30 Under 30 2017
Words by Lauren Foster, Margo Greenman, Joanna Kresge, Todd Matthews, and Shelby Rowe Moyer. Photos by Rachel Coward. Produced by Margo Greenman, Kirsten Erwin, and Alex Schloer

There’s no shortage of quality young professionals on the Eastside. That fact was once again driven home to us earlier this year, as the reader-generated nominations for our annual 30 Under 30 honors began to pour in. Now, after much debate and discussion, we are excited to present to you some of the Eastside’s best, brightest, and most ambitious individuals under the age of 30. Prepare to be inspired.

Join us Thursday, September 7 at Tavern Hall in Bellevue as we honor this year’s winners during our annual 30 Under 30 celebration. Tickets are available online.

 
1

30 Under 30: A-F

Diana Atvars, 23

Associate architectural designer, Magellan Architects

RESIDENCE
Redmond
EDUCATION
University of Texas at Austin, Bachelor of Science in architectural studies
FIRST JOB
Summer camp counselor
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
Soak it all in like a sponge — both in your career and in life.

HOBBIES
Hiking, trivia, and Latvian folk dancing
APPS MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Pandemic, Cairn: Hiking Trails, Topo Maps, and Safety Alerts
READING
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

As a kid, Diana Atvars loved studying buildings and playing with Legos. Those hobbies made architecture a natural career choice for this Northwest native. To push herself out of her comfort zone, she moved to Austin, Texas, for college, where she balanced her architectural studies with Longhorn football games.

“Though I do miss the tacos, I am thrilled to be back in the Pacific Northwest,” the 23-year-old said. As an architectural designer, she feels she plays a role in improving the blueprint of the world’s future, “one drawing at a time.” — LF


Jacquelynn Beckman, 26

Pastry chef, Trellis Restaurant

RESIDENCE
Lynnwood
EDUCATION
Orange Coast College, baking and pastry arts degree
FIRST JOB
Cake decorator
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
“Happiness and joy is the true measure of success.” — Jacquelynn’s mom

HOBBIES
Hiking, surfing, snowboarding, running — I would definitely say I’m an adrenaline junkie, but I also love to watch Netflix with my Siberian husky, Nyx.
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
ChefsFeed
READING
Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson

Jacquelynn Beckman’s baking is arguably as delightful as her joyous personality. Beckman‘s laugh is infectious, and she tries not to take things too seriously.

In fact, it was the 26-year-old’s love for all things joyful that inspired her to pursue a career as a pastry chef. “The whole reason I got into baking was because of the joy it brought my friends and family,” said Beckman.

In addition to her knack for creating sugary confections, the whisk-wielding pastry chef also has a sense of humor. “True love,” she said, “can be measured in the size of the cinnamon roll I make you.” — MG


Dori Bikki, 26

Human resources manager, Schwartz Brothers Restaurants

RESIDENCE
Kirkland
EDUCATION
Washington State University, Bachelor of Arts in social science with emphasis in business administration, psychology, and cultural studies
FIRST JOB
Red Robin bird mascot
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
Every morning you have two choices: Continue to sleep with your dreams, or wake up and chase them.

HOBBIES
Running, hiking, camping.
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
UberEATS
READING
The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor

As Schwartz Brothers Restaurants’ human resources manager, Dori Bikki, 26, oversees the hiring, training, and retention of hundreds of employees within the company’s portfolio of local restaurants: Daniel’s Broiler (three locations), Chandler’s Crabhouse, Spazzo, and Schwartz Brothers Bakery.

“My biggest professional challenge has actually been the greatest learning opportunity,” she added. “Not only being the youngest, but the only woman on our executive team, I get to work alongside — and learn from — our senior executives by bringing fresh ideas from a millennial’s perspective, and gain wisdom from our experienced leaders.” — TM


Christopher Brown, 30

Manager of organized play, The Pokémon Company International

RESIDENCE
Bellevue
EDUCATION
Ohio State University: master’s in education, bachelor’s in history
FIRST JOB
Roller hockey referee
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
“Don’t let someone else drive your car.” — my parents (“car” is figurative for life)

HOBBIES
Basketball, Super Smash Bros., walks around Bellevue
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
OmniFocus
READING
Players: How Sports Became a Business by Matthew Futterman

Christopher Brown has been playing games all his life — and that’s a good thing.

