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Ten Distinguished Under 40 award winners being recognized for contributions to our community

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Courtesy of the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Every year, the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce honors ten young professionals who have gone above and beyond to accomplish outstanding feats in their careers, community, and education.

The Distinguished Under 40 annual award program is exclusive to Eastern Idaho. To be considered for the award, professionals under 40 years of age must be nominated by their co-workers, managers, and business associates. A panel of past and present board members of the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce read through all of the nominations and select the winners.

There were 44 nominations this year and the Chamber of Commerce has announced the following ten individuals as winners of the 2020 Distinguished Under 40 award:

Jorden Cammack - Thunder Ridge HS Drama Teacher

Brennan Summers - Congressman Mike Simpson's Office

Beth Swenson - Idaho Falls Public Library

Josh Bristol - Rich Broadcasting

Mike Walker - College of Eastern Idaho

Katie Gasser - Visiting Angels

Jeff Carr - Museum of Idaho

Anthony Hernandez - Teton Volkswagon

Kristen Landers - Divinia Water

Derek Moss - Premier Technologies

“On a normal year, we have a big luncheon where we invite the winners and their employers and friends and family to come and we celebrate them in a big luncheon,” Chip Schwarze, CEO for the Greater Idaho Falls Chamber of Commerce said.

Due to the pandemic, Chamber board members will be visiting each winner at their place of employment to hand out the awards beginning January 1st. The Chamber will also promote each winner through social media and other media avenues.

“These are people who give a lot to the community and do great things,” Schwarze said. “So we want to get them recognized because they're the future of Idaho Falls.”

Schwarze says the Chamber of Commerce has recognized the Distinguished Under 40 for over 20 years.

“These young people are those who are going to be leading our community and in future years, we're going to find them as city councilmen, as mayors, or state legislators, and as business owners themselves,” Schwarze said. “So it's important that we recognize that they're here, and it's also important that the community sees them, and knows that they're out there.”

Schwarze says this award is a great tool for the winners in being recognized outside of our community as well. As future employers  seek out high quality people from our area to fill high position roles, the Distinguished Under 40 is a great addition to winners’ resumes and portfolios.

“It's just really, really good for them to see the quality of people that we have in our workforce and the future that we are going to have in Idaho Falls,” Schwarze said.

Jeff Carr, Senior Director of External Affairs at the Museum of Idaho, is one of the proud recipients of the award.

“At the end of the day, I think this is a recognition for the Museum of Idaho," Carr said. "I have the good fortune of being associated with this wonderful staff, in this wonderful institution that does a lot of good in the community and so I consider this an honor for the whole museum.”

Carr was nominated by another winner, Mike Walker, Dean of Students at the College of Eastern Idaho.

“It’s gratifying to be nominated by somebody who actually knows me and knows my work well and understands the importance and all of the work that is happening around here at the museum," Carr said.

Winners like Walker and Carr were selected due to their dedication to education.

“Education is really the silver bullet that’s going to help our country through all of these problems that we have been facing and it’s really how we move forward as a society," Carr said. "I think it’s an important and powerful thing.”

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Chelsea Briar

Chelsea is a reporter and producer for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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