VIDEOS: Westfair Business Journal Recognizes Outstanding Young Professionals in Connecticut with «40 Under 40» Awards

"My slogan would be: Do things even if you think you can't do it."That's the slogan. If I were a brand, my slogan would be: Do it anyway. I say this because we often encounter situations where we think we're not up to the task. But once you do it, you realize it's what you were meant to do." With that, Jackeline received one of the biggest ovations of the event.

Danbury, CT: The Westfair Business Journal held the 19th edition of the «40 Under 40» awards on Thursday, June 13. The awards recognize 40 young professionals under 40 who have excelled in business, entrepreneurship, and social impact within their communities.

The grand event, organized with great glamour, occurred at The Point at Norwalk Cove, along the Atlantic Ocean. Its majestic views and refreshing breezes greeted the display of talents from 40 young individuals who have brought pride to Connecticut.

Nelson Merchan

Nelson Merchan, uno de los jueces para la escogencia de los galardonados y director de Pequeñas empresas de Connecticut, Centro de Desarrollo.Screenshot

«Congratulations to Fairfield County’s ’40 Under 40′ winners. Your families, coworkers, supervisors, and friends are proud of you. Thank you to Whisper Communications for making this celebration possible. We need more of this. A friend recently described it as Feeling and Determination,» said Nelson Merchan, one of the judges responsible for selecting the 40 awardees.

«And that perfectly represents all of you, the winners. You are a force of change, driven by a strong desire to make a difference. Keep sharing your energy, knowledge, and leadership. Together, as an unstoppable community of individuals, we cannot abandon ourselves or those who need us most. You, the winners, excel in your jobs and share your heart and mind to impact our communities positively. Education for others is priceless. Keep striving, we support you, thank you!» concluded Nelson Merchan, the Director of the Connecticut Small Business Development Center.

Jackeline Cabrera

When Matt Scott called Dominican American leader Jacqueline Cabrera to the podium and asked her what her slogan would be if she were a brand, she wisely responded, «My slogan would be: Do things even if you think you can’t do it.»That’s the slogan. If I were a brand, my slogan would be: Do it anyway. I say this because we often encounter situations where we think we’re not up to the task. But once you do it, you realize it’s what you were meant to do.» With that, Jackeline received one of the biggest ovations of the event.

For 19 consecutive years, the Westfair Business Journal has recognized outstanding young professionals in the Greater Hartford region who excel in their industries. These awards honor the recipients’ leadership, entrepreneurship, and community involvement. The awardees are driven by success and challenges, actively participate in the community, and serve as role models for their peers.

About Jackeline Cabrera

She is a sociologist and psychologist who graduated from Baruch College in 2021. She has been the CT Community Organizer at the Working Families Party since April 25, 2024. She was elected by direct vote as the zoning commissioner in the City of Danbury from December 2, 2023, for a two-year term. She is a politician, writer, community leader, and artist (painter) who masterfully handles abstract art, incorporating natural elements such as rocks, feathers, sand, and earth into her paintings, as original as her tropical heart.

Judges of ’40 Under 40′

The esteemed leaders, Dr. Nikki Wing, ’40 of the 40’lch College of Business and Technology at Sacred Heart University and Nelson Merchan, Director of Connecticut Small Business Development Center, selected the’ 40 Under 40′ winners.

Chambers of Commerce Supporting the Event

The primary Chambers of Commerce in the region played a crucial role in organizing the event, as most of the awardees are members of these business institutions:

– Bridgeport Regional Business Council
– Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce
– Darien Chamber of Commerce
– Greenwich Chamber of Commerce
– Fairfield Chamber of Commerce
– Ridgefield Chamber of Commerce
– Greater Danbury Chamber of Commerce
– Stamford Chamber of Commerce
– Greater Norwalk Chamber of Commerce
– Westport-Weston Chamber of Commerce
– Wilton Chamber of Commerce

Masters of Ceremony

The event was hosted by Matt Scott, Meteorologist/Co-Host of Fox 67 Morning News, and Natalie Holland, Director of Events, who entertained the large audience with extraordinary humor crucial for maintaining the public’s Ent public’s

Who Were the ’40 Under 40′ Awardees?

’40 Under 40′

Stephen Abramson, Kyber Security; Raghib Allie-Brennan, CT General Assembly; Anthony Bacarella, BTX Global Logistics; Bryan Bostic, Griffin Health; Anna Breault, City of Norwalk, CT; Jacqueline Cabrera, CT Parent Advocacy Center; Raymond Carta, Robinson & Cole LLP; Jennifer Chiarella, Valitana LLC; Brian Cimbak, JG Advance Planning; Yvette Cole, Yvette Cole; Maxxwell Crowley, SCA Crowley Real Estate; Susannah Crowley, Bumble Inc.; Nicholas D’Addario, HiD’Addarioy Services; Brent Dean, Danbury Public Schools; Noor Deeb, Wilmington Trust; Jenny Delorbe, Yale University / Sacred Heart University; Christina Dufour, Carnelian Connection LLC; Richard Flahive, Hightower Weschester; Louis Giannini, Orion; Sophia Gilkes, Morgan Stanley; Matthew Glennon, Pullman & Comley, LLC; Joseph Graziose, Jr., RXR; Andrew Hollis, Stew Leonard’s; LaLeonard’ss, M&T Bank; Timothy McDermott, Noble House Media Group; Amanda Miller, Bridgeport Hospital / Yale New Haven Health; Candy Murias, CT Healing Center / Ann’s Place; Ann’silla Nannariello, HUB International; Abi Naparstek, Forest Hills Financial Group; Tiffany Ottani, CironeFriedberg, LLP; Luis Penichet, JPMorgan Chase; Karissa Peters, Newtown Savings Bank; Matt Seebeck, Brookfield Properties; Sara Sharp, Hurwitz Sagarin Slossberg & Knuff; Alexandra Silva, Union Savings Bank; Vincent Socci, William Pitt Sotheby’s IntSotheby’sl Realty; Matthias J. Sportini, FLB Law; Adam Stevko, Merrill Lynch; Dimitrios Tournas, Wiggin and Dana; Christine Vidmosko, Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network.


40 Under Forty is not just an awards ceremony; it is a dynamic networking opportunity where the energy of innovation converges. Participants can interact, network with the brightest minds, and witness the power of collaboration among the generation that will lead the future. They are tomorrow’s great political, social, and business leaders.

According to some measurements, 95 percent of small business owners are glad they started their business. The latest Amex Trendex: Small Business Edition survey found that after surveying over 1000 small businesses, including 514 with ten or fewer employees, 412 with between 11 and 100 employees, and 201 firms with more than 100 workers, 95 percent of all owners are happy they started a small business.

What is the Westfair Business Journal?

Westfair Business Publications provides local business news for Westchester County, Fairfield County, and the Hudson Valley region. The business magazines have been around for nearly 50 years, and the newspapers are the only countywide weekly business newspapers.

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