After graduating college in 2012, Brown — who recently turned 30 and barely made the cut for inclusion in this year’s list — moved to the Pacific Northwest and landed a job planning video game tournaments for Bellevue-based The Pokémon Company International. “Childhood me would be envious,” said Brown. “I grew our program from 30 annual events in 2012 to over 2,000 in 25 countries by 2016.”

When he’s not working, Brown enjoys playing basketball and exploring Bellevue. He also sponsors Smash The Record, a charity video game tournament that raises money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. — TM


Mason Cheung, 26

Digital content producer, WE Communications

RESIDENCE
Mercer Island
EDUCATION
Western Washington University, bachelor’s in journalism
FIRST JOB
Barista
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
Seek first to understand. Then, be understood.
HOBBIES
“Music has always been a passion, whether it’s playing the drums, sifting through record stores, or reading about it.”
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Pharos
READING
Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson

A passion for storytelling has been at the heart of Mason Cheung’s journalism career. After graduating from Western Washington University, he started freelancing, and then took an internship doing public relations for Xbox, managed hotel content for Expedia, and moved to writing and designing content for a Microsoft website. At WE Communications, a Bellevue-based public relations firm with 18 global offices that works with companies including Microsoft , the 26-year-old has had a hand in a mosaic of projects.

“I am so thrilled to have a job that gives me a diverse mix of projects that challenge me just enough to keep things exciting,” he said. — SRM


Tawni Christiansen, 29

Owner, Copper Public House

RESIDENCE
Bellevue

EDUCATION
Western Washington University, bachelor’s in graphic design
FIRST JOB
Cleaning her mother’s office building
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
“You will because you can. When I was in elementary school, my mom gave me this little picture frame with a drawing of a girl reaching for a star with these exact words written. I put it on my desk for every test, knowing that even if I did poorly that time, I would never stop reaching for that star.”

HOBBIES
Soaking up the sun in any possible way — boating, swimming, hiking, exploring — and traveling and reading.
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Relax Melodies
READING
Start with Why by Simon Sinek

Tawni Christiansen thought playing soccer professionally was what she was meant to do. She was effortlessly good at the sport, and touts being a “hell of a goalkeeper.” But she said she didn’t put in enough practice to make it a career, so she got a degree in graphic design. While working in the food industry to make ends meet, she realized her passion for running a restaurant.

“After several years, the ranks couldn’t support my trajectory, and I wanted to be greater,” she said. “So one year ago, I bought my first restaurant, and it’s only the beginning.”

It’s likely one of the most difficult endeavors the 29-year-old has ever embarked on. In addition to being the owner, she also runs it as the general manager. One of the perks of being the owner is deciding how the business can give back to the community. Copper Public House in Snoqualmie currently supports education through a monthly giving program where proceeds from the day’s sales are donated to local schools. — SRM


Kevin Creekmore, 25

Founder and CEO, MoltenWorks Glass Studio

RESIDENCE
Everett

EDUCATION
High school diploma
FIRST JOB
Lifeguard
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
Learn to persevere, and be ready to accept life will change.

HOBBIES
Hiking, biking, astronomy, cooking, and reading
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
TED
READING
The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday

MoltenWorks Glass Studio started as a workshop Kevin Creekmore ran out of his parents’ garage. He worked 10- to 12-hour days mastering his craft and networking, all while balancing restaurant jobs. Creekmore, now 25, said his dream finally was realized when he landed a commercial space and found a niche in the art industry.

“There are many people out there that believe they aren’t creative,” he said. “This isn’t true, and we are now on a mission to prove it to everyone that attends our workshops.” — SRM


Marchelle Crisostomo, 24

Consultant, AristaPoint

RESIDENCE
Bellevue

EDUCATION
University of Washington Foster School, bachelor’s in business management and administration
FIRST JOB
Guest services
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
“When you are committed, you don’t let your feelings determine your actions, you let your actions determine your feelings.”
HOBBIES
Battle rapping, painting, exercising, and dining out
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Battle App
READING
The Go-Giver by Bob Burg

