40 Under 40


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As one generation prepares to leave the stage in Connecticut, another one moves in—a new generation of leaders full of energy, ideas and the determination to steer an unswerving course into the future.

Who are these bright young leaders? They are entrepreneurs, doctors, teachers, bankers, retailers, engineers, artists, business leaders, attorneys—in fact, they appear in every walk of life, in every corner of Connecticut.

In this debuting “40 Under 40” feature, we are happy to show off our first class of young leaders. We sought nominations and were delighted with the number we received from co-workers, neighbors, business associates and even family members. In addition, our editors plucked some likely candidates from the Connecticut scene. The profiles begin on the next page. We hope you gain as much encouragement from them as we did.

Laura Gregory Roberts ● 39 ● Tolland
    Look up “multitasking” in the dictionary, and you just may find a photo of Roberts. An information-systems manager at Hartford’s Saint Francis Hospital, she has implemented computer systems that ensure accurate patient health-record tracking and internal data-management systems. Meanwhile, she also serves as chairperson of Tolland’s Republican Town Committee, leads a local Girl Scout troop and is a member of Friends of Tolland Schools. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis five years ago, she has now added volunteering for the Connecticut Chapter of the National MS Society to her activities. It’s people like Roberts who make Connecticut work at the local level.

Ben Berkowitz ●  31 ● New Haven 

   Berkowitz is CEO and a co-founder of SeeClickFix.com, a website that allows citizens to post word of problems in their neighborhoods—such as illegal dumping or dangerous potholes—that need attention. Fixes can come from town officials or others, such as neighbors with suitable skills for the job. The site has a secondary purpose of making local government more transparent. Berkowitz says the inspiration for his site sprang from a desire to improve his own community while working with his neighbors and his government.  He was named Huffington Post’s 2010 Tech Gamechanger.

Madeline Perez ●  37 ● West Hartford
    Madeline Perez is an assistant professor at Saint Joseph College’s School of Graduate and Professional Studies who brings years of experience as a social worker and community organizer into the classroom. She’s developed and facilitated programs for public school staff, faculty and students; worked to strengthen dual-language programs, and to raise awareness of domestic violence. At SJC she teaches courses on social welfare policy and leads student field work. She has received numerous awards, scholarships and grants, and is currently serving on the advisory board of The Violence Intervention Program (after two years on the board of directors). She is finalizing her Ph.D. at CUNY.

Joanie Stringer ● 34 ● Greenwich
    Making your way through the labyrinths of a company that manages $643 billion in assets can be tricky, but Stringer seems to be mastering the art. She is the managing director of Northern Trust Personal Financial Services in Connecticut, and the youngest managing director at Northern Trust nationwide. Before taking the position in Connecticut, she was based in London as Northern Trust’s head of business development for Scandinavia, and helped open an office in Stockholm. “Joanie sets herself apart by being known as a person of principle,” a co-worker says, “and a leader who leads by bringing out the best in people.”
Andrew Foster ●  35 ● Hamden
    In the five years that Andrew Foster has been director of financial aid at New Haven’s Albertus Magnus College, he’s really put his stamp on the office, tirelessly helping thousands of students realize their dream—college graduation. A native of Jamaica with a B.S. in psychology from Sacred Heart who’s finishing his own M.A. in leadership at AMC, he volunteers as a presenter for the Connecticut Association of Professional Financial Aid Administrators. His management style—encouraging each team member to contribute—as well as his willingness to challenge the status quo to better serve students have led to his office being chosen as a model by the Consortium for the Advancement of Adult Higher Education.
   Deborah Pan ● 39 ● New Haven
    Dr. Deborah Pan already had a thriving plastic and reconstructive surgery practice in New Haven when she opened ESANA Plastic Surgery Center and MedSpa in 2006. There she continued to offer procedures such as breast enhancement/reduction and reconstructive surgery, face-lifts and body sculpting, and expanded her services to include facials, chemical peels, laser hair removal and injectable fillers. She was nominated for this list by one of her patients, who describes her as “one of the most intelligent, personable, successful and dynamic individuals” she has ever met. Dr. Pan also finds time to go to the Philippines each year to provide free surgeries for those who don’t have access to such procedures.


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40 Under 40

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