30UnderFeatured
Text by Marjorie Clark, Jake Bullinger, Ethan Chung, Lauren Foster, Elizabeth Harbaugh, and Haley Hamilton. Photos by Rachel Coward.

We looked, emailed, and messaged high and low for talented Eastsiders who were less than 30 years old. We found plenty of what we were looking for, and now we present to you the brightest, most fun, and most motivated business folks we could find. Here, you’ll find those who have achieved grand milestones in their young lives. They are ambitious, smart, and a hell of a lot of fun.

 
1

Thirty Under 30: A-O

20150429_30under30_978-smoothJuan Arroyo, 26

Bellevue LifeSpring, social service and programs manager

Hometown
East Los Angeles
Residence
Seattle
Education
University of Washington, bachelor’s in political science and Spanish
First Job
J.C. Penney jewelry department
What is the best advice you ever received?
It’s not what you say; it’s what you do.
What is the last app you downloaded?
Heads Up

Juan Arroyo’s biggest challenge at work is that sometimes he can’t do enough. As a social service and programs  manager at Bellevue LifeSpring, Arroyo is a fun-loving and optimistic worker who helps struggling families living in poverty. He serves Bellevue’s economically disadvantaged population by overseeing programs and services at Bellevue LifeSpring, including distributing food to low-income students, and increasing community engagement. But when funding is low, he’s also the one who has to turn families away. “I wish we had the resources to fulfill the needs of every child who needs our help,” he says. Serving others is more than a job for Arroyo. He volunteers at eight other
organizations in his free time. His drive to make a difference in people’s lives is in part fueled by his mother’s wise words: “It’s not what you say; it’s what you do.” — LF


Danielle Ashworth, 25REC_0021

Wiserg, biochemist

Hometown
Redmond
Residence
Kirkland
Education
Seattle University, bachelor’s in chemistry
First Job
Tutor
What is the best advice you ever received?
Perseverance will always prevail over natural talent.
What is the last app you downloaded?
OneBusAway

In her 9-to-5, Danielle Ashworth deals with waste. The WISErg biochemist is tasked with understanding which sources of food waste will produce the best nutrient mix in the company’s fertilizer. That waste-not ethos certainly extends to Ashworth’s downtime. She’s a weightlifter who has deadlifted 285 pounds, and she experiments with new foods in her kitchen. She has made a grain- and sugar-free birthday cake, but also cooked up a “simple no-sugar brownie batter that tasted unbelievably spot-on in the bowl, but when I baked it all the flavor disappeared and I was left with a rocky mess.” — JB


REC_9130Kasey Champion, 26

Microsoft, software engineer

Hometown
Bellevue
Residence
Seattle
Education
University of Washington, bachelor’s in electrical engineering
First Job
Cashier
What is the best advice you ever received?
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
What is the last app you downloaded?
ClassPass

With a last name like Champion, you might be worried about Kasey’s ability to live up to the hype. Don’t worry folks; she does. Since graduating from UW in 2011, Champion has secured a job as software programmer at Microsoft, where she mentors interns and helps with Microsoft’s Technology for Good. She volunteers with Technology Education and Literacy in Schools before work. That’s not all: she and her sister run Champion Family Parties, where they visit local kids’ parties dressed as princesses. Next time you look up ”champion” in the dictionary, don’t be surprised if you read, “See: Kasey.” — HH


REC_0120Bradley Davis, 29

Microsoft Store, manager

Hometown
San Leandro, California
Residence
Bellevue
Education
Courses at Chabot College and Columbia Southern University
First Job
Pizza maker
What is the best advice you ever received?
The most important thing we have as leaders to give to our teams is our time.
What is the last app you downloaded?
Fidelity Investments

Bradley Davis knows the ups and downs of running a retail store devoted to technology. Prior to managing Microsoft stores, he closed down a Circuit City store in the Bay Area when the company filed for bankruptcy. Last year, he transferred from the Microsoft Store in Kansas City to open and manage the Microsoft Store in Bellevue Square. “The difference between Kansas City and here is incredible,” he says. “Here, we’re in the heart of Microsoft country.
There is no product evangelizing here because everyone already knows all of your products. There’s a lot more showing people how to make the most of their devices and programs.” But did he drink the Kool-Aid? He’s a proud Windows Phone carrier. “By choice,” he says with a grin. — MC


