Stay Work Play Announces 2017 Rising Stars Awards Finalists

Stay Work Play, in partnership with New Hampshire Public Radio, is pleased to announce the finalists for the eighth annual Rising Stars Awards. The winners will be presented at the 2017 celebratory event on Monday, October 2 from 5:30 to 7:30pm at Fieldhouse Sports, 12 Tallwood Drive, in Bow.

“Congratulations to all of the finalists for the 2017 Rising Stars Awards,” said Kate Luczko, President and CEO of Stay Work Play NH. “Each year, we are amazed to learn of the notable contributions of New Hampshire’s young people to their industries and communities, and our judges have a challenging task when trying to differentiate between ‘amazing’ and ‘amazing.’ We are honored to have so many outstanding young leaders and organizations that invest their time and talent to serve the future of the Granite State.”

The finalists, selected by 35 judges (on individual award-specific panels from throughout the state), represent individuals, businesses and programs making a contribution to their industry and the Granite State for seven award categories: ‘Shire Story Video of the Year, Civic Leader of the Year, College Student of the Year, Coolest Companies for Young Professionals, Leadership Development Program of the Year, Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Young Professional of the Year.

The 2017 Rising Stars Awards finalists are:

‘Shire Story Video of the Year Submission Finalists

  • Jaclyn Goddette of Newport and Colby-Sawyer College
  • Joseph Lattner of Concord

Individuals, whether a native, “boomerang” or transplant of the Granite State, were asked to submit a video of 90-seconds or less relaying a creative story of why they choose to “stay, work, and play” in New Hampshire. Judging criteria was based upon organization, effectiveness of the message, originality, the individual’s personality and overall creativity.

Civic Leader of the Year Finalists

  • George Hansel of Keene and Filtrine Manufacturing Company
  • Ashley Hurteau of Rollinsford and Granite Pathways
  • Matthew Scruton of Rochester and Ten Rod Farm
  • Matt Walsh of Pembroke and the City of Concord

This category honors an individual between 21 and 40 who, through their volunteerism, philanthropy, and/or community involvement demonstrates a commitment to civic participation, strengthening their community, and developing personal leadership capacity to make New Hampshire a better place for future generations.

College Student of the Year Finalists

  • Jack Hamilton of Bedford and the University of NH
  • Kylie Hershey of Sunapee and Plymouth State University
  • Melissa Peterson of Manchester and the NH Institute of Art
  • Paige Young of Plymouth and Plymouth State University

This category honors an outstanding college student living and going to school in NH, between the ages of 18 and 24, who is an academic rising star and giving back to their community.

Coolest Companies for Young Professionals Finalists

  • CoreMedical Group of Manchester
  • FoodState of Londonderry
  • Lindt & Sprüngli of Stratham
  • Merchants Fleet Management of Hooksett
  • Right Networks of Hudson
  • Scribe Software of Manchester

This category honors companies in New Hampshire that create environments to attract and retain young talent (specifically ages 40 and under).

Leadership Development Program of the Year

  • Leadership After City Year (LACY), an initiative of City Year NH
  • Leadership Mount Washington Valley, an initiative of the Mount Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • New Teachers Retreat.

This award honors an innovative program initiated and conducted by a NH organization aimed at a young audience to propel their personal and professional growth.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalists

  • Scott Crowder of Meredith and Boxscore, Pond Hockey Classic, and EKAL Activity Center at Mill Falls
  • Suzanne Delaney of Nashua and LOFTechnology
  • Bobby Lambert of Portsmouth and SunRaise Investments
  • Sumner Vanderhoof of Newfields and addapptation

This category honors an outstanding young entrepreneur in NH who has “looked outside the box,” and is helping shape the future of our state through their entrepreneurial venture. This award is presented in partnership with the Alpha Loft  and the New Hampshire High Tech Council.

Young Professional of the Year Finalists

  • Caleigh MacPherson of Lee and C3I, Inc.
  • Doug Phelan of Concord and Concord Hospital
  • Russell Talbot of Littleton and the North Country Climbing Center 

This category honors an outstanding professional between the ages of 18 and 40 who works and lives in New Hampshire, and is rising in their industry while giving back to their community.

This premier event is the largest event for young professionals in New Hampshire – bringing together young leaders, college students, the various young professionals’ networks, and other professionals from throughout the state. The event offers food and a cash bar, live music, a 50/50 cash raffle (new for 2017), raffle baskets representing the various regions of NH, networking with NH’s best and brightest and the announcement of the award winners! Learn more about the event at, or visit @StayWorkPlay on Facebook and Twitter. Tickets can be found on Eventbrite.

The 2017 Rising Stars Awards are generously sponsored by: Bellwether Community Credit Union, BerryDunn, Celebrations Catering, Comcast, Common Man Roadside, Digital Prospectors, Direct Capital, Eastern Bank, Elm Grove Companies, Enterprise Bank, Fidelity Investments, Fieldhouse Sports, Freedom Energy Logistics, Grappone Automotive Group, GYK Antler, Hire Alliance, Hypertherm, Law Office of Katherine J. Morneau, PLLC, Mascoma Savings Bank, Merchants Fleet Management, Mill Falls at the Lake, Mint Printworks, New England Wire Technologies, NH Charitable Foundation, NH Public Television, Oracle + Dyn, Orr & Reno, People’s United Bank, Sheehan Phinney, and University System of NH.

About The Rising Stars Awards
The Rising Stars Awards are an initiative of Stay Work Play, in partnership with New Hampshire Public Radio, to celebrate and recognize New Hampshire’s remarkable young workers, entrepreneurs, and college students, initiatives to keep them here, and the businesses and programs that go the extra mile to recruit and retain them.

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 & CEO Kate Luczko, or (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.


One Response to “Stay Work Play Announces 2017 Rising Stars Awards Finalists”

  1. Aaron Solnit MD (50 something dirtbag)August 5, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

    A comment on Rusty Talbot: Not only is he a talented young professional himself, his business makes the North Country more attractive to those of us who do want to stay, work and play. As an additional bonus, his work brings him into daily contact with others (from kids to 20-30 something dirtbags) who may follow in his entrepeneurial footsteps. Good on you, Rusty!

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