Stay Work Play Announces 2018 Rising Stars Awards Winners and Cool Company Finalists

A new cohort of the state’s emerging young leaders and organizations making a positive impact in their communities was named by Stay Work Play New Hampshire, which today announced the winners of the 2018 Rising Stars Awards.

An initiative of Stay Work Play, in partnership with New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR), the Rising Stars Awards celebrate and recognize New Hampshire’s remarkable young people and the businesses that go the extra mile to recruit and retain them. The finalists, selected by 26 judges from across the state (on individual award-specific panels), represent individuals and businesses making a contribution to their industries and the Granite State for seven award categories.

The 2018 Rising Stars Awards winners are:

  • 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, senior at 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 Organic Cosmetics
  • Young Professional of the Year: Lee resident Caleigh MacPherson, Program Manager of Wilcox

A panel of judges comprised of young professionals from across the state determined six finalists for the Coolest Companies for Young Professionals award category. Three companies will be selected as winners with one being determined as the “People’s Choice” through online public voting prior to, and the evening of, the event. The other two winners have been pre-determined by the award category judges. The public is invited to vote for the “People’s Choice” award, sponsored by Oracle + Dyn, here.

The six finalists for Coolest Companies for Young Professionals are:

  • CCA Global Partners of Manchester
  • CoreMedical Group of Manchester
  • Freedom Energy Logistics of Auburn
  • Mainstay Technologies of Belmont
  • Tabletop Tycoon of Londonderry
  • The Granite Group of Concord

“The breadth of young talent in New Hampshire is remarkable. We are proud to acknowledge the accomplishments of this group of outstanding individuals and organizations in the Granite State,” said Stay Work Play Executive Director Will Stewart. “We look forward to witnessing the success of these people and companies as they continue to make contributions to their local communities and impact the future of New Hampshire.”

Prior to recognizing the award winners, hundreds of attendees will be able to browse the open galleries at the Currier Museum of Art, listen to the live musical stylings of Derek Russell Fimbel, enjoy delicious food and cash bars provided by Celebrations Catering, and support the organization through a Plinko fundraiser and win raffle items from New Hampshire businesses and organizations, in addition to a 50/50 cash raffle. Casey McDermott, NHPR’s Data/Investigations Reporter, will serve as master of ceremonies.

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, Comcast, Currier Museum of Art, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Derek Russell Fimbel, Elm Grove Companies, 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, 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, or by contacting Executive Director, Will Stewart at

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 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.


One Response to “Stay Work Play Announces 2018 Rising Stars Awards Winners and Cool Company Finalists”

  1. Jennifer BakerSeptember 18, 2018 at 7:46 pm #

    Hi Beth, I work at UNH on teacher preparation program seeking math and science teachers for rural high-need schools in NH. Your group isays Stay, Work, Play and we say live, learn, volunteer and teach for NH. We find young people who share values of education, community, and rural resources. The teaching profession in rural NH needs highly qualified teachers . Can we talk about any possible co-promotion?

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