2018 Rising Stars Awards Recognizes NH’s Young Talent and Companies

(L to R): Mark Kaplan, Interim Executive Director, NHPR; Cassandra Bates, recent graduate, Plymouth State College; Will Stewart, Executive Director, Stay Work Play NH. Photo by Allegra Boverman Photography.

The winners of the 2018 Rising Stars Awards, hosted by Stay Work Play NH, in partnership with NH Public Radio, were recognized at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester on Thursday, October 11. The hundreds of guests in attendance celebrated the remarkable young professionals and the companies that support them.

Three companies were selected as the recipients for the Coolest Companies for Young Professionals award category for their commitment to creating attractive work environments for New Hampshire’s young people. A group of judges comprised of young professionals from through the state, pre-determined two of the category winners – CCA Global Partners in Manchester and Freedom Energy Logistics in Auburn. CoreMedical Group in Manchester, was declared as the “People’s Choice” winner through online public voting prior to, and the evening of, the event. The competition, sponsored by Oracle + Dyn, received more than 1,200 participants.

Rising Stars Awards attendees were able to explore the galleries of the Currier Museum of Art, cast their vote for the “People’s Choice” winner, and be interviewed on the red carpet streaming live on Facebook. The evening’s program began with the organization’s Executive Director, Will Stewart, relaying the important work the organization has accomplished within the last year. The master of ceremonies, Casey McDermott, Data and Investigations Reporter with NHPR, led the remainder of the program, introducing the 2018 winners. In addition to acknowledging the winners for the Coolest Companies for Young Professionals, the program recognized the efforts of the 2018 Rising Stars Awards individual award category recipients:

  • Civic Leader of the Year: Durham resident Sarah Wrightsman, Executive Director of the Workforce Housing Coalition of the Greater Seacoast;
  • College Student of the Year: Effingham resident Cassandra Bates, recent graduate of Plymouth State University;
  • Intern of the Year: Durham resident Jacqueline Rahl, intern with Sprague Operating Resources;
  • Life in the 603 Video of the Year: Manchester resident Cameron Campbell;
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Auburn resident Krysta Lewis, owner of Aisling Organics; and
  • Young Professional of the Year: Lee resident Caleigh MacPherson, Program Manager of Wilcox Industries.

“Several members of the judges panel remarked upon how accomplished this year’s nominees were at such a young age,” said Executive Director Will Stewart. “We fortunate to have such a remarkable pool of young talent as well as so many great New Hampshire businesses dedicated to investing in opportunities for the future of our state’s workforce.”

Nominations for the 10th annual Rising Stars Awards will open in Spring 2019. More information about the program can be found here, or by emailing Executive Director Will Stewart at will@stayworkplay.org.

The Rising Stars Awards are presented in partnership with New Hampshire Public Radio and are generously sponsored by: Allegra Boverman Photography, Bellwether Community Credit Union, BerryDunn, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Celebrations Catering, Currier Museum of Art, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Derek Russell Fimbel, Elm Grove Companies, Fidelity Investments, Glenn Fritzsche Photography LLC, Grappone Automotive Group, GYK Antler, hirealliance, Hypertherm, McLane Middleton, Merchants Fleet Management, NH Charitable Foundation, Northeast Delta Dental, Oracle + Dyn, Productions Inc., Sprague Energy, and Stacey Brobst Photographer.

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, www.stayworkplay.org or by contacting Executive Director, Will Stewart at will@stayworkplay.org.

About New Hampshire Public Radio

Since 1981, NHPR has shaped the media landscape in the Granite State and beyond. Our mission is “Expanding minds, sparking connections, building stronger communities.” NHPR is broadcast from 14 different sites, making it by far New Hampshire’s largest (and only) statewide radio news service. Every week, NHPR is the choice of more than 177,000 listeners as a primary source of in-depth and intelligent news coverage, with thousands more viewing NHPR.org and NHPR social media sites. Each day, New Hampshire Public Radio delivers several hours of local news reported by its award-winning news team. Locally-produced programs include The Exchange, Word of Mouth, The Folk Show, Outside/In, Civics 101, and numerous podcasts. NHPR is the exclusive outlet for NPR News in the Granite State and broadcasts national weekly programs such as The Moth Radio Hour, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, and This American Life.


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