Today a room overflowing with over 400 professional leaders hailing from Valparaiso, Plymouth, Elkhart, South Bend and beyond joined to honor the Class of 2011 Michiana's Forty Under 40 at South Bend's Gillespie Conference Center. The event, led by the Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County recognized forty outstanding local professionals under age forty for their business success and community contributions.
The Midas Center owner, Andrea Cook was one of the honorees. She shares, "It is a pure honor to be recognized with such a group of dynamic thought leaders. Although diverse in backgrounds, professions and interests, there is still one thread that brings us all together. Leadership. I'm looking forward to the opportunities to grow along side of these up and coming game changers."
Cook acknowledges this experience as a milestone in her professional career and claims that the most rewarding part was sitting among the group of peers while listening to the remarks made by Tracy Graham, Managing Principal at Graham Allen Partners. Graham, a Michiana Forty Under 40, Class of 2007, shared sage and insight with these powerful words:
"There will always be naysayers, cynics and obstacles. They are placed in our ways to weed out the weak."In the company of mayors, chairpersons, business owners, non profit directors and chief executives, former Michana Forty Under 40 honorees, as well as the supportive colleagues, friends and family members of this year's class, Graham continued to acknowledge the need for strong and purposeful leadership in our community and businesses and as he gazed upon the future leaders in the room, he remarked that we are "unified in purpose and passion."
"Truly inspiring," Cook remarks as she holds steadfast to those encouraging words. Immediately following was the 2011 Class Recognition where each professional was announced and congratulated with a special award and hand shakes by Presidents and CEOs Jeff Rea, Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County and Phil Penn, Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce.