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The Bend Magazine

Corpus Christi Under 40 Shines a Light on Young Professionals

09/23/2020 10:18AM ● By Luis Arjona
By: Luis Arjona   Photo via: Corpus Christi Under 40 

The Coastal Bend is growing and with that, the interests of the area are also expanding. With cavalier young professionals who aim to improve our community and work towards their goals, Corpus Christi is lucky to boast a slate of growing young professionals. In 2006, Corpus Christi Under 40 (CCU40) was founded to recognize outstanding citizens. The award exists to acknowledge the work of individuals making a difference in the Coastal Bend.

We spoke to JD Davis, 2019 CCU40 honoree and Director of Marketing for the Corpus Christi Hooks, about his experience as a CCU40 award winner and the importance of this organization. Davis is also the co-chair of CCU40 alongside Christina Griffith, who is a 2019 honoree as well. He mentions how his time as a 2019 CCU40 honoree was a privilege. Sharing the title with so many accomplished people from diverse backgrounds, the range of representation through the CCU40 illustrates what makes the Coastal Bend a great place to live.

Further discussing Davis' experience as an honoree, he goes to say:

"I was incredibly proud to have received a CCU40 award in 2019. Our selection process revolves around nominations, so most winners are nominated by friends and co-workers. It is truly an honor to receive this award and know your peers feel like you deserve it. It's encouraging as well because CCU40 isn't supposed to be a final achievement, but a sign that you have great potential and need to keep working hard."

CCU40 serves as a platform for dedicated professionals who have done great work in the community, yes. However, as a branch of Young Professionals of the Coastal Bend (YPCB), the overarching mission is committed to improving the city and its workforce by promoting educational and professional advancement among emerging leaders. Seeking to allow young professionals to meet and grow their business by networking through events, activities, and mentorships with established community leaders. Davis believes success is a collective effort that extends beyond any office. He goes on to say, "Our members are actively shaping and strengthening our city's economic future. By giving back to the community through leadership, education, and volunteering, we aim to recruit and retain our pool of young professionals."

For obvious reasons, 2020 posed problems for this year's award ceremony. CCU40 made some audibles and moved everything online. Below is a list of the 2020 honorees and a link to the Facebook awards presentation if you are inclined to check out or relive the event!

Nominations for the 2021 Corpus Christi Under 40 award will begin in January. You can visit their Facebook to be the first to know when submissions are open. If you or someone you know is interested in getting involved with CCU40 or Young Professionals of the Coastal Bend, feel free to visit their website or Facebook pages.

Corpus Christi Under 40 2020 Honorees

Thomas Cruz - Corpus Christi Fire Department

Meredith Darden - Visit Corpus Christi

Devin Davis - CCISD

Evan Dundas - Braselton Homes

Jennifer Grove - Kleberg Bank

Haley Haaker - CCISD

DeeAnna Heavilin - Wisp Lashes

Dr. Katherine Hensley - The Children's Clinic

Jason Houlihan - Del Mar College

Lucy Kernan - Del Mar College

Eric Lindgren - Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Steve Lopez - The Law Offices of Steve Lopez

Matthew Manning - Web Cason P.C.

Chris Medrano - Kleberg Bank

Daniel Nash - Frost Bank

Rachel Neff - Robstown ISD

Travis Nelson - Kleberg Bank

Setal Patel - Carr, Riggs, & Ingram

Brian Pfeiffer - Innovative Seed Solutions

Johnny Philipello - Buccaneer Commission

Steve Ruebelmann - Corpus Christi Police Department

Courtney Schroeder - Cenikor Foundation Corpus Christi

Michelle Singh - Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Joseph Whittaker Jr. - NAS Corpus Christi VT-35 & Pilot for a Day

Newman Wong - Del Mar College