Stay Work Play Recognizes NH’s Young Talent and Companies at 10th annual Rising Stars Awards

(L to R): Will Stewart, Executive Director, Stay Work Play NH; Emmett Soldati, Owner, Teatotaller; Zach Lawson, Chief Operating Officer, NH Public Radio. Photo by Allegra Boverman Photography.

Hundreds of guests were in attendance to celebrate the incredible young professionals and the companies that support them for the 10th annual Rising Stars Awards. The event, hosted by Stay Work Play NH, in partnership with NH Public Radio, was held at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester on Thursday, October 17. 

Three companies were selected as the recipients for the Coolest Companies for Young Professionals award category for their dedication to creating attractive work environments for New Hampshire’s young people. A group of judges from throughout the state pre-determined two of the category winners – C&S Wholesale Grocers in Keene and Mainstay Technologies in Belmont and Manchester. Online public voting prior to, and the evening of the event, determined BerryDunn in Manchester as the “People’s Choice” winner. More than 900 individuals participated in the competition.

Attendees of the event 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. The evening’s program began with the organization’s Executive Director, Will Stewart, welcoming guests and recounting the important work of the organization including the launch of its new strategic plan. The master of ceremonies, Annie Ropeik, Energy, Environment and Seacoast Reporter with NHPR, led the remainder of the program, introducing the 2019 winners. In addition to acknowledging the winners for the Coolest Companies for Young Professionals, the program recognized the efforts of the 2019 Rising Stars Awards individual award category recipients: 

  • Civic Leader of the Year: Nashua resident Cecilia Ulibarri, President and Co-Founder of Positive Street Art, and Constituent Services & Cultural Affairs Coordinator of the City of Nashua;
  • College Student of the Year: Manchester resident Isabella Proia, senior at Southern NH University;
  • High School Student of the Year: Rochester resident Caroline Dillon, 2019 graduate of Spaulding High School;
  • Intern of the Year: Bedford resident Allie Withee, intern with CCA Global Partners;
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Somersworth resident Emmett Soldati, owner of Teatotaller; and
  • Young Professional of the Year: Nashua resident Dan Weeks, Director of Market Development of ReVision Energy.

“The breadth of young talent that we have in the state is truly astounding,” said Executive Director Will Stewart. “We are fortunate to be able to celebrate and recognize the achievements of these young people and the many great New Hampshire businesses dedicated to developing opportunities for the state’s future workforce.”

Nominations for the 11th annual Rising Stars Awards will open in Spring 2020. More information about the program can be found here, or by emailing Executive Director Will Stewart at

The Rising Stars Awards are presented in partnership with New Hampshire Public Radio and are generously sponsored by: Allegra Boverman Photography, Anagnost Companies, Bellwether Community Credit Union, BerryDunn, CoreMedical Group, Currier Museum of Art, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Davis Wealth Management, Elm Grove Companies, Fidelity Investments, GYK Antler, hirealliance, Hypertherm, Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, McLane Middleton, Merchants Fleet, Northeast Delta Dental, Pitco, Productions Inc., Sprague, Stacey Brobst Photographer and Wipfli

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.


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