Finalists Announced for 6th Annual 4 Under 40 Awards

Posted By: David Jackson Chamber News,

Finalists Announced For 6th Annual 4 Under 40 Awards

Sixteen members of the High Country community have been selected as category finalists for the 6th annual Boone Area Chamber of Commerce 4 Under 40 Awards. This showcase of emerging leaders is presented by Appalachian Commercial Real Estate and the Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University.

Winners will be announced at the annual awards ceremony, set for Thursday April 28, 2022, from 5:30-7:30pm, at The Mill at Rock Creek in Boone. 

Pictured above: 2021 4 Under 40 Award Winners and Nominees

Nominations were received in four categories: Business Owner, Education Professional, Non-Profit Business Professional, and Rising Star. Nominees were recognized for their business acheievements, community and civic involvement, and other related activities.

The finalists for each category are listed below:

Business Owner:

Carrie Canviness, Interface Environmental Consulting, LLC
Angela Heavner, 180 Float Spa
Bryan Kossol, Everybody's Loaded Biscuit
Megan Ward, The Care Collective

Education Professional:

Dustin Kerley, Athletic Director, Watauga County Schools
Dr. Jamie Parson, Interim Chief Diversity Officer, Appalachian State University 
Dr. Katie Talbert, Exec. Director of Institutional Advancement & Alumni Relations, Lees-McRae College
Laura Turner, Gear-Up Coordinator, Watauga County Schools

Non-Profit Business Professional:

Alex Fish, Food Service Manager, Valle Crucis Conference Center
Sarah Grady, Construction Manager, Watauga County Habitat for Humanity
Tom Henry, Founder & Executive Director, Appalachian Mountain Leadership
Caroline Poteat, Director of Development, Blue Ridge Conservancy

Rising Star:

Jaco Gerbrands, Residential Real Estate Broker, Allen Tate Realtors
Megan Mason, Marketing & Communications Director, Lost Province Brewing Company
Danielle Neibaur, General Manager, The Horton Hotel
Nicole Norman, Finance Director, Town of Blowing Rock

“This year's class represents the dynamic leadership that makes our community strong and vibrant," said Boone Area Chamber of Commerce President/CEO, David Jackson. "These honorees are as strong in their advocacy for the community as they are in their business pursuits. As we work toward the future, it’s important to prioritize decision making that will positively impact the community around us, and these 16 individuals are well positioned to have a leading voice in that conversation. We are excited to shine light in their direction in a way that can inspire others to follow their lead.”  

Pictured above: 2021 Award Nominee Dr. Alex Howard

All finalists will be recognized as part of the 6th annual 4 Under 40 Awards ceremony. The Chamber will also present the annual Respect Your Elder Award winner, which goes to a community member who serves as a strong mentor for the next generation of leaders.

All attending the 4 Under 40 Awards ceremony are welcome to enjoy a reception to honor all honorees from 5:30-6:30pm. The awards ceremony will begin at approximiatly 6:30pm. Tickets may be purchased by clicking here. Cost is $25 for Chamber members and $30 for future members, and includes heavy hors d'oeuvres and two drink tickets.

Additional sponsorship support for the 4 Under 40 Awards ceremony comes from Beech Mountain Resort, Mast General Store, Spangler Restoration, and Truist.

If you have questions, please contact the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce at 828-264-2225 or email