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Congratulations, 2016 Nominees and Honorees!

An inspiring celebration of the Kitsap Peninsula’s emerging leaders was held Wednesday, November 2nd at the Admiral Theatre.  Photos and profiles of 2016 Honorees and a gallery of event images have been posted.

Watch for your opportunity to nominate someone for 20 Under 40, July-Sept., 2017.  Thank you to our sponsors.




View 2016 Event Photo Gallery

Sponsored by:

Kitsap Bank Western Washington University Peninsulas

CHI Fransican CHI Fransican


Presented by:
Presented by Kitsap Sun and Kitasp Peninsula Business Journal





Josh Hopp

Josh Hopp is a Silverdale resident who has been making an impact on his local community through volunteer service. Nov. 02, 2016

Sherese Hegwood

Sherese Hegwood is a Mountain View Middle School teacher who has been recognized statewide and nationally. Nov. 02, 2016

Christopher Hart

Christopher Hart started working at Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort six years ago as a graphic designer and for the past four years has served as manager. Nov. 02, 2016

Yolanda Fong

Yolanda Fong is a natural leader who is credited with building a cohesive professional team that developed the Kitsap Public Health District chronic disease prevention program. Nov. 02, 2016

Kimberly Cizek Allen

Kim Cizek Allen made a career change from a full-time nurse when she came to work for Kitsap Humane Society. In doing so, she followed a longtime love for animals — even her first paying “job” was to watch her vacationing neighbors’ animals and homes. Nov. 02, 2016

Athena Barber

Athena Barber has only been in the U.S. Navy for about two and a half years but has already stood out among her peers. She has received many recognitions, including being the first nominee for Naval Base Kitsap’s Sailor of the Quarter award among sailors assigned to public affairs. Nov. 02, 2016

Brittany Bakken

Brittany Bakken joined the sales team at Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort in 2009 and was promoted to manager five years later.  Nov. 02, 2016

Ashley Armstrong

Ashley Armstrong has been practicing law in Kitsap County in 2004. The mother of three young children, she is engaged not only in her professional career but also as an active member of several organizations.  Nov. 02, 2016

Cole Adams

Cole Adams joined Adams Chiropractic earlier this year as a second-generation chiropractor. His father, Kurt, founded the practice in Silverdale more than 30 years ago. Nov. 02, 2016

Rebekah Johnson

Rebekah Johnson was hired by the Kitsap Humane Society in 2015 as an events coordinator and executive assistant, and was soon promoted to her current role of outreach and events manager. She also took on the duties of interim marketing and communications director. Nov. 02, 2016

Lindsey Stover

Lindsey Stover was hired as the first executive director of Harbor WildWatch, a marine education nonprofit, and has led the organization through tremendous growth.  Nov. 02, 2016

Brandon Myers

Brandon Myers joined the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy nearly a decade ago after working as a reserve officer. Nov. 02, 2016

Natasha Pendergraft

Natasha Pendergraft opened her own salon earlier this year, following a longtime dream. The former Miss Poulsbo strives to deliver cutting-edge techniques and services, and trains her employees to do the same. Nov. 02, 2016

Shannon Peterson

Shannon Peterson is recognized as a Kitsap Regional Library leader who has created a learning environment that builds the staff’s confidence in their abilities to work with youth, volunteers and interns. Nov. 02, 2016

Lisa Pugh

Lisa Pugh is a lifelong Kitsap resident whose career with Kitsap Bank spans about 13 years.  Nov. 02, 2016

Farrah Scott

Farrah Scott started her career at Trapper’s Sushi in Bremerton as a server and worked her way up to becoming the youngest and only female general manager. Nov. 02, 2016

Mairead Shutt

Mairead Shutt joined the Bainbridge Schools Foundation in 2015 following a successful four-year career at IslandWood, where she raised more than $2.5 million. Nov. 02, 2016

Darrell Thomas

Darrell Thomas has made an impact on at-risk and homeless youth through his work at The Coffee Oasis. Nov. 02, 2016

Force Tolar

Force Tolar worked in law enforcement, fire protection and emergency management for several local, state and federal agencies before beginning his civil service career at Naval Base Kitsap. Nov. 02, 2016

