NH Next

Are you a young person in New Hampshire aged 18 – 40  who wants to make the Granite State — or your corner of it — a better place?

Join other young changemakers on Thursday, April 18th, and those who aspire to create change at NH Next: A Summit for Young Changemakers.

At this half-day summit you will hear from and engage with compelling young people who have made an impact in New Hampshire in the arts, social justice, business, politics, and more. You will meet others who share your passions, you will connect with individuals and organizations with whom you might partner to help you to create the change you want to see, and you will gain access to information and other resources that can help you along the way.

NH Next attendees will leave inspired, connected, educated, and ready for action. Be part of the change – register here! Not able to join us for the Summit? Want to connect with other young people from around the state? Meet us at the Stark Brewing Company for the NH Next: After Hours social gathering.

Are you a young person that’s interested in joining us, but aren’t sure if your employer or professor will allow you to attend? Check out our Letter to the Boss or the Letter to the Professor to help persuade the necessary powers that be.

Want to support this incredible event? Sponsor opportunities are available. We will also gladly work with you to create a customized sponsorship that will meet your company’s needs. Please email Will for additional details.

Thank you to our NH Next sponsor!

 

 

 

 

Keynote Speaker

Congressman Chris Pappas

A lifelong resident of Manchester, New Hampshire, Congressman Chris Pappas is a local business owner and public servant who has a longstanding record of working to put people before politics. During his time in elected office, Chris also served as an Executive Councilor, State Representative, and County Treasurer. As the fourth generation owner of a family business that opened in 1917, Chris understands the need to focus on constituent services and delivering results for New Hampshire’s working families and Main Street businesses.

As a member of the state’s Executive Council, Chris worked with governors of both parties to implement Medicaid expansion, expand treatment and recovery services, approve funding for family planning providers, and support renewable energy and infrastructure projects.

Chris is currently serving his first term in Congress, representing the 80 cities and towns that make up New Hampshire’s First Congressional District. The district spans the Greater Manchester area, Seacoast, Lakes Region, and Mount Washington Valley, including the cities of Dover, Laconia, Manchester, Portsmouth, Rochester, and Somersworth.

The Changemakers: From the Inside Out

George Hansel, City Councilor, City of Keene

Other Affiliations

Co-owner and Operations Manager, Filtrine Manufacturing Company, Appointee, Governor’s Millennial Advisory Council and Member of Housing Policy Sub-committee; Vice-Chair, Monadnock Economic Development Corporation (MEDC); and Board Member, Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention (MCVP).

What do you love about “staying, working or playing” in NH?

As part of my job, I’ve spent time in almost every state, but was never tempted to leave New Hampshire. I don’t think there’s a better place to live if you want to maximize the impact you can have in your community and still be nationally (or even internationally) relevant. People come to New Hampshire to make their own way, build a cohort, and get things done. I love that.

What made you say “YES!” to being part of NH Next: A Summit for Young Changemakers?

The older I get, the more I’m reminded that success has less to do with personal accomplishment and is more about one’s ability to enhance and drive the achievements of others. The summit seems like a great opportunity for bridge building and to learn from each other.

What is something interesting that most people do not know about you? 

Despite being 6’7″, I’m surprisingly light on my feet and have a vast inventory of dance moves I’ve perfected over the years for any occasion.

Rebecca Perkins Kwoka, City Councilor, City of Portsmouth

Other Affiliations

General CounselSunRaise Investments; Chair, City of Portsmouth‘s Housing Committee and Vaughn-Worth Bridge Strategic Planning Committee; Member, Planning Board, McIntyre Steering Committee and Coakley Landfill Planning Group; and Founding Member, Portsmouth Housing Huddle and 603 Initiative.

What do you love about “staying, working or playing” in NH?

Everything! This is my home and I think change is necessary for us to thrive in the future.

What made you say “YES!” to being part of NH Next: A Summit for Young Changemakers?

I have been advocating for change in New Hampshire for about 20 years now, and founded 603 Initiative, an advocacy organization for the policies that will attract and retain young professionals to the state.

What is something interesting that most people do not know about you? 

I speak Wolof from living in West Africa for two and a half years! I speak some of several other languages as well.

Manuel Espitia, Representative, New Hampshire State House

Other Affiliations

State Director, Julian for the Future; Director and Recruitment Chair, New Leaders Council; and Board of Trustees, Nashua Public Library.

What do you love about “staying, working or playing” in NH?

New Hampshire offers a great quality of life where staying, working, and playing are all achievable. There are great places to live with school districts around the state. Employers are hiring quickly and are competitive by offering great benefits. Also NH is a state where you can go for hike at some of the most beautiful mountains, enjoy the beach during the summer, and find local events in most of our cities and towns. I love going to Nashua Silver Knights games, visiting breweries, and going to a show at the Palace Theatre.

What made you say “YES!” to being part of NH Next: A Summit for Young Changemakers?

Stay Work Play does amazing work and I wanted to share my insights about being a civic leader.

What is something interesting that most people do not know about you? 

I danced Balet Folklorico at Princeton and recently performed at an Alumni show in front of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Shoshanna Kelly, Alderwoman, City of Nashua

Other Affiliations

Creative Director, Kelly Creative; Board Member, Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter; and Trustee, Symphony NH.

What do you love about “staying, working or playing” in NH?