When she was 19 years old, Marchelle Crisostomo had accomplished more in her professional life than the majority of her peers. At an age when most would just be starting college, she was graduating from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, and she was filled with entrepreneurial passion. Today, at 24, Crisostomo has made a name for herself in the health care benefits industry. Aft er a stint in Las Vegas, the ambitious Crisostomo recently returned home to Bellevue and Kirkland-based AristaPoint, where she works as a consultant. When she isn’t at her day job, you can find her dropping a beat at competitive rap battles and teaching children’s music classes. — JK


Suzy Dolbow, 28

Marketing manager, Blueprint Consulting Services

RESIDENCE
Carnation

EDUCATION
University of Washington, bachelor’s degree in communication
FIRST JOB
Hostess at Wibbley’s Gourmet Burgers
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
Be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

HOBBIES
Triathlon training, DIY projects, playing with her two Wheaten Terrier puppies, and learning calligraphy
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Fitbit
READING
Start with Why by Simon Sinek

Suzy Dolbow, 28, cites mentorship as one of the things that’s helped her grow in her career, and it’s something she’s carried over to the workplace. Within her role at Blueprint Consulting Services, she has helped create an internship and mentorship program, which more than 200 people have been involved with. In 2015, Dolbow also started volunteering as a mentor with Year Up, an organization that offers low-income young adults the opportunity to gain a technology background and launch into a career.

“I believe at work it’s highly beneficial to have someone within your organization be a mentor to you but also have a different mentor outside of your organization,” she said. “You’ll receive completely different perspectives, which will help you form your own vision and drive, and in addition, you’ll have numerous sponsors supporting you and your career.” — SRM


Davey Friedman, 27

Sales manager, Northwest, WeWork

RESIDENCE
Seattle

EDUCATION
Tel Aviv University, master’s in Middle East history and languages; Whitman College, bachelor’s in history.
FIRST JOB
Dishwasher at The Grateful Bread. “It taught me how to swing a mop like a Jedi!”
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
“Life is more like a wrestling match than a dance.” — Marcus Aurelius

HOBBIES
Swimming, teaching Hebrew, and tinkering with his 1965 Mustang
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Safeway mobile app. “I’m a coupon enthusiast!”
READING
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini

Davey Friedman joined WeWork as an intern in 2013 and quickly worked his way up from front desk operations to managing sales in the Pacific Northwest. The 27-year-old doesn’t mind traveling for work, and has helped launch WeWork co-working sites in Tel Aviv; Bellevue; and (later this year) Vancouver, B.C. Friedman has dual Canadian-American citizenship.

“As a kid, I grew up idolizing singers and basketball players, so I’m drawn to the discipline, competitiveness, and excellence mentality of top-notch sales organizations,” said Friedman.

WeWork is growing fast, and that means Friedman is always looking for top talent to join the company’s team. “Hiring is a constant challenge,” noted Friedman. “I’m often interviewing candidates with more experience than me, which felt a little tricky at first, but I’m grateful for the coaching I’ve had from many amazing mentors.”

Friedman stays active outside work by swimming or rollerblading when the weather is nice. And he serves on Whitman College’s Young Alumni Advisory Council (he is an alum), which offers opportunities to help recent graduates find their footings in the business world. — TM

 
2

30 Under 30: G-M

Michael Greene, 25

Operations manager, Highland Private Wealth Management

RESIDENCE
Bellevue
EDUCATION
Northwest University, master’s in business administration, Certified Financial Planner
FIRST JOB
His own landscaping company
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
Leave everyone you interact with better off because of the interaction.

HOBBIES
Anything competitive. Basketball, volleyball, and Spikeball.
APPS MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Redfin. “I like to keep an eye on what’s available.”
READING
Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Whether shooting hoops on the court or helping people manage their wealth, Michael Greene said he can’t help but put 110 percent into whatever he’s doing. The 25-year-old basketball-loving go-getter started his career as an intern at Highland Private Wealth Management in 2013 after graduating from Northwest University with his MBA. In just a few short years, Greene has climbed the ranks at Highland to his current position as operations manager. “As someone who is practical to a fault, I fell in love with wealth management as a way to tangibly help people and give them more time to do what they love,” Greene said. “I love the feeling of making the lives of those around me better and easier.” — MG


Whitney Heinrich, 28

Owner, Crafted Confections

RESIDENCE
Woodinville
EDUCATION
French Culinary Institute in New York City, pastry degree
FIRST JOB
Vibe, a boutique shop in Issaquah
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
Surround yourself with positive, creative people.