REC_9690Augusta DeVries, 28

Bellevue Downtown Association, transportation program director

Hometown
Wausau, Wisconsin
Residence
Kirkland
Education
University of Wisconsin, bachelor’s in legal studies; University of Colorado Denver, master’s in urban and regional planning
First Job
Hostess and busser
What is the best advice you ever received?
Your job is just your job. It’s not you. If at the end of the day it’s not all done, that’s OK; it will be there tomorrow.  Spend quality time with your family, and make sure to talk about things besides work.
What is the last app you downloaded?
OfferUp

Augusta DeVries says she loved her job as a city planner in Golden, Colorado, but in May 2013 she took a job at the Bellevue Downtown Association in order to build her new life as a newlywed. She says she loves her job at BDA, but also would be open to working for a city department again. “I enjoyed the opportunity to really learn about city government and how it works at a smaller scale,” she says. “I think government at the state level isn’t for me, but in small, local government, that is where real change happens.” In her spare time, DeVries loves exploring all the hiking and camping that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. — MC


REC_0377Alexandra Dorsett, 25

Nytec, marketing manager

Hometown
Bellevue
Residence
Kirkland
Education
University of North Carolina at Greensboro, bachelor’s in sustainable tourism and hospitality
First Job
Marketing coordinator
What is the best advice you ever received?
Always aim for the win-win, and don’t screw others over to make yourself look better.
What is the last app you downloaded?
The Atlantic Magazine

A Bellevue native and Pacific Northwesterner to the core, Alexandra Dorsett knows the value of the community at work and beyond. Dorsett has climbed her way up the ladder at Nytec, a Kirkland-based tech-hardware design and consulting firm. She’s now the marketing manager and works on corporate promotion and sustainability. Nytec isn’t her only local passion, though. Dorsett works with local nonprofits such as the City of Kirkland Arts Commission, the Lake Washington Symphony Orchestra, and the Seattle Hardware Startups Meetup. Whether she’s loving the Washington outdoors, eating some local treats, volunteering, or, you know, working, Dorsett feels that when it comes to community, it’s win-win, or no deal. — EH


Grace Fox, 25

Thinkspace, co-director of recruiting

GraceFoxHometown
Seattle
Residence
Kirkland
Education
University of Washington Bothell, bachelor’s in communications and media
First Job
Server
What is the best advice you ever received?
Soon is good, but now is better.
What is the last app you downloaded?
Couch to Half Marathon

In her day-to-day work, Grace Fox is focused on making connections. So much so, that she has to remind herself there’s work to be done on the computer. “My instinct is to stroll around town, meeting people and exchanging stories,” she says. Fox uses that energy “gleefully” as a recruiter for Thinkspace, and she’s working to shake up the world of tech recruiting. If you find yourself in Redmond, keep your eyes peeled for Fox. She’s the one chatting up the people fortunate enough to stand next to her. You just might be lucky enough to hear about her stint as captain of the unicycle team. — MC


20150429_30under30_0258Kellen Gildersleeve, 22

Choice Insurance, producer and account executive

Hometown
Kirkland
Residence
Kirkland
Education
Real estate license; insurance broker license
First Job
Groundskeeper
What is the best advice you ever received?
If you aren’t happy with your life, look closely at your daily schedule.
What is the last app you downloaded?
WhatsApp

Kellen Gildersleeve knows the value of relationships and a positive attitude. After injuries prevented the 6-foot-6
Kirkland native from playing college basketball, he found his way to the world of real estate and insurance. Now a spry 22 years old, he’s a member of the Kirkland Chamber of Commerce and volunteers for the Kirkland Downtown Association. He’s constantly making connections with people around him. “Learning from people who have achieved what you want, that’s my biggest piece of advice for other people. I read somewhere that you become your five closest friends, and take on their personality traits, so you have to keep yourself balanced with the people you associate with.” — MC


