Millennial professionals are creating a momentum that will advance industry, culture and communications, said Doug Cedron, the keynote speaker at Westfair Communications Inc.’ second annual Milli Awards.
Still, these young employees continue to face a number of challenges in the workplace.
“We are urged to present ourselves not as we are, as old instead of young, as established instead of energetic, just to be taken seriously, be respected or simply be heard,” Cedron, a millennial himself and co-owner of Beer Noggin in Bronxville, said to those gathered for the event.
Addressing the winners, Cedron added, “You’re here tonight because you met this challenge.”
Westfair Communications, the parent company of the Westchester and Fairfield County Business Journals, held the awards dinner on Nov. 14 at 1133 Westchester Ave. in White Plains. Created in 2015, the Milli Awards serve as a way to recognize standout young professionals aged 21 to 34 working in either county.
“Often, millennials get a bad rap, yet there are a lot of myths to be debunked,” said Anne Jordan, associate publisher at Westfair Communications.
It is estimated that the nation’s 80 million millennials, who represent a quarter of the American population, control $200 billion in annual buying power.
Cedron hoped to harness the buying power of his generation when he opened his store, Beer Noggin, at 102 Kraft Ave. in Bronxville in 2015. The beer bottle shop and taproom offers more than 200 types of craft brews, along with 12 rotating taps.
“For us, Beer Noggin is much more than a craft beer bar,” he said, adding that his reason for opening the store is “centered around building community in a time when physical interaction with your neighbor is becoming increasingly more difficult and the connection between people is widening.”
With Beer Noggin, Cedron said he and business partner Brendan Carroll felt passionate about building a “community space” where patrons could interact with one another and bond.
“As millennials, don’t we seek to work for passion instead of a paycheck?” he asked the crowd.
Winners of the event, who represent a variety of industries from nonprofits to finance, also shared their own passions when accepting their awards.
For Brandon Bogard, financial advisory and senior manager at Deloitte & Touche LLP, that passion is his own curiosity.
“I’m always looking at the next technology,” he said. “What’s going to make our lives different tomorrow, and how can we help our communities better today?”
Another honoree, Emily Gordon, said she also keeps her eyes open for any new opportunities. She also aims to bring her younger perspective to her employer, Stamford 2030 District of The Business Council of Fairfield County.
“My goal every day is to challenge business as usual,” she said.
The event’s presenting sponsors were the Westchester and Fairfield County Business Journals and WAG Magazine, all published by Westfair Communications. Professional services firm Deloitte was a silver sponsor, and the featured nonprofit was Habitat for Humanity of Westchester.
The winners were:
Adam Belardino, Barnum Financial Group
Dr. Imaan Chowdhury, Phelps Memorial Hospital
Dr. Manish Dave, CareMount Medical
Kimberly Del Prado, Markhoff & Mittman, P.C.
Jessica Fraser, Heineken USA
Katherine Han, Houlihan Lawrence
Joanna Karlitz, Legal Aid of Westchester
Antionette Klatzky, The Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute
Miriam Lacroix, Lacroix Ramos, LLP
Kelli Teglas, Westchester Medical Center Health Network
Eleanor Angerame, Green Village Initiative
Brandon Bogard, Deloitte & Touche LLP
Christopher Ching, Electric Enjin, LLC
Samuel Diaz III, Southwest Community Health Center
Anne Franscioni, Sotheby’s International Realty, Greenwich United Way
Emily Gordon, Stamford 2030 District
Alexis Koukos, Ives Concert Park
Peter McSherry, Epsilon
Jake Tavello, Stew Leonard’s
Diana Whitney, Family ReEntry