40 Under 40


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Daniel Onofrio ● 37 ● Shelton
    Onofrio’s candle is burning at both ends, and probably in the middle, too. As the associate vice president of content and data development at Milford-based Environmental Data Resources, he oversees EDR’s collecting, digitizing and delivering of relevant data for the company as it sizes up commercial and residential environmental risks in the field. At the same time, he is co-owner of the Rita’s Italian ice franchise in Bridgeport, the second-busiest in the region. He’s involved in community service through the Knights of Columbus and has even developed a website tracing his family’s heritage.

Kristen J. Kleiman ● 36 ●  Bristol
    Our churches, and our towns, could use more people like the Rev. Kristen J. Kleiman, who’s re-energized the First Congregational Church in Bristol. Described as “a bundle of energy,” the Glastonbury native has given a new sense of pride and community to the 525-member church, whose leadership she took over in 2009 after eight years in South Windsor. Armed with a can-do attitude, she’s doubled church attendance and expanded her audience from mostly seniors to multigenerational, connecting with young people via open-mic nights, a reinvigorated youth program and shirts saying, “No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey, you are welcome,” she says.

   Veronica Mollica ● 38 ● Fairfield
    A master saleswoman right out of college, Greenwich native Mollica quickly became the No. 1 sales rep nationwide for Vector Marketing, selling Cutco Cutlery; she soon broke the company’s all-time sales record and was the youngest person ever inducted into the company’s hall of fame. Looking for a new challenge and wanting to exercise her natural entrepreneurial gifts, Mollica in 2003 started up Indigo Staffing (now Indigo Partners), a Fairfield-based employment agency with a strong local focus that now routinely posts annual revenues of over $1 million. A mother of two young children, she also volunteers regularly at their schools and “never misses a field trip or school event.”
   Justin Elicker ● 35 ● New Haven
    Here’s a New Haven alderman who’s also a dedicated community builder in his East Rock neighborhood. “I’m driven by the knowledge that city residents will be better off because of my actions,” says Elicker, who adds that his aldermanic priorities in his freshman term are governmental fiscal responsibility, multimodal transportation issues and environmental and health issues. Meanwhile, as co-leader of the Friends of East Rock Park, he’s helped start a summer youth program focused on the environment, raised money for park improvement and increased community stewardship of the park.

 James Cosgriff ● 26 ● Thomaston
    At age 20, Cosgriff so impressed his teachers at the Connecticut Culinary Institute that they called James O’Shea at Litchfield’s West Street Grill and said, in effect, “You’ve got to take a look at this guy.” O’Shea did so, and Cosgriff has been at West Street Grill ever since, now serving as executive chef. He first learned to cook as a boy at his grandmother’s side in Waterbury and has evolved into what O’Shea calls “an extraordinarily dedicated young chef. He’s committed to the work, and he’s got that drive and sense of competition—he’s an artist, and all artists have those qualities.”


40 Under 40

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