What is 40Under40?

Every year the Traverse City Business News honors 40 people under the age of 40 who are making an impact on our region.

We’re looking for people from Grand Traverse, Benzie, Leelanau and Kalkaska counties who have shown themselves to be leaders in their profession. All nominees must be no older than 39 by the issue’s publication on September 1, 2022.

Who are the judges on the evaluation committee?

A panel of judges will review the submissions and select the 40 influencers out of the 100-plus nominations from the community. The panel includes Warren M. Call, president/CEO, Traverse Connect; Benjamin Marentette, Traverse City clerk and past 40Under40 recipient; Damian Lockhart, first vice president/financial advisor, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management Traverse City; Luke Haase, publisher of the TCBN, Northern Express and The Traverse City and Leelanau Tickers; Jillian Manning, executive editor of the Northern Express; and Gayle Neu, contributing editor of the TCBN.

How do the judges evaluate each nominee? What are they looking for?

First and foremost, judges will consider the leadership the nominee shows in his or her job or industry, and the economic impact that work has on our region. We will look at each nominee’s level of community involvement, and actionable forward momentum (i.e. What have they done recently?) Consideration will be given to account for relative accomplishments vs. relative age.

How can I nominate someone for 40Under40?Complete and submit the form here.

Can I just call you with the name of the person I'd like to nominate?

No. To keep the playing field level, we request all nominations follow the same form.

I want to nominate someone, but can I remain anonymous?

Yes. We do not share nominator information if you do not wish us to. However, we still need to know who you are.

I want to nominate my boss, but would it be better if someone higher up nominated her or him? Can I nominate a family member?You can nominate yourself, a client, a family member, your boss, wife, an employee or an acquaintance. The most important thing is that you state a clear, business-oriented reason for the nomination. It is helpful for a nominator to be in a position to be objective, but no one is disqualified based on who did the nominating.

Does it help if many people nominate the same person?

No. In fact, it sends a negative impression if there is evidence of an organized campaign to send many nominations.

You have a 150-word limit on the reason for nomination. What if I need more room to share my nominee’s accomplishments?

A succinct response is preferred; the TCBN will contact all top-tier nominees for more detailed explanations of their long-term and most recent contributions and accomplishments.What happens next?

After we receive a nomination, the TCBN will contact all top-tier nominees for more detailed explanations of their long-term and most recent contributions and accomplishments, as well as to request contact information for additional professional sources that can serve as references. The judges hold a series of meetings to determine who will be chosen, usually from a master list of about 200 nominees. We strive to come up with a diverse list that represents a broad spectrum of the industries and towns we cover.

Can I contact the TCBN to see how my nominee is doing in the judging process?

No. We don't give status reports. If you were nominated by a public relations firm, please do not ask them to call us to check on the nomination.

I have submitted my candidate form. Since then I have won an award. Can I add that to my form? I have had a change in my job title or employment. May I update my form?

Awards don't figure heavily in the judging, but feel free to let us know about it. On the other hand, it's very important we know about a change in employer or title.

If I am chosen for 40Under40, may I review the story you write in advance?

No. While we might call candidates for fact checking purposes, only the TCBN staff will have access to stories before publication.

How will I know if I have been chosen for 40Under40?

When we have selected finalists, we send a letter to all candidates letting them know if they have been chosen. If you are chosen, your letter will give you information you will need to know about what to do next.

When will candidates hear from you?

All finalists will be notified in early August.

I was not picked for 40Under40. Can you tell me why?

With more than 200 nominees and only 40 slots, four out five candidates will not be picked. We will not be able to tell you why you weren't picked mainly because it won't be for any one reason, but for reasons that have to do with presenting a diverse range of professions and industries.