There’s no shortage of young professionals in Riley, Pottawatomie, and Geary Counties. But the Junction City, Manhattan, and Wamego Chambers of Commerce took on the challenge of choosing 15 professionals to recognize for making a difference in their communities. 

They must first be nominated to be considered for the recognition; be at least 18 but less than 40 years of age; and work in the Greater Manhattan area. About 100 nominations were made. Each nominee was asked to complete an application which outlined achievements in their profession, and the work they’ve performed for the community. Jason Smith, President and CEO of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce, remarked how honored the committee is to recognize such a distinguished group for their inaugural 15 under 40 class. 

The winners will be recognized at a special reception in their honor on Jan. 12 at 4 p.m. at the Manhattan Conference Center. They include Doug Barrett, Summer Ott Dierks, Sheila Ellis-Glasper, Casie Hartwich, Marc Kent, Blade Mages, Catherine McKinley, Tammy Melton, Jayme Minton, Weston Moody, Rebecca Robinson, Kate Ryan, Jeff Sackrider, Katie Seay Ashley Urban 

To attend the reception or register for the retreat, go to: