Stay Work Play announces 2016 Rising Stars Awards finalists

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MANCHESTER, NH Stay Work Play, in partnership with New Hampshire Public Radio, announces the finalists for the 2016 Rising Stars Awards for the seven award categories:

  • Arnold Mikolo of Manchester is a a finalist in this year's Rising Stars Awards.
    Arnold Mikolo of Manchester is a a finalist in this year’s Rising Stars Awards.

    Civic Leader of the Year Finalists: Elyssa Alfieri of Concord and Lilise Designer Resale; Arnold Mikolo of Manchester and Manchester Immigration Integration Initiative (Welcoming Manchester); and Rebecca Perkins of Portsmouth and Enel Green Power North America. This category honors an individual between 21 and 40 who, through their volunteerism, philanthropy, and/or community involvement demonstrates a commitment to civic participation, strengthening their community and developing personal leadership capacity to make New Hampshire a better place for future generations.

  • College Student of the Year Finalists: Amelia Keane of Nashua and the University of NH Manchester; Brandon Pratt of Concord and Saint Anselm College; and Elizabeth Tibbitts of Merrimack and Southern NH University. This category honors an outstanding college student living and going to school in NH, between the ages of 18 and 24, who is an academic rising star and giving back to their community.
  • Coolest Companies for Young Professionals Finalists: Appcast of Lebanon; Claremont Savings Bank of Claremont; CoreMedical Group of Salem; Digital Prospectors of Exeter; Grappone Automotive Group of Bow; and ReVision Energy of Brentwood. This category honors companies in New Hampshire that create environments to attract and retain young talent (specifically ages 40 and under).
  • Leadership Development Program of the Year Finalists:  MY TURN Manufacturing Program, an initiative of MY TURN, Inc.; NH Scholars Initiative, an initiative of the NH College & University Council; and Sophomore Leadership Seminar, an initiative of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) New Hampshire.
  • ‘Shire Story of the Year Video Submission Finalists: Todd Fabian of Concord and Concord Public Library; Melanie Gray of Manchester and Polaris Direct; and David Hutchings of Windham and a Student at UNH Manchester. New for 2016, individuals were asked to submit a video of 90-seconds or less relaying a creative story of their New Hampshire adventures; whether a native, “boomerang” or transplant of the Granite State. The criteria for judging was based upon organization, effectiveness of the message, originality, the individual’s personality and overall creativity.
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalists: Kat Antonioli of Dover and INHOUSE Worldwide; Jason Syversen of Dunbarton and Siege Technologies; and Matthew Wilhelm of Manchester and Old Sol Music Hall. This category honors an outstanding young entrepreneur in NH who has “looked outside the box,” and is helping shape the future of our state through their entrepreneurial venture. This award will be presented in partnership with Alpha Loft  and the New Hampshire High Tech Council.
  • Young Professional of the Year Finalists: Julianne Gadoury of Concord and the NH State Council on the Arts; Brent Kiley of Bedford and Rise Private Wealth Management; Dan Larsen of Lebanon and Appcast; and Katherine Morneau of Manchester and the Law Office of Katherine J. Morneau, PLLC. This category honors an outstanding professional between the ages of 18 and 40 who works and lives in New Hampshire, and is rising in their industry while giving back to their community.The premier event is the only one of its kind in New Hampshire – bringing together young leaders, college students and other professionals from all regions in the state. Entrepreneur and inventor, Dean Kamen, will provide the evening’s keynote address. In addition, there will be food and a cash bar, live music by RockSpring, raffle baskets representing the various regions of NH, networking with NH’s best and brightest and the announcement of the award winners!

The 7th annual event will take place on October 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Fieldhouse Sports, 12 Tallwood Drive, in Bow.

“We are proud of the accomplishments and dedication shown by this year’s Rising Stars Awards finalists. The individuals and organizations honored this year are leaving their footprints in local communities and creating a lasting impact in the Granite State,” said Kate Luczko, President & CEO of Stay Work Play. “Year after year, our panel of volunteer judges has the ambitious task of selecting the exceptional talent, organizations and programs in New Hampshire to be spotlighted through this event. If we want New Hampshire to reach its potential for future success, we need to continue to engage and invest in our young people.”

A panel of more than 35 judges from throughout the state selected the finalists. The finalists represent many of the state’s leading individuals and organizations.

The 2016 Rising Stars Awards are generously sponsored by: Allegra Boverman Photography, Antioch University New England, AutoFair, Bellwether Community Credit Union, BerryDunn, Chris Malloy Events, Dyn, Eastern Bank, Elm Grove Companies, Enterprise Bank, Fidelity Investments, Fieldhouse Sports, Granite Restaurant & Bar, Grappone Automotive Group, GYK Antler, Hire Alliance, Lake Sunapee Bank, Merchants Fleet Management, Mint Printworks, Mr. Mac’s Macaroni & Cheese, Nathan Wechsler & Company, PA, New England Wire Technologies, NH Charitable Foundation, NH Institute of Art, NH Public Television, Orr & Reno, People’s United Bank, Rockspring, Sheehan Phinney, Solidscape, Stacey Brobst Photography, University System of NH, Western White Mountains Chamber of Commerce and Worthern Industries.

Learn more about the event at, on Facebook or @RisingStarsNH on Twitter or contact Stay Work Plan President & CEO, Kate Luzcko at (603) 860-2245 or Tickets to the event can be found on Eventbrite.

About The Rising Stars Awards
The Rising Stars Awards are an initiative of Stay Work Play, in partnership with New Hampshire Public Radio, to celebrate and recognize New Hampshire’s remarkable young workers, entrepreneurs, and college students, initiatives to keep them here, and the businesses and programs that go the extra mile to recruit and retain them.

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 President & CEO Kate Luczko, or (603) 860-2245.

About this Author


Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!