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Posted: October 01, 2013

GenXYZ 2013

Fresh faces fueling Colorado

Gigi Sukin

What they lack in experience, these 25 top young pros make up for in drive, determination and ingenuity.

In a survey conducted in early 2013 by online job network Beyond.com, roughly 6,000 job seekers and human resource professionals nationwide revealed that while more than 80 percent of Millennials are optimistic about finding employment, hiring managers are unconvinced they’ve got what it takes.

“Young professionals have energy, enthusiasm and ideas, but often lack the experience and respect to be heard,” said Dan Kobler, co-founder of Denver’s Mile High Young Professionals.

And then you hear the list of Colorado’s 25 most influential young professionals …

They’re solving the world’s contact information challenges, feeding hungry burger lovers and satiating the thirst of tea enthusiasts. They’re advancing social and economic prosperity for kids, managing wealth, developing apps, increasing the accessibility of green buildings and designing more than 100,000 digital displays in 27 countries worldwide.

The message comes in loud and clear: It would be laughable to question if these 25 rising stars have what it takes. Whether climbing the ladder in lightening speed or taking the bull by the horns, these 20- to 40-year-old professionals are each something extraordinary.

 “What I love most about the professional landscape for young professionals [in Colorado] is the true passion that exists: the “can-do” attitudes, the desire to make a real difference and the collaborative community efforts to turn pipe dreams into realities,” said Jennifer Chang.

2013’s Top 25 were selected by a panel of CoBiz representatives, interested community members and formerly recognized young professionals, including Chang. With just over 380 applications, it was no easy feat deciding who would take the top spots.

 “When you look at how much Colorado has grown and changed over the past decade, you can really recognize how important leadership and innovation is in our state,” Chang said of the 2013 narrowing-down process. “Luckily, our future is in good hands. I felt that each and every nominee was a winner in their own right, and that their contributions to our state and local communities will be instrumental in shaping Colorado’s next years and decades to come.”

Youthful. Clever. Ambitious. Unstoppable.

Gigi Sukin is an Associate Editor at ColoradoBiz. She can be reached at gsukin@cobizmag.com.

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