Various members of the Minden Community gathered in the Civic Center on Tuesday evening in order to honor 15 young professionals and what they bring to Minden at the 9th Annual 15 Under 40 Awards Gala. The Gala was presented by TG Companies, who has been the presenting sponsor of the event for 8 years in a row.
Terry Gardner, Minden Mayor and CEO of TG companies said, “This is the 9th year for 15 Under 40. TG Companies has been proud to be the Presenting Sponsor for 8 years. It’s an outstanding event for our young entrepreneurs in town. The movers, the shakers, and our future.”
The Greater Minden Chamber organized the event, and their President/CEO Stephanie Barnette said, “I think it went really well. We had a great crowd. There was a great group of 15 young professionals this year and we’re really proud of them. They’re going to do great things in the community, and we look forward to seeing their names more along with big events and doing great things.”
The nominees for this year were Juliuna Anderson of Webster Parish Schools, Haley Bonsall of Glenbrook School, Kelli Jo Chanler of the 26th Judicial District Judges Office, Cayla Cox of Webster Door and Millwork, Josh Fish of Fishy’s Stitches & Gifts, Angela Fussell of Minden Primary Care, Will Gerding of the City of Minden, Melissa Gruner of Lagniappe Montessori, Heather Guin of Therapy Management Corporation, Alisha Meeker of Gibsland Bank & Trust, Andy Pendergrass of Argent Financial Corporation, Paige Salas of Century 21 Elite, Courtney Smith of Claiborne Memorial Medical Center, Jeremy Upthall of Petrotech Solutions, and Kristen Upthall of Lincoln Financial Group.
While 15 were nominated, only one could receive the honor of Outstanding Young Professional of the Year. Fittingly enough, the one to introduce the Young Professional of the Year was the Young Professional of last year, Rebecca Myles.
“This esteemed award honors the most outstanding young professional in our community. This award also recognizes this individual’s pursuit of excellence in not only their chosen profession but also their contributions to the community as a whole.
“This person always goes above and beyond in all aspects of their life. His dedication to his work has benefited many in our community. He strives to do more for the city that has poured into him and his family their whole life.
“This young man volunteers in so many events not only in our community but in the surrounding areas. He strives to bring attention to and support all of our local businesses through his production of the Shop Minden facebook page. He wants to continue as a small business owner, to promote Minden and the great things it has to offer. It is my great honor to present to you our 2019 Outstanding Young Professional, Joshua Fish,” said Myles.
Afterward, Fish took the time to share what was going through his mind after he realized he had been chosen to receive the award. “More shock than anything else. When it finally got to the point of talking about opening up a shop in a family’s already established business I was like ok, that’s me. So shock, and appreciation for the Greater Minden Chamber for putting together an event like this and just the community and Minden itself. Minden is a wonderful place to live, work, and play. It’s a little overwhelming, but I’m thankful. I was not expecting this at all. If I could encourage anything, especially during the holiday season, it would be to shop local, shop Minden,” said Fish.
While the young professionals were the focus of the evening, there was plenty to enjoy at the Gala. During Social Hour, which was sponsored by David Raines Community Health Center, McInnis Brothers Construction, Meadowview Health & Rehab, attendees were free to mingle with one another and enjoy refreshments. There was an elegantly displayed dessert spread sponsored by Geaux Fresh.
Later that evening guests helped themselves to dinner catered by Hugh Wood Specialty Meats & Catering and Little’s Rod & Black Pot.
The sponsors for the Gala are as follows. The Presenting Sponsor was TG Companies and the Awards Sponsor was Performance Physical Therapy. The Signature Sponsors were b1Bank, Claiborne Memorial Medical Center, Fibrebond Corporation, Fishy’s Stitches & Gifts, Gibsland Bank & Trust, Minden Family Dental, Minden Family Medicine, Minden Medical Center, Project Reclaim, Wimberly Agency. The Social Sponsors were David Raines Community Health Center, McInnis Brothers Construction, and Meadowview Health & Rehab. The Sign Sponsors were Denise Edwards – Webster Parish Assessor-Elect, Glenbrook School, Mike’s Hometown Spirits, and RocketFast! Car Wash.
“We appreciate all of our sponsors, we appreciate TG Companies for sponsoring this once again, and we’re looking forward to next year’s Gala,” said Barnette.