"40 Under 40" Nominiation Categories

Architecture, Engineering and Construction: This category honors professionals, associates and private business owners contributing to Roanoke’s growing commercial, residential, public, multifamily and private developments. Roles include, but are not limited to, architects, interior designers, general contractors, engineers and landscape architects.  

Arts and Entertainment: This category honors professionals working in digital media, film, television and entertainment, as well as fashion and the arts. Roles include, but are not limited to, artists, fashion designers, filmographers, musicians and festival coordinators.  

Athletes: This category honors nominees who are part of sports (professional and recreational) in our region and contribute to our community. Roles include, but are not limited to, professional and recreational players, coaches and advocates.  

Civic, Government and Public Affairs: This category honors nominees who have demonstrated excellence and commitment to their field at the local, state and federal level. Roles include, but are not limited to, community relations, foundation representatives, corporate social responsibility leaders, community/public affairs managers, endowment representatives and community engagement practitioners, elected officials (non-judicial), department and agency staff, campaign managers, lobbyists and coalition builders.  

Culinary Arts, Events and Hospitality: This category honors the professionals, associates and private business owners serving Roanoke’s fast-growing restaurant and hospitality scene. Roles include, but are not limited to, chefs, farmers, event planners, hotel owners and managers, restaurant critics, food journalists and bloggers.  

Energy, Mobility and Transportation: This category honors nominees who are advancing the technologies we need for a prosperous tomorrow, and finding solutions to social, cultural and/or environmental problems. Roles include, but are not limited to, engineers, city planners, transportation professionals, scientists, analysts, researchers and professionals specializing in cleantech and environmental sciences.  

Financial and Insurance Services: This category honors individuals who dedicate their lives to enriching the lives of Roanokers in terms of cultural capital and bottom-line assets. Roles include, but are not limited to, accountants, financial consultants, insurance brokers and agents, actuaries, CFOs and others with financial roles in their company.  

Innovation and Start-Up: This category honors individuals who have developed their own concept or company, or played a major role in the development of an entrepreneurial venture. Roles include, but are not limited to, any industry professional who has started a business, executives of incubators, accelerators, venture capitalists, angel investors and social entrepreneurs.  

Journalism, Marketing and Public Relations: This category honors those professionals who go above and beyond to provide quality news, current events, publicity and messaging. Roles include, but are not limited to, broadcast, print and investigative journalists, writers, editors, producers, news reporters, radio and television personalities, advertising, marketing, public relations, media relations, crisis communications, speech writing and presentation skills training.  

Legal: This category honors individuals serving the community with the legal industry through traditional and nontraditional legal services. Roles include, but are not limited to, attorneys, legal assistants and legal support services.  

Medicine and Health Care: Taking us from train town to brain town, nominees in this category are keeping a finger on the pulse of Roanoke’s health. Roles include, but are not limited to, doctors, nurses, assistants and administrative leaders in all fields of medicine and health care, scientists, biologists, chemists, lab technicians and research professionals.  

Nonprofit Service: This category honors those who work tirelessly to advance, preserve and enhance the Roanoke community through their careers as nonprofit and/or social service organization professionals. Roles include, but are not limited to, nonprofit executive directors, directors of development, religious leaders, outreach coordinators, case management, social workers and advocacy professionals.  

Real Estate: This category recognizes individuals in the commercial and residential real estate industry that are busy keeping Roanoke’s real estate boom alive and well. Roles include, but are not limited to, real estate agents, brokers, professionals at title companies, and individuals working in investment sales, capital markets and multifamily representation.  

Recreation and Outdoors: This category recognizes individuals blazing trails in our community’s outdoor life. Roles include, but are not limited to, outfitters, promoters and professionals.  

Technology: This category honors nominees who are advancing technologies and finding solutions to social, cultural, economic and environmental problems. Roles include, but are not limited to, scientists, engineers, coders, analysts, researchers, software developers, sharing economy advocates and representatives.  

Wellness and Fitness: This category recognizes individuals making strides in promoting health communities in body, mind and spirit. Roles include, but are not limited to, trainers, coaches, business owners, counselors, spiritual advisors, yoga instructors and coaches.  

Youth and Education: This category honors those honing the minds of our future leaders in a public, private or nonprofit educational vocation who positively impact the education system and opportunities in our community. Roles include, but are not limited to, teachers, administrators, education advocates, volunteers, school counselors and tutors.  

*Mentor of the Year (over 40): Every young leader started somewhere – and had some help getting there! From former employees and senior colleagues to a parent’s friend or more formal mentor, we know people who take the time to help the next generation succeed. Mentor of the Year will be awarded to an established Roanoke business and/or community leader over the age of 40 who has dedicated their time to mentoring young leaders.