent four years volunteering for the revival of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival Theatre. All great experiences.

Musical Inspiration: My taste in music is so diverse, it is too difficult to choose one artist: driving in the car, Dave Matthews; cleaning the house, Fiona Apple; eating dinner, Frank Sinatra … the list goes on. Working in a creative industry, I draw a lot of inspiration from music and the arts.

Person you most admire and why: I admire my father, Gary Lyon. Running a successful business for over 20 years, he taught me what it means to be generous, work hard, enjoy the highs and learn from the lows, show appreciation, and — most importantly — treat everyone with integrity and respect.

Click HERE for winners A-F

Click HERE for winners M-Z


Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF