WelcomeThe winners of the Business Journal’s fourth-annual Forty under 40 awards were selected from more than 75 nominees and represent new honorees not previously chosen in 2007, 2008 or 2009. (See the photo gallery.)
Nominations, which were taken during the month of January, came from friends, fellow workers, managers and the Business Journal editorial staff. When the Business Journal launched this project four years ago, many told us we would never find 40 business leaders under the age of 40. We thought otherwise. Indeed, we have found 160. Their achievements represent both the current dynamism of the North Bay and the promise of the economy in the future.
Contained in the brief biographies that follow are incredible achievements, good humor, inspiring stories and much sage advice from people so young. Congratulations to this year’s winners and those that preceded them.
Brad Bollinger, Editor in Chief
North Bay business leaders under the age of 40, listed alphabetically
Clay Angel, M.D., 34
Physician, medical staff president
Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, San Rafael
As an internal medicine physician at Kaiser, Dr. Clay Angel treats patients with a variety of conditions including stroke and heart attack. But he also directs the hospital's Rapid Response and Critical Event Teams in addition to his daily rounds. He initiated and now consults with the Discharge Planning and Rounding team, a multidisciplinary project that coordinates patient care from admission to discharge, the first of its kind in the country. Dr. Angel acts as physician expert in Kaiser's comprehensive electronic medical record project, making the medical center one of 27 facilities nationwide named a Stage 7 EMR hospital. Being on the positive, progressive side of electronic technology is exciting, but equally rewarding is the time he takes to guide his patients and their families through the hospital experience.
Favorite book: “The Alchemist,” by Paulo Coelho
Favorite movie: “Avatar”
Last vacation: Stinson Beach. Why fly when the best destinations are at your doorstep?
Michelle Ausburn, 32
Moss Adams, Santa Rosa
Michelle Ausburn is responsible for attracting and developing passionate people to sustain and grow the firm. “I know my clients, their business, and deliver exceptional service to those clients. I maintain the highest level of ethical and professional standards and create long-term value for the firm. My leadership positions within the firm include the office Wine Industry Group and our recruiting efforts.” Her greatest professional challenge was coming to the realization that the public accounting profession is just as much about being great with people as it is about being technically sound.
Hobbies: Food and wine, movies, traveling and spending time with my family
Childhood dream job: A CPA
Favorite book: “On the Road,” by Jack Kerouac
Nate Bisbee, AIA, LEED AP, 35
Associate principal and design director
TLCD Architecture, Santa Rosa
Nate Bisbee joined TLCD 12 years ago, was promoted to a new position as design director two years ago and became a shareholder recently. He contributes to the firm's marketing, human resources and financial operations.
Hobbies: Traveling, sketching, running and reading
Favorite movie: "Goodfellas" by Martin Scorsese
Best advice received: "Don't reinvent the wheel." Best advice can sometimes be bad advice that we are determined to prove wrong. I've always strived toward innovation and originality rather than mimicry and the status quo.
Greatest professional challenge: To keep the big picture in mind when working through the complex details of a project.
Greatest job accomplishment: Completed buildings. He is lead architect on the $26 million new library and learning center for Napa Valley College.
Childhood dream job: Architect
Kadin Blonski, 31
Lanahan & Reilley LLP, Santa Rosa
Kadin Blonski said some of the best advice he ever received was to avoid being dragged into a conflict “that would not provide value or achieve your goals.” Now, as an associate attorney for the past year and a half at Lanahan & Reilley, he’s embraced this notion to fully understand the litigation process. “I am responsible for litigating cases on behalf of my clients of the firm. In many cases I am the lead attorney and am entirely responsible for how the case is litigated,” he said. His greatest professional accomplishment came when he recovered $85,000 for an elderly client who had loaned money to someone who refused to repay the debt. “I was able to deliver the check to her two days before Christmas,” he said. The greatest professional challenge he faces, he said, is to balance “zealous advocacy for my clients with the necessity of maintaining civility and friendships with my colleagues and the community at large.”