StayWorkPlay - 2014 Rising Stars Finalists, Keynote Announced

Finalists represent New Hampshire’s inspiring and outstanding young talent

The Rising Stars Awards, an initiative of Stay Work Play in partnership with New Hampshire Public Radio, is pleased to announce the 2014 finalists for six award categories: Young Entrepreneur of the Year, College Student of the Year, Young Professional of the Year, Civic Leader of the Year, Coolest Companies for Young Professionals, and Leadership Development Program of the Year.


The Rising Stars Awards is also proud to announce this year’s keynote speaker for the event on October 6th will be New Hampshire native Victoria Arlen. Arlen is an accomplished Paralympian who won multiple medals in the 2012 summer games in London after overcoming a severe illness that left her paralyzed years earlier.


“We are excited to finally announce the 2014 Rising Stars Awards finalists and keynote speaker. Chosen by our amazing volunteer judges, this year’s finalists are an impressive group and are indicative of the amazing individual and wide-ranging accomplishments found in so many of New Hampshire’s young people,” said Kate Luczko, Executive Director of Stay Work Play.

“After hearing about Victoria Arlen’s impressive wins at the Paralympic games and her inspiring story of perseverance, we knew she would be a great addition to the Rising Stars Awards ceremony. She is an outstanding example of the culture that New Hampshire’s young people live and work within.


New Hampshire is home to some incredible talent and inspiring initiatives, and we can’t wait to present this year’s Rising Stars Award winners in each of the six categories on October 6th!”


The Rising Stars Awards, now honoring New Hampshire’s remarkable young professionals, college students, and organizations for the 5th year, will take place on Monday, October 6th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Brady Sullivan Plaza, 1000 Elm Street in Manchester.


Referred to as “the networking event of the year,” there will be food and a cash bar provided by O Steaks and Seafood, dessert from White Mountain Cupcakes, a silent auction, live music by Pat & the Hats, lots of cool people to mingle with, a keynote address by Paralympic swimmer Victoria Arlen, and the announcement of the award winners! The emcee for the evening will be Virginia Prescott of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Word of Mouth.” Be sure to reserve your ticket today!


2014 Rising Stars Awards Finalists:

Young Entrepreneur of the Year is a new award for 2014 and will honor 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 the abi HUB and the New Hampshire High Tech Council.

·       Michael Carlton, Northwood, Calling All Cargo

·       Allison Grappone, Concord, Nearby Registry

·       Bobby Touran, Manchester, ApplyKit, Inc.


College Student of the Year 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. (name, hometown, school

·       Mikaela Dwyer, Sanford, ME, Southern NH University

·       Alicia Frazier, Candia, Southern NH University

·       Ian Gagnon, Enfield, University of NH

·       Ryan Hart, Swanzey, Keene State College


Young Professional of the Year honors an outstanding professional working and living in NH, between the ages of 18 and 40 who is a rising star in their industry and giving back to their community. (name, hometown, employer

·       Nicole Barreira, Manchester, Great NH Restaurants

·       Corey MacDonald, Portsmouth, Portsmouth Police Department and MacDonald &

·       Black Law Firm

·       Joshua McAllister, Center Conway, HEB Engineers, Inc.


Civic Leader of the Year honors an individual 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. Nominee must be between 21 and 40 years of age and must live and work in the state of New Hampshire. (name, hometown, employer)

·       Luke Bonner, Concord, GYK Antler

·       Bryan Bouchard, Manchester, Southern NH University

·       Laura Brusseau, Laconia, Interlakes High School

·       Serena Galleshaw, Somersworth, Seacoast Local


Coolest Companies for Young Professionals honors companies in New Hampshire that create environments to attract and retain young professionals (specifically ages 40 and under). (company, location)

·       Calypso Communications, Portsmouth

·       Lauchlan Works, Exeter

·       Red River Computer, Claremont

·       Single Digits, Bedford

·       WS Badger Company, Gilsum

·       Ziftr, Milford


Leadership Development Program of the Year honors an innovative program initiated and conducted by a NH organization. The program must be aimed at a young professional audience in NH that help them propel their personal and professional growth. (program name, organization

·       BAE Systems Leadership Development Program, BAE Systems

·       Hoffmann-Haas Fellowship, NH Center for Nonprofits

·       Leadership College, Leadership NH


The Rising Stars Awards are generously sponsored by: the University of NH, the NH Charitable Foundation, Grappone Automotive Group, Public Service of NH, Southern NH University, the NH Department of Resources and Economic Development, Fidelity Investments, NH Public Television, Revolution Energy, Marble Law Firm PLLC, Autofair, Brady Sullivan Properties, Chris Malloy Events, O Steaks and Seafood, White Mountain Cupcakes, Mint Printworks, Lee Germeroth Photography, Allegra Boverman Photography, Alan Cantor Consulting, and Jeanine & Company.


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.

More information about The Rising Stars Awards can be found at: or Facebook at


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 Executive Director, Kate Luczko,  or (603) 860-2245.


About New Hampshire Public Radio 
Since 1981, NHPR has shaped the media landscape in the Granite State and beyond. Their mission is to help create a more informed public, one challenged and enriched by a deeper understanding and appreciation of state, national, and world events, ideas, and culture. NHPR is broadcast from thirteen different sites, making it by far New Hampshire’s largest (and only) statewide radio news service. Every week NHPR is the choice of more than 184,000 listeners as a primary source of in-depth and intelligent news coverage. Each day New Hampshire Public Radio delivers several hours of local news reported by NHPR’s award-winning News Department, locally produced shows such as The Exchange and Word of Mouth, and national and world news from NPR and the BBC. NHPR is the exclusive outlet for NPR News in the Granite State and broadcast national weekly programs such as Car Talk, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! and This American Life.