Nominations begin for YPN Twenty under 40 Awards |

Nominations begin for YPN Twenty under 40 Awards

Staff Report

Do you know young business professionals who have what it takes to lead the community into the future?

Nominations will be accepted through August for the Reno Tahoe Young Professionals Networks’ Twenty under 40 Awards.

Last year, Reno YPN received almost 250 nominations for 162 nominees.

“That number’s growing every year,” Chelsea Hart, executive director of Reno YPN, said.

Nominees must be 39 or younger, but do not need to be YPN members.

Nominations are open to exceptional business leaders under 40 years of age who work in the Greater Reno-Tahoe area. Nominees must be age 39 or younger as of November 1 in the year of their nomination.

Judges look for strong achievement in all of the following areas:

Professional Accomplishments

Community Involvement,


Community involvement carries the most weight, Hart said.

“The main criteria for consideration are that a nominee gives back to the community through volunteerism,” she said. “That’s one of the most heavily rated factor in the selection process.”

Winners will be chosen by six judges from YPN, previous Twenty under 40 winners, NNBW (print partner for the competition), and KOLO 8 News Now (Media Partner).

New this year is that judges will be given nominations identified by numbers rather than names to minimize bias.

As judges narrow down the nominees to get to the magic 20, many individuals stand out.

“Usually, 12 to 15 are the same (nominees) across all the judges,” Hart said. “Choosing the last five or six involves a lot of discussion.”

Winners will be honored with a reception on Nov. 9.

Alumni of the Twenty under 40 Awards include many notable and influential people from the region, including Hillary Schieve, Jessica Sferazza, Abbi Whitaker, Ben Kieckhefer, Dusty Wunderlich, Pete Parker, Oscar Delgado, Paul Klein and Ross Miller.

Reno Young Professionals Network began in 2006 to cultivate an informed and active young professional community that collaborates with the community and a variety of established partner organizations throughout Northern Nevada. The Twenty under 40 Awards began the following year.

Despite the name of the organization, professionals of any age can be a part of YPN.

“We don’t have an age cap,” Hart said.

The YPN website includes the notation, “We believe that young is a state of mind, not a number on your driver’s license.”

To nominate someone for the Twenty under 40 Awards, go to