20150429_30under30_52_NEWPhilip LaFranchi, 28

Schnitzer West, investment coordinator

Hometown
Issaquah
Residence
Renton
Education
University of Washington, bachelor’s in architecture
First Job
Bellevue Downtown Association
What is the best advice you ever received?
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
What is the last app you downloaded?
Houzz

The Eastside is becoming increasingly cosmopolitan, but lifetime locals such as Philip LaFranchi are still shaping its future. LaFranchi grew up in Issaquah, lives in Renton, and is Schnitzer West’s investment coordinator for The Bravern and two Northup office buildings. His downtime also is quintessentially Eastside: LaFranchi is on the Visit Bellevue Washington advisory committee and is helping renovate his alma mater, Liberty High School. Area sports fans might not realize it, but they’ve probably seen LaFranchi’s handiwork. In 2008, while at the University of Washington, LaFranchi donned the costume of Harry the Husky, the school’s mascot, at sporting events. — JB


Kate Leigh, 24

Youth Eastside Service, coordinator of youth services
World Association for Children and Parents U.S., kids adoption case manager

KateLeighHometown
Bellevue
Residence
Seattle
Education
University of Washington, bachelor’s in social welfare
First Job
Preschool summer camp counselor
What is the best advice you ever received?
Always uphold your integrity.
What is the last app you downloaded?
Sosh

Kate Leigh says that everything is better when a dog is involved, so it’s fitting she attended UW and is now a Husky. Leigh works as teen outreach counselor for one job, and as a case worker in the foster-care adoption program in another. Needless to say, she’s passionate about helping youth, and staying on top of best practices and resources is a key part of doing her job well. This is a major reason she’s headed back to UW for a master’s degree in social work. Outside of work, Leigh’s passion for giving back to the community continues through her work with the Humane Society of Seattle, the YMCA, and Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Activists. — MC


20150429_30under30_716Tyler Menezes, 22

StudentRND, executive director

Hometown
Bellevue
Residence
Bellevue
Education
University of Washington, some coursework
First Job
Development intern
What is the best advice you ever received?
Make something people want.
What is the last app you downloaded?
Car2Go

He might be one of the younger people on this list, but Tyler Menezes is not short on ability, determination, or achievements. Menezes is the executive director of StudentRND and a graduate of Silicon Valley’s prestigious Y Combinator. After his own experience working for and founding a startup, he knows small companies are what hold his attention, as do creative projects such as coding a Twitter-controlled door lock or a custom vending machine. While his work’s focus is on tech education, the UW dropout had a patchy experience with college. What would he put as his epitaph? Possibly, “He dropped out of college, but doesn’t generally recommend it.” — MC


20150429_30under30_320Amber Osborne, 29

Meshfire, chief marketing officer

Hometown
New Port Richey, Florida
Residence
Kirkland
Education
University of Tampa, bachelor’s in mass communication
First Job
Artist management and promotion
What is the best advice you ever received?
Without risk, there isn’t reward.
What is the last app you downloaded?
Slack

Amber Osborne is a self-identified early adopter. She’s been on Twitter since the beginning, and it’s because of connections she made on that social platform that she ended up as chief marketing officer for Meshfire, a social media analytics company. Now she’s up to her eyeballs in social and community development all day, but Osborne isn’t one to disconnect when she’s off the  clock. She takes those hard-earned early-adopting skills and puts them to work for small companies and nonprofits. “Social media can be baffling for people who don’t understand it,” she says. “So I listen to what they are trying to do, and if it’s in line with what I’m about, I help them.” — MC

 
2

Thirty Under 30: P-S

REC_8634Jake Paulson, 28

Anchorhead Coffee, co-owner

Hometown
Twin Falls, Idaho
Residence
West Seattle
Education
Art Institute of Seattle, associate’s in applied arts
First Job
Welding apprentice
What is the best advice you ever received?
If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.
What is the last app you downloaded?
NBA Jam

REC_8662Mike Steiner, 29

Anchorhead Coffee, co-owner

Hometown
Spokane
Residence
Duvall
Education
Art Institute of Seattle, associate’s in applied arts
First Job
Cleaning horse stalls
What is the best advice you ever received?
If you want something, make it happen for yourself.