HOBBIES
Daily Method cycle and barre classes; visiting wineries; and cooking and baking.
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Magisto Video Editor & Movie Maker
READING
#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso

Whitney Heinrich’s entrepreneurial side emerged at an early age in the form of weekend lemonade and homemade jewelry stands, but it wasn’t until her late teens that she developed a passion for baking. In 2012, Heinrich started her dessert company, Crafted Confections in Woodinville, after working in some of Seattle’s most celebrated restaurants.

“The past five years have been a roller coaster, but I’ve learned a ton and have no regrets,” she said.

As a self-described control freak, Heinrich, 28, said one of the most difficult aspects of operating a business has been surrendering personal control. As time goes on, you learn to adapt and let go of the little things, she said. — SRM


Danielle Hull, 29

Owner, flower farmer, and designer, Dandy Flower Co.

RESIDENCE
Maple Valley
EDUCATION
Washington State University, bachelor’s in communication/public relations
FIRST JOB
Smoothie artist at Juice It Up
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
If you want something, you have to go out and make it happen.

HOBBIES
Hiking, reading, and watching Dateline
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
StepBet
READING
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

After feeling stifled in the typical grind of office work, Danielle Hull, 29, found that gardening was the only thing that she really enjoyed. Inspired by her grandfather’s “prolific” dahlia garden, she started sharing her floral pictures on Instagram under the nickname “Dandy,” which is what her grandfather calls her.

An influx of requests for her flower and design services poured in, so Hull started doing research and taking classes. Starting her own business has come with challenges, of course, but it’s been a fun journey, and it’s grown a lot in the last year.

“I am so excited to see where this flower business will take me next,” she said. — SRM


Emily Joseph, 28

Co-founder, Resident Ink

RESIDENCE
Renton
EDUCATION
Cornish College of the Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts
FIRST JOB
Working for a small catering/events company (sometimes taking care of the owner’s goats)
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
Every morning, you should wake up, take a deep breath, take time to look in the mirror, pull your shoulders back, and tell yourself that today is going to be a good day. Remind yourself that you are an amazing individual, you are capable, and you will succeed. Tell yourself this as often as you can, even when it feels like you are in a tailspin of pitfalls and failures. Self-worth is unbelievably important.

HOBBIES
Making art and food
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
The Moon
READING
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Emily Joseph, 28, is an artist who worked her way through classes at Cornish College of the Arts by serving tables at Wild Ginger in Bellevue. After graduating in 2013, Joseph continued to work at Wild Ginger, eventually becoming bar manager, where she used her creative eye to craft beautiful (and tasty) cocktails. “Art really is an essential form of expression and communication for me, but I have always had a passion for food, wine, and spirits,” she said.

Today, Joseph still is slinging cocktails, but has transitioned to a role behind the bar at Renee Erickson’s Bar Melusine, a part-time gig she maintains while working toward taking her printmaking business, Resident Ink, full-time.

“The goal is to curate quality handmade goods from emerging artists that are looking for additional avenues to produce work outside of selling fine art,” she said.

When she’s not working on a drawing or piece of art, Joseph said she can be found cooking, baking, gardening, sewing, or reading. — MG


Amin Lakhani, 28

Owner, The Dating Coach on Wheels

RESIDENCE
Bellevue
EDUCATION
University of Pennsylvania, bachelor’s in economics (The Wharton School) and bachelor’s in computer science
FIRST JOB
Teller intern at Washington Mutual
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
There’s nothing people want more in this world than to feel important. To feel that they matter.
HOBBIES
Archery and interior design
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Pandemic: The Board Game
READING
Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

In his early 20s, Amin Lakhani was deeply insecure. “I used to be a sad, lonely guy in a wheelchair,” he said.

Lakhani has muscular dystrophy, a condition that causes his muscles to atrophy. He thought applying himself in school and getting a prestigious job at Microsoft would help him meet women. But when he tried to kiss a girl for the first time, she told him that she didn’t want to date someone in a wheelchair. After that, he hired a dating coach — someone to teach him how to make lasting relationships.

“After years of dedicated practice, my life became remarkably different — filled with deep friendships, incredible girlfriends, and even falling in love,” he said. Since then, the 28-year-old has decided to put all his energy toward helping other guys who are struggling to meet women and calls himself The Dating Coach on Wheels. — LF


Danni Lin, 28

Founder and CEO, Great Wine USA

RESIDENCE
Bellevue

EDUCATION
University of Washington, master of science in computational finance and risk management
FIRST JOB
Athlete assistant
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
Think like a CEO, but work on everything together with your employees.

HOBBIES
Fashion, wine, cars, traveling, and reading.
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Nokia Health Mate
READING
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Born in China, Danni Lin, 28, traveled to North America for her education, eventually landing in Seattle. After graduating from the University of Washington, Lin worked at Microsoft before starting her own company, Great Wine USA.

Lin thrives on working hard, but she said starting her own business hasn’t come without its set of challenges, the biggest of which she said has been battling gender stereotypes.

“We still see many women living under gender stereotyping and profiling, thinking that family should always be a woman’s top priority in life, and I have had female friends who said I was a workaholic and that this prevented me from finding my Mr. Right,” said Lin. “I see myself as an active member of the business world and will support more women to remain confident of their life choices.” — MG


Emily Lukken, 29

Marketing manager, Slalom

RESIDENCE
North Bend

EDUCATION
Creative Center, bachelor of fine arts
FIRST JOB
Godfather’s Pizza
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
Never, ever sell yourself short.

HOBBIES
Baking, kayaking, and hiking
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Quickbooks GoPayment
READING
GeekWire and AdAge

Midwest native turned North Bend resident Emily Lukken, 29, brings a creative background in art and graphic design to her job as marketing manager at the business consulting firm Slalom. Like most marketing professionals, she’s skilled at branding, sponsorship, and client engagement. But she also loves to challenge herself to learn new things and stay ahead of the industry’s ever-changing landscape. “I’ve come to realize that learning is not always built into a position or role, and you may have to reach outside your immediate network to pick up new skills,” said Lukken.

Volunteerism is also important to Lukken, both in and out of the office. She leads a team of Slalom volunteers during Tour de Cure — an annual bike ride that benefits the American Diabetes Association. Outside work, she grants children’s wishes for Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, and fosters dogs for Seattle Humane. — TM


Rali Mandeva, 25

Compliance and ethics manager, T-Mobile

RESIDENCE
Seattle

EDUCATION
University of Washington, bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in law, societies, and justice
FIRST JOB
Retail sales
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
If someone says no, you’re talking to the wrong person.

HOBBIES
Traveling, spending time with friends, organizing social events and celebrations
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
T-Mobile Tuesdays

Rali Mandeva used to think the phrase “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” was an unrealistic, overused concept. But as an ethics professional at T-Mobile, the 25-year-old feels fulfilled on the clock.

“My day-to-day responsibilities include managing the enterprise-wide Ethics Hotline and Whistleblower Protection program. I provide leadership, direction, and coaching on compliance-related investigations and promote an open, transparent, and ethical culture by educating and enabling employees to speak up and ‘Do it the right way,’” she said.

Before joining T-Mobile, Mandeva worked at several nonprofits, where she helped develop and promote inclusion in the workplace. One of her mottos is to never settle for mediocre. “I often joke that I wouldn’t mind trading in (my) type-A personality at times to slow down and enjoy the simple things, but I really do love to push myself to break through barriers,” she said. — LF


Cody McBroom, 25

Fitness and nutrition coach, Boom-Boom Performance and Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance

RESIDENCE
Renton

EDUCATION
Highline College, certified training and nutrition coach
FIRST JOB
Rite Aid clerk
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
Give, give, give. When you give more, you will be rewarded.
HOBBIES
Skateboarding
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Meme Generator
READING
The Go-Giver by Bob Burg

Cody “Boom-Boom” McBroom, 25, didn’t always fit the portrait of a physically fit Adonis. In fact, growing up, McBroom said he was the chubby kid.

After getting into soccer in high school, McBroom said he started to shed some of the pounds he had been carrying around and discovered a passion for fitness. However, his progress soon came crashing down when the young athlete tore his meniscus and ACL.

After recovering from his injuries, McBroom was unable to return to the soccer field, but that didn’t deter him from getting into shape. Through rigorous training and education, McBroom persevered through the pain and self-doubt in pursuit of his dream.

“The biggest moves in life are almost always the most uncomfortable ones,” McBroom said.

Today, he helps others achieve their fitness goals through his role at Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance in Renton and through his own online fitness and nutrition coaching business, Boom-Boom Performance. — MG

 
3

30 Under 30: N-W

Katie Newman, 27

Revenue and reservations manager, Salish Lodge & Spa

RESIDENCE
Maple Valley
EDUCATION
eCornell, master certificate in hospitality, marketing, and revenue management
FIRST JOB
Hostess
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” — Maya Angelou

HOBBIES
Hiking
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
HotelTonight
READING
Leadership & Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute

Katie Newman, 27, may be a millennial, but she also is a veteran Salish Lodge & Spa employee.

She was 19 years old when she was hired to serve food and beverages at the picturesque resort perched high above Snoqualmie Falls. “I quickly learned that I love helping people create memories, so I decided to move to the front desk, where I could be more hands-on creating memories for our guests,” she said.

But it wasn’t until she was promoted to revenue and reservations manager that she found her true career calling. “I am able to be a part of the success of the property,” explained Newman. “One of the best parts of my current role is I get to develop my team and see them continue to grow in their roles. This is something that I strongly believe in, as people have helped me grow along the way by delegating projects to me where I had to go out of my comfort zone to achieve these goals.”

When she’s not working, Newman can be found hiking local trails with her husband and their two dogs. She also volunteers at Camp Korey, which helps children and families living with serious medical conditions. — TM


Angela Nordstrom, 27

Marketing and brand development manager, Weldon Barber

RESIDENCE
Kirkland
EDUCATION
Gonzaga University, bachelor’s degree in communications and entrepreneurship; University of Washington, certificate in marketing management
FIRST JOB
Front desk receptionist at Weldon Barber
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
Good relationships keep us happier and healthier.

HOBBIES
Traveling, skiing, biking, running, hiking, fishing, boating, horseback riding, reading, cooking, theater, fashion, antique hunting, spending time with friends and family
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Basecamp
READING
The Defining Decade by Meg Jay, PhD

Angela Nordstrom comes from a family that’s invested much of its time in the retail industry, as you may have guessed from her last name. The 27-year-old’s parents own Weldon Barber, a modern, upscale barber shop brand on the Eastside and in Spokane.

“I am part of a family that works every day to set the standard for excellent customer service in the retail industry and I was fortunate to be raised in this culture,” she said.

But it wasn’t until she was a teenager working behind the front desk at Weldon Barber that she truly realized the value of great customer service.

“Quickly I learned that working in a people business is an awesome and powerful responsibility,” she said.

Now she plays an important role in expanding Weldon Barber. Nordstrom’s instinct to keep setting new goals isn’t contained to her professional life. She plans to get her MBA and pilot’s license before turning 30. — LF


Andrew James O’Neill, 27

CTO and photographer, Clarity Northwest Photography / Co-Founder, IMGDeck

RESIDENCE
Renton
EDUCATION
“Paused studies to build companies.”
FIRST JOB
Self-employed web designer
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
All incumbent institutions and authority — whether political, financial, religious, or corporate — are malleable. If something cannot adapt, supersession is an inevitability.

HOBBIES
Exploring cryptographic decentralized networks like Bitcoin and Ethereum, building and flying radio-controlled drones and other fixed-wing aircraft, as well as participating in information activism similar to Anonymous and Wikileaks
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Turo
READING
Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

Andrew James O’Neill, 27, has been pushing boundaries all his life. From his childhood of competitive BMX, skateboarding, and skiing, to his current aspirations to explore space, O’Neill is like a nonstop force of nature with an adventurous spirit. Much of that energy is funneled into working 17-hour days running Clarity Northwest Photography and his graphic design boutique, IMGDeck, which is based in the Philippines. Maybe his superhuman energy is a result of the three back-to-back concussions from his extreme sporting days, but O’Neill’s boundless vitality affords him time to build and fly his own drones and spend downtime with his wife. — JK


Jennie Pegouskie Bentot, 29

Director of Marketing, Avenue Properties

RESIDENCE
Seattle
EDUCATION
University of Washington, Bachelor of Arts
FIRST JOB
Grocery bagger at the Fort Lewis Commissary
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff.
HOBBIES
Drawing, painting, and photography
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Digit
READING
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Jennie Pegouskie Bentot is the director of marketing for Bellevue-based broker Avenue Properties, where she said she wears many hats. But outside of Avenue Properties, this 29-year-old dons many other hats — and even the occasional hoodie — as a dancer and model. If you think she looks familiar, you’d be right. Earlier this year, Bentot starred in the music video for Ed Sheeran’s song Shape of You. Moreover, she also has toured with Grammy award-winning duo Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, performing in more than 30 countries over the past four years and appearing on The Ellen Show, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and more. — JK


Lucas Pinto, 25

Real estate professional, Lucas Pinto Real Estate Group

RESIDENCE
Bellevue

EDUCATION
Some college
FIRST JOB
Selling newspaper subscriptions
HOBBIES
Reading, boating, yoga, traveling, business
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Tesla Motors
READING
Be Obsessed Or Be Average by Grant Cardone

A first-generation immigrant from Brazil, Lucas Pinto said he grew up in poverty. With his parents struggling to make ends meet, Pinto knew when his family relocated to Seattle that it was up to him to make his American Dream a reality.

After arriving in the United States, Pinto said he was told something that would change his life forever: “Provide more value to others than they could ever expect.” This lesson has stuck with Pinto, as has the mentorship he received from Bellevue real estate broker Ed Laine.

Today, the 25-year-old is the owner and top producer at Lucas Pinto Real Estate Group, and he pays the meaningful mentorship he received forward to other bright-eyed youth as a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. — MG


Photo courtesy Gordon James Fine Diamonds.

Matthew Raine, 27

Jeweler, Gordon James Fine Diamonds

RESIDENCE
Seattle

EDUCATION
University of Washington, Bachelor of Arts, Gemological Institute of America GG 2014
FIRST JOB
Neighborhood lawn mower. “It taught me there is work if you find it.”
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
If it’s too good to be true, it isn’t.

HOBBIES
Hiking, skiing (snow and water), and reading
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Waze
READING
The Hike by Drew Magary

Matthew Raine’s family has a long history in the Pacific Northwest. His parents, Gordon and Gretchen, are Puget Sound natives who have been in the diamond business for more than 35 years and own and operate Gordon James Fine Diamonds in downtown Bellevue.

So it wasn’t too surprising when Raine decided to learn more about the industry and help run the family business.

“I’m lucky to have parents who have diverse experiences,” said 27-year-old Raine.

When he’s not helping his parents run the family business, he spends time volunteering at local food banks. — TM


Marissa Sandberg, 26

Teacher, Open Window School

RESIDENCE
Seattle

EDUCATION
Seattle Pacific University, master’s in teaching
FIRST JOB
Summer camp counselor
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
Your education is one of the most important things you will ever do, because once you have it, no one can ever take it away from you.
HOBBIES
Ballet and tap dancing, gardening, and cooking
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
The Knot — “I’m getting married next summer!”
READING
Everything by food writers Mark Bittman and Michael Pollan

Marissa Sandberg’s grandpa used to corner her with life advice. He’d go on and on about the things he felt were most important. But one of his points especially stayed with her: ”Once you have (an education), no one can ever take it away from you,” he said.

Sandberg, 26, is now a teacher at Open Window School, an elementary and middle school for gifted students in Bellevue. She is constantly evolving her lesson plans to keep her students engaged and challenged. Her class of first-graders created laser-cut puppets to perform their own fairy tales. She also works diligently to make her classroom a comfortable place for all her students.

“Last summer, I spent my time religiously perusing yard sales so that I could revamp our room to include lots of different seating options for my varied learners,” she said. Sandberg also loves to dance. She performs at low-income nursing homes during the holidays and is always ready to “bust a move.” — LF


Carmine (left) and Philip (right) Smeraldo.

Carmine & Philip Smeraldo

Co-owners and operators, Carmine’s

Carmine Smeraldo, 26

RESIDENCE
Seattle

EDUCATION
UCLA, Bachelor of Arts in economics
FIRST JOB
Busboy
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
Take time out of the week to enjoy the beauty of doing nothing.

