Stay Work Play Calls for New Hampshire’s Best and Brightest

Caption: (l to r): Betsy Gardella, President and CEO, NH Public Radio; Ryan Barton, CEO, Mainstay Technologies, and 2013 Rising Stars Awards Young Professional of the Year; and Kate Luczko, President and CEO, Stay Work Play NH. Photo credit: Matthew Lomanno Photography.

Eighth Annual Rising Stars Awards now accepting nominations. 

Stay Work Play is accepting nominations for its eighth-annual Rising Stars Awards program. Each year, the nominations reveal the emerging young leaders, organizations and programs making a positive impact in their communities, and helping to shape the future of New Hampshire.

The Rising Stars Awards are an initiative of Stay Work Play in partnership with New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) to recognize and celebrate the Granite State’s remarkable young workers and college students in addition to the companies and initiatives that go the extra mile to recruit and retain them. The Rising Stars Awards program includes seven award categories:

  • ‘Shire Story of the Year, which honors the most creative and best video-based story of why an individual chooses to “stay, work, and play” in New Hampshire.
  • Civic Leader of the Year, which honors a person who, through his or her volunteerism, philanthropy or community involvement, demonstrates a commitment to civic participation, strengthening the community, and developing personal leadership capacity to make New Hampshire a better place for future generations;
  • College Student of the Year, which honors a New Hampshire college student between the ages of 18 and 24, who is an academic rising star and gives back to his or her community;
  • Coolest Company for Young Professionals, which honors companies in New Hampshire that create environments, programs and workspaces to attract and retain young professionals;
  • Leadership Development Program of the Year, which honors an innovative program that is initiated and conducted by a New Hampshire organization, and designed for a young professional audience to propel personal and professional growth;
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year, which honors a young entrepreneur who dedicates his or her time to starting and/or operating a new business, is making a positive contribution to the state’s economy and adds community vibrancy; and
  • Young Professional of the Year, which honors an outstanding professional between the ages of 18 and 40 who works and lives in New Hampshire, who is a rising star in their industry and giving back to their community.

Ryan Barton, CEO of Mainstay Technologies and 2013 Rising Stars Awards Young Professional of the Year award recipient states, “I have given my professional life to having as great an impact as I can on the community in New Hampshire, through building conscious businesses and extending a helping hand; to have that acknowledged and honored through the Rising Stars Awards was remarkably encouraging, and is something I’m eager to have others experience.”

For the Rising Stars Awards, Stay Work Play has adopted a two-step nomination process for four of the individual award categories (Civic Leader of the Year, College Student of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Young Professional of the Year). The change allows someone to more easily nominate someone else, and then for the nominee to provide detailed insight into their achievements making for a more robust overall nomination.

Nominations for the Coolest Companies for Young Professionals, Leadership Development Program of the Year, ‘Shire Story of the Year and the completed individual award nominations will close on July 21, 2017.

To nominate a person, company or program, please visit for additional details and nomination materials. Judging panels for each category, established by Stay Work Play, will select finalists and winners. Winners will be announced at the Rising Stars Awards celebratory event on Monday, October 2, 2017.

The 2017 Rising Stars Awards are generously sponsored by: Bellwether Community Credit Union, Eastern Bank,Enterprise Bank, Grappone Automotive Group, Merchants Fleet Management, NH Charitable Foundation, NH Public Television, Oracle + Dyn, Orr & Reno, Sheehan Phinney and the University System of NH.

About Stay Work Play: Stay Work Play is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission is “To work collaboratively across New Hampshire to support ongoing economic, workforce, and community development by promoting the state as a favorable place for young workers and recent college graduates to stay, work and play, when considering employment and lifestyle opportunities.” Additional information on the organization can be found on the website, or by contacting President and CEO, Kate Luczko, kate@stayworkplay.orgor (603) 860-2245.

About New Hampshire Public Radio: From its modest beginnings above a storefront on Pleasant Street in Concord in 1981, through the development of a $6 million state-of-the-art broadcast facility, NHPR has experienced steady growth over its 35-year history. NHPR now reaches nearly 100% of New Hampshire and can be heard from anywhere in the world via and the NHPR app. Expanding minds, sparking connections, building stronger communities, NHPR fosters civil discourse by producing and distributing objective, in-depth reporting and engaging content. NHPR is New Hampshire’s independent and trusted source for news and information. NHPR’s award-winning news and content department produces in-depth, fact-based journalism as well as many local shows and innovative podcasts, including The Exchange, Word of Mouth, Outside/In, Civics101, 10-Minute Writer’s Workshop and The Bookshelf. NHPR is the exclusive outlet for NPR News in the Granite State and broadcast national and international programs such as Morning Edition, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, This American Life, and BBC World Service.


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