At first glance, these guys might appear to be opposites, but they’re two peas in a pod. Both attended the Art Institute of Seattle, and both have an undying love of coffee. After a combined 13 years as front-of-the-house audio engineers and touring with bands, they hung up the headphones and learned how to roast coffee beans. Instead of opening a coffee shop — there’s no shortage of espresso places around here — they turned to cold-brewed coffee. In only two years, the pair has gone from roasting coffee in a garage and selling at farmers markets to operating in a warehouse and supplying coffee to some of Seattle’s largest grocery chains. Distribution farther down the West Coast is next on the agenda. And then, world domination. You heard it here first. — MC


REC_0420Kevan Petterson, 29

SkinSpirit, RN aesthetic specialist

Hometown
Bothell
Residence
Seattle
Education
University of Washington, bachelor’s in nursing
First Job
Cashier
What is the best advice you ever received?
To be the best, you have to watch the best. Take what the best in your industry do and make it your own.
What is the last app you downloaded?
GIF Keyboard

If we had to pick a nickname for Kevan Petterson, it’d be Buzz Lightgear — the dude’s a whiz with a laser. The good news is you don’t have to go to infinity and beyond to reach him. As an aesthetic nurse specialist at SkinSpirit in Redmond, he battles the dreaded “Real Housewives” look by helping clients achieve a natural look with procedures that are within clients’ financial means and comfort level. When he’s not using his laser powers in the office, Petterson aims his focus on organizations supporting HIV/AIDS care, LGBT youth, and women’s and children’s shelters. — HH


20150429_30under30_438Sonia Romo, 28

Smartsheet, director of technical support

Hometown
Renton
Residence
Seatac
Education
University of Washington, bachelor’s in Spanish
First Job
Salesperson
What is the best advice you ever received?
To lead is to serve.
What is the last app you downloaded?
A daily devotional app

Sonia Romo has always been gritty. She claims that she’s not a salesperson by nature, but when she got her first job at an athletic retail company, she learned to sell through exceptional customer service. These days, she’s still serving customers, but on a much larger scale. Romo works for Smartsheet in Bellevue, where she’s responsible for building the technical support and training teams that work with more than 61,000 companies in 170 countries. With her help, the technical support team doubled in size in 2014. Romo is no longer in shoe sales, but she is leaving a global footprint through her dedicated customer service. — LF


Jori Saeger, 27

Limeade, B2B marketing director

JoriSaegerHometown
Bainbridge Island
Residence
Seattle
Education
Scripps College, bachelor’s in media studies
First Job
Server
What is the best advice you ever received?
Follow your own aspirations, not what others say is best for you.
What is the last app you downloaded?
Munchery

Jori Saeger loves a good story, from working to spread the word and brand of Limeade to writing and sharing photographs about her latest outdoor adventure. She works daily to create interesting content for her employer, and she works hard to mentor young girls through running a 5K with Girls on the Run and through college with Uncommon Good. Saeger’s cheery and always helpful demeanor combined with her ability to work hard and trust in her gut keep her on the lookout for her next adventure. — MC


REC_9743Lucia Sanchez, 24

Mosaic Company, marketing and client development assistant

Hometown
St. Maries, Idaho
Residence
Kirkland
Education
University of Idaho, bachelor’s in broadcasting and digital media, minor in business management
First Job
Waitress
What is the best advice you ever received?
Always look at a glass as half full instead of half empty.
What is the last app you downloaded?
Nike+ Fuel

When Lucia Sanchez left her hometown, a small logging burg in Idaho, she decided to go big. Volunteering isn’t just a weekend thing for her; it’s 10 days spent building clean-water storage tanks in Ghana. “It was a life-changing experience,” she says of her recent trip, “and I recommend it to anyone who believes in inspiring communities.”
While most of us jog for exercise, Sanchez trains for marathons; she’s run two and plans to finish a third this year. And, according to supervisor Christina Kelly, Sanchez is making a big impact with her employer, the Mosaic Company: “The organizational skills Luci shows at such an early age really reflect well and promise that she will be an even more amazing professional in the next 10 years — and someone to watch.” — JB


