It was American poet and educator Henry Wadsworth Longfellow who said, “Youth comes but once in a lifetime,” a simple yet powerful anecdote.
The deeper meaning, though, is this: It’s at this point in life that tomorrow’s leaders can be inspired by their dreams. To make the most of their opportunities and begin building for the future.
This year’s Fast 15 class is doing just that. For nine years, the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal has been singling out 15 up-and-coming professionals who’ve not yet turned 30. They’ve enjoyed success at a young age, from emerging entrepreneurs to those making an impact in large organizations.
“The caliber of young professionals in Northwest Arkansas is second to none, as the ‘Fast 15’ once again demonstrates,” said Paul Gatling, editor of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. “We’re proud to honor these emerging leaders. I’m sure this is only the beginning of their successful careers.”
They’ve likely not made their first million, and their names might not be top of mind yet. But these young professionals are making a mark on Northwest Arkansas and the Fort Smith region.
To be eligible, individuals had to be under the age of 30 and proven to their employers and peers they are on the fast track to success.
In addition to the profiles in this issue, the Business Journal will honor this year’s class Tuesday (May 16) during a networking event at the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House on the University of Arkansas campus, highlighted by keynote speaker John James, founder and CEO of Hayseed Ventures in Fayetteville.
“The interesting part of the process was selecting 15 from the group of applicants,” said Michael Tilley, president and executive editor of Talk Business & Politics and the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal. “On one hand, it was difficult because we had a strong applicant pool. But it was also encouraging to know that the two metro areas are home to so many people who are making the most of their wisdom and work ethic.”
The Fast 15 issue is traditionally one of our favorites, and this year’s was no exception. For us, these young men and women were worth writing about. For you, they will be worth reading about — and watching.
Do you know of a deserving candidate for next year’s class? You can nominate them at this link.
To read about the ninth class of Fast 15 honorees, click here,. or browse the list below.
- Karomy Bridwell
- Spruce Feinstein
- Geoff Hamby
- Griffin Hanna
- Lauren Johnson
- Akaylah Jones
- Spencer Jones
- Phil Keil
- Nik Kennett
- Rebecca Kingree
- Allyson Peek
- John Post
- Lisa Smith
- Steve Sparks
- Brandon Wall