Jakob Young

Jakob Young started out at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard as a helper mechanic after graduating from high school nine years ago. He has progressed through various roles to become a respected supervisor. Nov. 02, 2016

20 Under 40 2015 Honorees

Troy Cloe

Petty Officer 2nd Class Troy Cloe has been described as a strong and passionate leader who mentors sailors daily and is willing to help without being asked.  Nov. 03, 2015

KristiAnn Stecker

KristiAnn Stecker has a long career in financial industry and loves making a positive impact in the financial future of her clients as well as in the community. Nov. 03, 2015

Josh Farley

Josh Farley had been covering crime and justice news for the Kitsap Sun for seven years before landing what he considers his dream beat: Bremerton. Since then he’s been using storytelling and community outreach in innovative ways. Nov. 03, 2015

Andrew George

Andrew George has proven himself as a leader while building a career in the golf business. As the manager in training at White Horse Golf Club, he’s been involved in running the facility as well as filling in for the manager on duty. Nov. 03, 2015

Kevin Bernt

Kevin Bernt is a leader in emergency medical services in Kitsap County. In addition to working as a firefighter and paramedic for Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue, he is a senior instructor with Kitsap County EMS and Trauma Care Council. Nov. 03, 2015

2015 20 Under 40

Jeromy Hicks

Jeromy Hicks became involved with the fire service when he was in high school, developing an extensive career since then that includes numerous certifications and roles. Nov. 01, 2015

Isaac Holmes

Isaac Holmes started his own business when he was in his early 20s, and has been growing it for 10 years. Vet Industrial serves many Department of Defense agencies throughout the country. Nov. 03, 2015

Eric Behling

Eric Behling has worked his way through the ranks at Ted Brown Music over the past 13 years to become a store manager. Starting out as a part-time employee while in high school, he has learned most aspects of the business and has proven himself as a creative team leader. Nov. 03, 2015

Katie Hopkins

Katie Hopkins moved to North Mason from Eastern Washington about eight years ago and immediately became involved in her new community. She was hired as the assistant manager for Kitsap Credit Union, and then was promoted to manager. Nov. 03, 2015

Mallory Morrison

Mallory Morrison has made a lasting impact on numerous local youth by sharing her passion for dance. Many of her students went on to become professional dancers and dance teachers. Nov. 03, 2015

Christopher Keough

Chris Keough is a sought after golf instructor at Gold Mountain Golf Course and Northwest Golf Range. His passion for golf is endless, and his desire is to introduce the game to everyone he meets. Nov. 03, 2015

Robyn Michele Gross

Robyn Michele Gross has made a positive impact on the entire Naval Base Kitsap command thanks to her dedication to the sports and fitness program.  Nov. 03, 2015

Daniel Frederick

Daniel Frederick became involved with The Coffee Oasis as a teenager, working alongside his parents to create a safe place for youth at risk. After moving to Colorado to pursue a master’s degree, he decided to return to Bremerton in 2009 to once again work with the nonprofit. Nov. 03, 2015

Ashley Jones

Ashley Jones stands out in the crane maintenance division of PSNS/IMF as an electrician apprentice who works hard to balance work, school, family and community service. Nov. 04, 2015

Jennifer Ruckman

Jennifer Ruckman began her career at Kitsap Bank as a teller more than a decade ago, and has advanced to the level of branch manager. Nov. 03, 2015

Angelina Connery

Angelina Connery has worked her way from the nursing director at Olympic Alzheimer’s Residence to the executive director.  Nov. 03, 2015

Greg Lotakis

Greg Lotakis is passionate about green building and creating projects that are gifts and landmarks that each community is proud of. Nov. 03, 2015

Sylvenus Harris II

Sylvenus Harris II is a talented drummer who became involved with the music department at Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal Church when he was barely a teen. Nov. 03, 2015

Alicia Nickerson

Alicia Nickerson opened her own salon when she was 24. She outgrew the space within a year, expanding the salon and doubling the space. Nov. 03, 2015

Brian Nolder

Brian Nolder enlisted in the Navy 10 years ago and has become an outstanding leader. He fell in love with the sea after his first deployment, on USS Abraham Lincoln. Nov. 03, 2015