Mandy Schendel, 25

The Difference Maker Organization, founder and spokesperson

MandySchendelHometown
Newcastle
Residence
Newcastle
Education
Azusa Pacific University, bachelor’s in communications and organizational leadership
First Job
Michael Kors, stylist
What is the best advice you ever received?
Nothing is impossible.
What is the last app your downloaded?
Periscope

Mandy Schendel has the brains to match her beauty. The former Miss Washington started her nonprofit organization when she was just 11 years old, and she’s on track to complete a master’s degree in business management in 2016. Schendel competed in the Miss America pageant and became the first Miss Washington to be a finalist for the Miss America Quality of Life Award. She also was selected as Judges Choice and reached the Top 10 overall. Since serving as Miss Washington, she’s written a book and travels as a motivational speaker encouraging young people to follow their dreams and pursue their goals. — MC


20150429_30under30_890Ali Schwartz, 18

Constance Gold, Bel Fiore, Stella & Brooklyn, stylist and director of marketing

Hometown
Bellevue
Residence
Bellevue
Education
Bellevue High School
First Job
Bel Fiore
What is the best advice you ever received?
Just because times are rough doesn’t give you a reason to give up; it gives you more of a reason to work and push harder.
What is the last app you downloaded?
Snapchat

20150429_30under30_880

 

Brie Schwartz, 28

The Schwartz Collection, owner and operator

Hometown
Sammamish
Residence
Seattle
Education
University of Washington, bachelor’s in accounting
First Job
Salesperson
What is the best advice you ever received?
Any job worth doing is worth doing well.
What is the last app you downloaded?
Foodspotting

The best advice Brie Schwartz ever received was, “Any job worth doing is worth doing well.” After gaining experience at Seattle retail giants Zulily and Nordstrom, she decided to open her own women’s wholesale fashion accessories company called The Schwartz Collection. Brie’s sister-in-law, Ali, also is a businessperson, even though she’s only 18. When Ali isn’t captaining the cheer team at Bellevue High School, she handles public relations, marketing, and styling for older sister Jaclyn’s three accessory businesses. Entrepreneurship runs in the family — the Schwartz family owns several local restaurants, including Daniel’s Broiler in Bellevue and Spazzo Italian Grill in Redmond — but these young ladies aren’t riding on any coattails; they’re determined to leave their own legacy. — LF


Trent Scott, 25

Mouseflow, director of sales

TrentScottHometown
Issaquah
Residence
Redmond
Reducation
University of Washington, bachelor’s in business administration
First Job
Making and selling custom pens
What is the best advice you ever received?
“Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” — Steve Jobs
What is the last app you downloaded?
Sublime

Trent Scott started his first company when he was just 10 years old. He made pens from exotic wood and sold them at farmers markets to earn money for flying lessons. Since then, flying lessons achieved, he’s used his gregarious nature to make opportunities for himself. From coldcalling CEOs to offer his services to starting his own tech company, he’s continually ready to take on the next challenge. Now, he spends his time reworking Mouseflow’s user interface, a process that has taken two years of dedication and patience to get the product where he wants it to be. — MC


REC_0234Stone Si, 25

Stone Karaoke & Lounge, owner and president

Hometown
Zhengzhou, China
Residence
Bellevue
Education
University of Washington, bachelor’s in mathematics and economics
First Job
Rob McKenna internship
What is the best advice you ever received?
Follow your heart.

Stone Si is the poster child for taking what you love and turning it into your job. Born and raised in China, Si grew up singing karaoke. His love of singing comes from his mother, who was a singer in China. After completing internships with former state Attorney General Rob McKenna and Congressman Derek Kilmer, Si took his favorite pastime and turned it into a money-making machine. He might be young, but he has the style to make karaoke cool. Si is nearly always donning a custom three-piece suit, beautiful leather shoes, and perfectly coifed hair — he’s ready for a GQ cover shoot. — MC


REC_0315Challis Stephans, 23

SkinSpirit, master aesthetician

Hometown
Hope, New Jersey
Residence
Kirkland
Education
Master esthetician license
First Job
Busser/hostess
What is the best advice you ever received?
No matter what, always stay true to who you are and what your morals are, because it will always pay off.
What is the last app you downloaded?
Zillow

