Rowland: Young talent needed for Best Under 40

KRV Legal

Source: Northwest Herald

The McHenry County Business Journal and the Northwest Herald are seeking nominations to recognize McHenry County professionals under the age of 40 who have made significant contributions to their profession, company and community. Many of the people who have earned this distinction have accomplished all three.

Take a look around – or perhaps in the mirror – and nominate someone who is as capable in the workplace as they are helping the county as a whole. Nominees must be under 40 before August, and work, live or make a significant contribution to McHenry County.

Those selected for Best Under 40 will be featured in the Business Journal’s Fall issue, with a reception, dinner and awards presentation to follow.

You can find an entry form in ads published regularly in the Northwest Herald, or submit your nomination online at Make sure to list your candidate’s career milestones, individual achievements, volunteerism and philanthropic work. The deadline for nominations is Aug. 15.

For information, contact me at 815-526-4616 or

The winners from last year’s Best Under 40 class will help us select the 2014 honorees. Among the Best Under 40 class of 2013 were:

• Kevin Slimko of Lake in the Hills is the owner of Slim’s Barber Shop in Crystal Lake. The father of two volunteers with organizations, such as the Neurofibromatosis Network and St. Baldrick’s Day.

• Michael Buchanan of McHenry is the director of security for Centegra Health System. He served with the Army National Guard for four tours of active duty training troops at Fort Polk for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

• Tyler Lewke of Bull Valley is the CEO of Keller Williams Success Realty, a real estate company with 150 agents. He organized a campaign to purchase the historical property and create what now is the Lakeside Legacy Arts Park.

• Geneva McClain of Woodstock is CEO and owner of Just Quality Services Inc., a moving and services company based in Woodstock. On advice from a cousin, the mother of four children opened her own business and wrote her own “rags-to-riches” story, as one friend put it.

• Elizabeth Vonau of Crystal Lake is an attorney and partner with the Kililis, Ridings & Vonau law firm. She has volunteered with nonprofits, such as Turning Point, CASA of McHenry County and the Crystal Lake Jaycees.

• Jeffrey DeHaan of Crystal Lake is senior financial adviser and chief compliance officer of BSC Private Wealth Management LLC in Elgin. He served on the Crystal Lake Economic Development Committee and the board of the United Way of Greater McHenry County. At 27, he was the youngest member of the 2013 “Best Under 40” class.

• Carl D. Vallianatos II of McHenry is the assistant principal at McHenry High School’s West Campus. He was instrumental in turning St. Baldrick’s Day in McHenry into a community-wide fundraising event to benefit pediatric cancer research.

Last year’s class was rounded out by Erin McElroy, Erik Morimoto, Kevin Garringer, Brian Fowler, Michael Buchanan and Joe Ponitz.

Nominations start July 1. Nominate the top talent in your organization by Aug. 15.

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