I love that my daughter gets to grow up in an incredibly beautiful place. We are so lucky to be an hour from the city, the mountains or the ocean.

What made you say “YES!” to being part of NH Next: A Summit for Young Changemakers?

I have the unique insight of growing up in a small town in NH and boomeranging back here to build a family. I would love to share my story and encourage more young people to call NH home.

What is something interesting that most people do not know about you? 

I speak Japanese and can perform a formal Japanese tea ceremony.

The Changemakers: From the Outside In

Emmett Soldati, Owner, Teatotaller

Other Affiliations

Vice-Chair, Arts in Reach and does program work for NGO FarmersFirst: Africa

What do you love about “staying, working or playing” in NH?

NH is the best of all worlds – there’s always something going on (and plenty of space to ‘build your own’ programming), but it has none of the weird, cold, anonymity that comes with the big city. Folks care about their neighbors, investing in their lives, and getting to know them. That’s always been important to me.

What made you say “YES!” to being part of NH Next: A Summit for Young Changemakers?

I love the organization and the mantra. I used to host a summit in Somersworth/Berwick, Maine called the “Makers+Shakers Summit” which brought together young entrepreneurs, artists, and activists to share their stories and skills. It was a magical event and I love when organizations bring together networks that may not routinely intersect.

What is something interesting that most people do not know about you? 

I got in a heated debate with Trevor Noah about the death penalty at a house party in Johannesburg in 2011.

Alison Murphy, OwnerConcord Handmade

Other Affiliations

FounderPride Concord and Program Assistant with Leadership NH.

What do you love about “staying, working or playing” in NH?

The thing I have always loved about NH and Concord specifically is that if you want to see something happen or affect change there’s room for you to do so. The community is supportive and collaborative, and there are a lot of inspiring people who are helping to make Concord and NH a great place to live.

What made you say “YES!” to being part of NH Next: A Summit for Young Changemakers?

I feel like I have learned a lot in my experiences as a business owner and a non-profit founder and I am really excited for the opportunity to share that with as many people as I can. I think the beauty of NH is the collaboration and support of our communities.

What is something interesting that most people do not know about you? 

I play competitive roller derby for Boston Roller Derby, on both a home team (Granite State Roller Derby) and a travel team.

Josh Arnold, Founding DirectorGlobal Awareness Local Action (G.A.L.A.)

Other Affiliations

Commissioner, Ossipee Corner Fire Department; Facilitator, NH Listens; Member, Ossipee Listens and Lakes Region Advisory Board Member, NH Charitable Foundation.

What do you love about “staying, working or playing” in NH?

Where to begin? I love the rhythms of the seasons, even mud season. I love the rivers, lakes, mountains, the winding rural roads and meandering stonewalls, the barns and smell of wood smoke in winter. I love being in such close proximity to outdoor recreation, especially biking, paddling, skiing, snowshoeing, pond skating, and backpacking. I love berry-picking. I love being in such close proximity to town politics, serving on local Boards, Town Meeting, and all the charm and messiness that comes with it. I love seeing the ways NH is becoming more racially and culturally diverse and learning about the stories behind New Americans settling in the Granite State. I love knowing my neighbors and sharing in the chores of rural living, whether it’s stacking wood, procuring food, or painting the shed. I’ll take frost-heaves and ticks any day for the endless list of reasons I love staying, working, and playing in NH.

What made you say “YES!” to being part of NH Next: A Summit for Young Changemakers?

I don’t think sense of community and agency happens by accident or on its own. Events like this are critical to incite one another’s imagination as to what’s possible and forging connections that will help guide and sustain our changemaking work.

When I first returned home to NH after being away at undergraduate college I can remember thinking my career choices were limited to a few service industry jobs. It wasn’t until I met the founding director of a local nonprofit, Appalachian Mountain Teen Project, that I could even conceive of the idea that my career could center around the desire to build a more sustainable, equitable, and vibrant community. All it took was learning about the path that someone else took, that someone, Donna SanAntonio, who continues to be a special mentor in my life. If I can offer that same sense of permission for another person wavering on the idea of staying or returning to NH, then my time at this summit will be well worth it. Without doubt I will be filled with inspiration of my own and make connections that will inform and support the work of G.A.L.A.

What is something interesting that most people do not know about you? 

I’ve been running a 1985 Mercedes 300D on waste vegetable oil for 15 years.

Victoria Adewumi, Board ChairNew American Africans

Other Affiliations

Community Liaison, Manchester Health Department; Board Member, New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute; Steering Committee Member, Health and Equity Partnership Committee; and serves on the Council of Grace Capital Church.

What do you love about “staying, working or playing” in NH?

I love it all – but I also love the potential NH has to solve some very complex problems and be a leader for region and the nation. We are VERY blessed – consistently in the top 10 in terms of livability, low crime rates, high income, etc., but this also can mask the very real challenges so many of our state’s residents face. Those challenges are solvable, and I’m confident we’re strong enough as a state to create real solutions and also small enough to do this quickly and see results.

What made you say “YES!” to being part of NH Next: A Summit for Young Changemakers?

So excited to share the work that we (New American Africans) are doing with this audience – it’s an honor to be asked!

What is something interesting that most people do not know about you? 

I’m “from-from” New Hampshire. My parents immigrated from Nigeria and I was born in Hooksett/Manchester. I’m also currently taking ice skating lessons to fulfill my dream of becoming Michelle Kwan when I grow up.