2016 Class of “40 Under 40” Awardees Sets a High Bar
SAN JUAN — The 40 Under 40 event, an annual selection of 40 of Puerto Rico’s most exemplary young professionals and entrepreneurs, has turned into a veritable tradition at Caribbean Business.
However, when it comes to the 2016 class of 40 Under 40 awardees, the selection process took a definite step forward. For the first time, Caribbean Business readers were able to vote directly for their favorite 40 Under 40 nominee online, further democratizing the process and, at the same time, providing an additional layer of legitimacy to one of the most prestigious awards given in Puerto Rican business circles.
The 40 Under 40 selections for 2016 also have the distinction of earning such accolades after the onset of a ten-year-plus period of fiscal and economic upheaval in Puerto Rico, which makes each selection’s respective achievements even more impressive, said Caribbean Business Executive Editor Philipe Schoene.
“The 2016 selections come at an important juncture in Puerto Rico’s history because it evidences the talent that remains on the island, despite the formidable challenges facing [our] economy,” Schoene noted. “In that sense, our 40 Under 40 selections are all heroes because they have dared to set a high bar in the face of turbulent conditions.”
In 2015 alone, about 52,000 people, many of them young professionals, left Puerto Rico in search of better livelihoods. “These 40 stalwarts who have remained in Puerto Rico represent a business class that is finding ways to thrive, be it through the tax incentives available to companies on the island that export their services, or by refocusing their brands,” Schoene added.
A total of 59 nominees were featured on the 40 Under 40 website, which was made accessible through the online portals of Caribbean Business and Caribbean Business Español (caribbeanbusiness.com and cbee.pr, respectively), and with the top 40 vote-getters earning a place on the vaunted list.
Another detail that sets the 40 Under 40 Class of 2016 apart is the sheer variety of industries that the awardees represent, among them healthcare, engineering, human-resources management, advertising, agriculture, information technology, data processing and architecture.
Although the number of votes received by each awardee is kept under wraps, Schoene revealed that the 40 Under 40 selection who received the most votes from readers was Francisco J. Domenech, a lawyer and managing partner at lobbying firm Politank who has been closely associated with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner-elect Jenniffer González.
In what is another first, the 40 Under 40 awards event at Restaurant Il Mulino New York in Isla Verde was streamed live.