HOBBIES
Playing harmonica, playing guitar, cooking, and barbecuing
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
ESPN
READING
The Stranger by Albert Camus

Philip Smeraldo, 24

RESIDENCE
Seattle

EDUCATION
University of Washington Foster School of Business, bachelor’s degree in business
FIRST JOB
Valet
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
Grow up.

HOBBIES
Playing basketball, blackjack, video games, and Settlers of Catan
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
NBA
READING
Salt in His Shoes by Deloris Jordan

From a young age, Carmine, 26, and Philip, 24, Smeraldo worked in their family’s Seattle-based restaurant, Il Terrazzo Carmine, whenever they were on break from school and sometimes even when they weren’t.

Busing tables, doing dishes, or acting as a valet instilled in the young men an attention to detail as well as “professional pride, and the dignity in honing a craft,” according to Philip.

However, just as Carmine was finishing his junior year at UCLA and Philip was gearing up to start classes at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business, the family patriarch suddenly died. As if the loss of a parent wasn’t enough to rattle the brothers, they had their family’s business to think about. The boys’ father, Carmine Sr., had owned and operated the restaurant since 1984, when he arrived in the United States by way of Naples, Italy.

“I spent the rest of my time at UCLA traveling back and forth between Los Angeles and Seattle, finishing my degree while helping my mother and brother steady our family business,” Carmine said. “The restaurant’s staff and patrons were reeling after the sudden loss of my father.”

The brothers didn’t just keep the legacy going; they expanded it. Today, they own Intermezzo Carmine, a craft cocktail bar adjacent to the original Seattle location, as well as a new full-scale complement to their father’s restaurant, Carmine’s Bellevue.

Despite the challenges the brothers have faced, who can argue with the results? Droves of hungry Eastsiders flock to the brothers’ elegant Italian eatery in the historic Old Bellevue neighborhood to enjoy signature crafted cocktails and fare inspired by their father’s roots. — JK


Becky Taylor, 28

Influencer Relations manager, Riot Games

RESIDENCE
Issaquah

EDUCATION
Fitchburg State University, bachelor’s of science in communications media
FIRST JOB
Computer technician
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
If you can make it through the morning, you can make it through the day.

HOBBIES
Playing video games and cooking
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Amazon Alexa
READING
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Becky Taylor isn’t a run-of-the-mill hobby gamer; rather gaming has permeated every aspect of her personal and professional life. Growing up in an agricultural area in Massachusetts, Taylor had plenty of room to run around, but boredom and weather often forced her inside, where she escaped into a virtual world. From ages 5 to 7, Taylor worked to complete a game called Robot City (while dabbling in many others). After completing the story-like game, Taylor made a discovery: Games can change people’s lives.

Since then, the 28-year-old has been hooked. “They’re a form of storytelling that lets you be who you could probably never be in real life,” she said. “You can explore the tombs of Egypt, fight bad people and invading aliens, explore space, or be an animal surviving in the wilderness.”

When a severe ear infection in her teens required partial removal of her skull, resulting in a titanium plate in her head, dreams of forensic computing and a stint in the Marine Corps were dashed, so she went back to her old standby, gaming. Most recently, Taylor has worked as an evangelist for Innervate but will be traveling south to Los Angeles this summer to start a new position as relations manager for Riot Games. — JK


Stewart Waliser, 23

Owner, Stew’s Self Service Garage

RESIDENCE
Kirkland

EDUCATION
Some college
FIRST JOB
Utility with Crew Services televising the Mariners live to Japan
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE
“While you’re out there partying, horsing around, someone out there at the same time is working hard. Someone is getting smarter, and someone is winning. Just remember that.” — Arnold Schwarzenegger

HOBBIES
Baseball and motorsports
APP MOST RECENTLY DOWNLOADED
Alaska Airlines
READING
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder

Stew Waliser went to college with the full intention of attending medical school afterward. However, it didn’t take long for Waliser’s career trajectory to change course. He dropped out of school but today, still does consider himself a type of doctor — he just happens to operate on cars instead of humans.

As the owner of Stew’s Self Service Garage in Kirkland, the 23-year-old entrepreneur said he takes on many roles. “On any given day, I’m the marketing director, the payroll accountant, the bookkeeper, the HR department, receptionist, one of the professional mechanics, the customer service manager, IT guy, the web developer, the handyman, or any other job that pops along the way,” said Waliser. “It’s great fun, and there is always something new.” — MG

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