Finalists announced for Young Professionals Awards

Aug. 7—WILKES-BARRE — It's almost time for the Young Professionals Awards, and now we know who's been nominated.

On Tuesday, Sept. 14, the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce, with media partner Times Leader Media Group, will host the 6th Annual Young Professional Awards, presented by Coal Creative.

On Friday the category finalists were announced to the public through a Facebook live stream.

The Young Professionals Awards recognize amazing rising stars helping to move our region forward. Every year, young professionals in our community are nominated for one of ten award categories and the top three finalists in each category are recognized at a special awards ceremony, where the category winners are announced and awarded live. Additionally, the Young Professional Development Award is also give to a company in our area that invests in developing and growing young talent in our region.

For our guest's safety, this year's event will feature an in-person, fun, and safely done awards program at the Garden Drive-In, where all local, state, and federal health and safety guidelines will be followed for outdoor events.

In addition to the program, attendees can enjoy live music from DJ Josh Beatz, drive-up snacks, and refreshments, all for only $50 per person. Gates will open at 6 p.m., with the live program to start at sundown.

This year's award categories and top three finalists include:

Cultural Ambassador of the Year, sponsored by the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts and Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza:

—Brandi George| Gaslight Theatre Company

—Conor Kelley O'Brien| Scranton Fringe Festival

—Joell Yarmel| F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts

Educator of the Year, sponsored by Erwine Home Health and Hospice, Inc.:

—Jennifer Brennan| Greater Wyoming Valley Area YMCA

—Susan Augello Kuhl| Wilkes-Barre Area School District

—Genelle Sedon — C & G Tutoring and Wilkes-Barre Area School District

Hero of the Year:

—Bailey Stoodley — Gerrity's Supermarket

—Travis Temarantz — City of Wilkes-Barre Bureau of Fire

—Linsay Zarick — Wilkes-Barre Police Department

Intern of the Year, sponsored by Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies:

—Nusrat Ahmed and Emma Ross| EDSI at PA CareerLink® Luzerne County

—Medina Saeed — Diamond City Partnership

—Scarlett Spager — The Lands at Hillside Farms

Influencer of the Year, sponsored by UGI Utilities, Inc.:

—Christopher Bohinski — WBRE's PA live!

—Justin M. Correll — NEPA Pride Project, Solomon Elementary, and Mayor of Laurel Run Borough

—Lindsay Landis — Greater Wyoming Valley Area YMCA

Small Business Owner of the Year, sponsored by FNCB Bank:

—Christina Baranowski — Rolling Paws Mobile Grooming Spa

—Matt Borwick — Ollie's Restaurant

—Roy Castillo — Margarita Azul

STEAM Professional of the Year, sponsored by PPL Electric Utilities:

—Jeff Chiampi — Penn State Wilkes-Barre

—Thomas Meluskey — Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services

—Dr. Kimmy T. Nguyen — Wilkes University

Trailblazer of the Year, sponsored by MCR Productions:

—Alicia Duque| Action Together NEPA

—Lauren Gorney| NEPA'rogi

—Kristen Lilly| Northeast Sight Services

Voluntary Leader of the Year, sponsored by the United Way of Wyoming Valley:

—Robert Bresnahan Jr. — Kuharchik Construction, Inc.

—Rachael Stark — Microbac Laboratories, Inc.

—Nicholas Wilson — PA Department of Corrections

Young Professional Development Award, sponsored by UGI Utilities, Inc.:

—Children's Service Center of Wyoming Valley, Inc.

—Lewith & Freeman Real Estate, Inc.

Young Professional Women's Leadership Award by Athena ® International, sponsored by Riggs Asset Management Co.:

—Carla McCabe — WVIA Public Media

—Nina Zanon — Wyoming Valley Children's Association

—Rachel Wiernusz — Community Bank, N.A.

Tickets for this event are on sale now and can be purchased at For more information on the 6th Annual Young Professionals Awards or to explore sponsorship opportunities, email [email protected]