Congratulations to the 21st class of 40 Leaders Under Forty! From the business community to the nonprofit world, from educators to physicians, we have once again found a diverse group of rising young stars in central Illinois. They are the ones who will take the reins and guide us along the path to future success, and we wish them the best. We are also grateful to the 136 nominators who took time to look around their spheres of influence and identify colleagues who are making names for themselves through their exemplary efforts in the community.
Fresh on the heels of last year’s 20th anniversary celebration, we expanded the program this year to include a special networking event for 40 Leaders alumni. Tracking down all 800 (now 840) alumni to invite to the first-ever 40 Leaders Alumni Social in August was no easy feat, but we had a great turnout. Sponsored by Caterpillar, Peoria Surgical Group and the Peoria Chiefs, the night was full of networking, great barbeque and good times.
In conjunction with the Alumni Social, we created another new tradition: the 40 Leaders Alumnus of the Year Award. Each year through nominations submitted by their peers, we will recognize a previous 40 Leaders Under Forty recipient who has continued to make a substantial impact on our community. We’re happy to announce Dan Daly as the inaugural winner of this award. Since he was first recognized in 1996, he has not only lived up to the spirit of the 40 Leaders Under Forty award—he has far surpassed expectations. Thanks again, Dan, for your exemplary leadership in the community. His Q&A in this issue is full of advice and wisdom for the next generation of leaders in central Illinois.
“I see Peoria as a much more dynamic place over the next 20 years,” he notes. “With the cooperation of elected leadership and business leadership, much can be accomplished to make the Peoria region a destination. We need to get business leaders, elected leaders, social leaders and educators working together. We must agree on priorities and zealously pursue them! Business leaders have identified opportunities for regional improvement and a range of projects are currently underway to address these challenges.”
Indeed, the work of our leaders is never complete. All of us are invested in the success of these projects—and the region at large. Though our challenges are many, the wealth of talent in central Illinois outweighs any obstacles. Thank you for your leadership—both now and in the future. iBi