I recently attended the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s REGIONAL 30 UNDER 40 AWARD reception. The honorees had been nominated by people within the region for their positive impact on our local community.  

I was there especially to cheer on my daughter-in-law and special education teacher, ERIKA REARDON, and fellow Suite Spotte member, friend, and marketer, BETH RYAN.  

The 30 honorees came from all walks of life… entrepreneurs, business professionals, educators, personal service providers, non-profit administrators, municipal professionals, and more. While listening to the accomplishments of each of the honorees, a common theme developed and made it clear why they were chosen to be honored. 

It isn’t just their talent or intelligence. It’s their unwavering character, their deep sense of pride, and their selfless drive to create positive change. They embody the best of what it means to be human. 

There’s so much we can learn from these 30 selfless, young people who are in the early-to-mid stages of their growth. Yet they already have the makings of true leaders and trailblazers who will make a real difference – not just for themselves, but for their communities and the world at large. I wasn’t alone in feeling the inspirational energy in the room. Their enthusiasm prompted me to reevaluate my support of others which is such a big part of building character.

By following their lead and channeling that same passion, determination, and concern for others, we all have the power to achieve incredible things. To make our own unique mark on our community (maybe even the world?) and lift up those around us in the process. Whether under 40 or over 40, it’s never too late.

So let’s stop settling. Let’s stop making excuses. Ignore the naysayers and skeptics. Refuse to compromise character for profit. Open our minds and our hearts. Let’s push ourselves to be better, to do better – for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for the greater good. The path has been laid out before us. Now let’s have the courage to walk it. Congratulations to the 2024 WSCCI Regional 30 Under 40 Award Recipients!

West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry's 2024 Regional 30 Under 40 Award recipients.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the West Suburban Chamber of Commerce & Industry

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