20 Under 40 2014 Honorees

Dan Barry

Dan Barry returned to Washington state last year and has already made a positive impact in the community and at his work. In addition to providing leadership at the Poulsbo branch of Timberland Bank, he has been active in the Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce and Poulsbo Rotary Club. Nov. 07, 2014

Rachel Bearbower

Rachel Bearbower left a promising banking career in Boston to return to her roots in Kitsap County and establish Girls on the Run of WestSound. The national nonprofit organization’s mission is to inspire girls in grades three through eight to be healthy and confident, through a fun curriculum focused on running. Nov. 07, 2014

Clint Boxman

Clint Boxman is a financial adviser who puts his clients’ interests first and leads by example through honesty and integrity. He is a natural leader and community advocate who is involved with the Kingston Rotary and the Village Green project. Nov. 07, 2014

Kristy Dressler

Kristy Dressler is a fifth-grade teacher at Suquamish Elementary, where she has taken various leadership roles. Nov. 07, 2014

Genie Elton

Lt. Genie Elton is a law-enforcement officer with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office who has volunteered her time for many community events. An alumnae of the Leadership Kitsap program, she has been recognized for her efforts and dedication to the sheriff’s office. Nov. 07, 2014

Jim Hopper

Jim Hopper leads the Bainbridge Community Foundation, which supports dozens of local nonprofit organizations. He is dedicated to making the lives of others better and always goes the extra mile to extend a word of encouragement, to support staff and to mentor others. Nov. 07, 2014

Dionne Joseph

Dionne Joseph started her career in Kitsap County four years ago with the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce. With her husband, Sean, she has also worked to grow a chiropractic practice, Integrated Chiropractic, which included a weight-loss center. Nov. 07, 2014

Kristina Kruzan

Kristina Kruzan has been described as a caring, generous and loyal person who has impacted many people and organizations. She has helped develop several young organizations, including the Kitsap Community Food Co-op and the Salmonberry Community Birth Center. Nov. 07, 2014

Amy McDonald

Amy McDonald is an outstanding leader and manager who is instrumental to the consulting operations of AMI International, a company that serves government and industry clients in 24 countries. Nov. 07, 2014

Bre Mendenhall

Bre Mendenhall is a South Kitsap High School grad who’s had an accomplished path with Future Farmers of America. She became involved with FAA as a high school student and was elected state vice president in her senior year. Nov. 07, 2014

Mercury Michael

Mercury Michael is one of three owners of Bainbridge Homes Real Estate and a sought-after real estate broker. Nov. 07, 2014

Joshua Recaido

Joshua Recaido is a marine machinery supervisor at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard who rose quickly to management due to his leadership skills. He has a talent for motivating and leading people not only at work but also in the community. Nov. 07, 2014

Melissa Reeves

Melissa Reeves stands out as a leader who is passionate about the wellness and wellbeing of everyone around her. Nov. 07, 2014

Ashley Robinson

Ashley Robinson loves all things basketball, and he turned that passion into a career by starting the Kitsap Admirals professional basketball team. Nov. 07, 2014

Elaine Turso

Elaine Turso is a talented photographer and owner of a successful business. She especially loves to photograph and empower women. Nov. 07, 2014

Lisa Rodriguez

Lisa Rodriguez began her career with Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort as a summer intern while in college. She has since worked her way up and has an impressive number of accomplishments. Nov. 07, 2014

Holly Rohrbacher

Holly Rohrbacher is a nonprofit leader and entrepreneur who brings tenacity, energy and professionalism to everything she does. As the executive director of One Call for All, she uses her skills and expertise to benefit many other nonprofits on Bainbridge Island. Nov. 07, 2014

Justin Stiefel

Justin Stiefel is a visionary entrepreneur who launched a successful business with his wife. He is the mastermind and head distiller at Heritage Distilling Co. Nov. 07, 2014

Bruce Thomas

Bruce Thomas has overcome extreme adversity in his life to become a leader who is determined to make a difference in his home, community and workplace. Nov. 07, 2014

Marni White

Marni White is the manager of Kitsap Bank’s Gig Harbor branch, where she has set a personal example of superior customer service. Customers say it’s a joy to visit the branch because of the culture and atmosphere White has created. Nov. 07, 2014

Honorees from previous years