Top 7 Under 40: Working hard and doing good in Whatcom County

By Emily Hamann
The Bellingham Business Journal

They’re building Whatcom County’s future — one foster kid, one flower arrangement, one can of beer at a time. The winners of this year’s Top 7 Under 40 Award come from a wide variety of industries, from nonprofit director to small business owner to working in the public sphere. But they all have one thing in common: They dedicate their time and their effort to making Whatcom County better.

“These seven professionals, along with all of the nominees, showcase some of the best young professionals in our community” Guy Occhiogrosso, Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce CEO and President, said in an email.

This is the second year local young professionals have been recognized with this award. The Top 7 Under 40 Award began in 2016, and is a collaboration between The Bellingham Business Journal, the Chamber and the Whatcom Young Professionals.

“Bellingham does a great job of recognizing those individuals who have contributed their life to building this community,” Occhiogrosso wrote. “The Top 7 Under 40 recognizes those who will be those leaders in the future.”

Community members sent in their nominees throughout the month of September. Then in October, a panel of judges, which included BBJ staff, Chamber staff and community members, decided on the Top 7, and the ultimate winner.

The judges considered each nominee based on their character, community involvement, initiative and tenacity, leadership, professional accomplishments, selflessness and vision.

The final winner, who will also receive the Chamber’s Young Professional of the Year Award, will be announced at the Top 7 Under 40 Award event. It will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 9 at the Whatcom Museum’s Lightcatcher building, 520 Flora St., Bellingham.

Click on a name below to learn more about this year’s winners.

Ray Deck III, Skookum Kids

Allyson Farrar, Scotty Browns Restaurant Group

Brian Hulsey, Whatcom County Library System

Courtney Rambo, Intellitonic

Natalie Ransom, Pozie By Natalie

David Vitt, Kulshan Brewing

Shultzie Willows, Lydia Place

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