40 Under 40
(page 8 of 8)
| Kashia Cave ● 39 ● Meriden |
Talk about being perfectly placed to deal with a pressing social issue—Cave is founder of Meriden’s My City Kitchen Inc. (MCK), a not-for-profit culinary program aimed at overweight children, as well as those interested in preparing healthy meals for themselves and their parents. MCK’s stated mission is “to instill healthy eating habits, build self-esteem, foster a sense of belonging and establish basic life skills in our children so they grow into healthy adults.” “I come from a cooking and baking family,” says Cave, a native of Trinidad and Tobago. “Very few people are passionate about their jobs, but I’m happy to say I’ve found mine.”
| Kathy L. Taylor ● 34 ● Waterbury |
Every college campus needs someone who, along with attending to job responsibilities, serves as the unofficial cheerleader for the students. At Waterbury’s Naugatuck Valley Community College, that tag belongs to Taylor, director of the campus Academic Center for Excellence (ACE). “Kathy advocates tirelessly for our students,” says one of the ACE tutors, “and she has transformed ACE into a lively and engaging oasis for learning and thriving.” A mother of three, Taylor also volunteers for several local organizations, including Let’s Move Waterbury, an initiative focused on encouraging local families to make healthier food choices.
|Chris Meek ● 39 ● Stamford |
Chris Meek earns a good living as a trader at Goldman Sachs, but it’s how he spends his off time that caught our eye. Disturbed by stories of people in his community threatened with foreclosure, he was sure some homes could be saved—if only there were a way to get banks and borrowers into the same room. He set out to do just that, organizing an event that resulted in 36 families avoiding foreclosure. Out of that came the formation of START Now!, a not-for-profit aimed at helping families become self-sufficient, and four more foreclosure events. Meek is also on the board of directors of Saint Luke’s LifeWorks, the Yerwood Center and Career Resources.
| Michelle Neff ● 32 ● Stafford Springs |
It’s not easy starting your own business at the age of 30, but that’s what Neff did two years ago when she opened Dreaming Tree Events, a wedding consultation service covering all of Connecticut. Part of Dreaming Tree’s success is no doubt due to her altruistic spirit—a portion of every fee she earns goes to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, and her donations to local causes and assistance to other businesses in the area are well documented. Her passion for exploring the state, shared by her husband and two children, is well suited to turning up unique settings for weddings as well.