Frank Sinatra once crooned, “I’ve got you under my skin,” and we’re pretty sure Challis Stephans, had she been born when the lyrics were written, could have been Ol’ Blue Eyes’ inspiration. Already a master aesthetician at the age of 23, Stephans is regenerating the skincare industry at SkinSpirit in Redmond. Stephans is as skillful at smoothing skin as Sinatra was at singing. Stephans does clinical facials, laser hair removal, micropenning, and dermaplaning. Instead of trying to sell customers on the latest skin care must-haves, Stephans establishes genuine relationships with clients and helps them love the way they feel and look. That’s something to sing about. — HH

 
3

Thirty Under 30: V-W

Amanda “Nicci” Valiquette, 27

Summit Imaging, director of business development

NicciValiquette Hometown
Bothell
Residence
Kirkland
Education
Seattle Pacific University, bachelor’s in communications
First Job
Kumon Math & Reading Center
What is the best advice you ever received? 
What someone else thinks about you is none of your business.
What is the last app you downloaded?
Marco Polo

From her first job wrangling elementary school students to indulging her spontaneous wanderlust now, it’s clear that Nicci Valiquette knows — and gets — what she wants. In addition to working with the little ones, Valiquette got her start with the Compass Group overseeing operations at the Microsoft Briefing Center. Now Valiquette has taken on a new role as director ofbusiness development at Summit Imaging. The Bothell native created the company’s first  marketing team and dedicates her time to defining the company brand and enhancing customer support. Outside of the business world, she volunteers for programs that help disadvantaged youth. Valiquette isn’t afraid to share her passion, either — she is working to create a community involvement program that would help Summit Imaging give back to the community she loves. — EH


Sarah Vreugdenhil, 29

Apptio, senior communications manager

SarahVheadshotHometown
Los Angeles
Residence
Bellevue
Education
California Lutheran University, bachelor’s in psychology
First Job
Babysitter
What is the best advice you ever received?
Experience is what you get when you didn’t get what you wanted.
What is the last app you downloaded?
NYT Now

Sarah Vreugdenhil approaches business the same way she approaches her chocolate chip cookie recipe — with patience, passion, and perseverance. As the senior communications manager at Apptio, she certainly has more than just dessert on her plate. When she isn’t working hard to bring effective business communication to the tech industry, Vreugdenhil dedicates her time to causes in her community. Between bettering her own industry and helping the Festival of Trees raise more than $800,000, Vreugdenhil has proven she’s always up for a new challenge. Her only obstacle is the lack of hours in a day. With that sort of enthusiasm and dedication, she’s sure to perfect that cookie recipe soon. — EH


Sid Wambach, 25

Startup Bellevue, chief executive officer

SidWambachHometown
Milwaukee
Residence
Kirkland
Education
GED, some college
First Job
Envirovector
What is the best advice you ever received?
“I taught you strength, knowledge, and morals … you have all the tools needed to succeed in life.” — Wambach’s mother
What is the last app you downloaded?
StarTalk Radio

Sid Wambach has worked his way up from the bottom in life and in work. He was raised in a divided home with financial strife, so he took advantage of the opportunity to finish high school early and began his professional career at an early age. He joined Startup Bellevue last year as an intern, proved his worth early, and now serves as CEO. Wambach says that without concrete evidence, he’s indecisive by nature, “which is why I make it a point to hire people that are smarter than me.” — MC


20150429_30under30_371Richard Wang, 29

Coding Dojo, chief executive officer

Hometown
Dalian, China
Residence
Kirkland
Education
Central Washington University, bachelor’s in business administration, marketing management, and operation and
supply chain management; executive education courses from University of San Francisco, Thunderbird School of Global Management, Villanova University, University of Notre Dame, and Stanford University
First Job
Plant cutter
What is the best advice you ever received?
Reaching goals is not the end game; goals are mile-markers on the path set out for you.
What is the last app you downloaded?
The beta version of Alumnify

Richard Wang is aggressively ambitious. He moved to the U.S. with his family when he was 13, not knowing a word of English. Since then, he has taken advantage of every opportunity and created some of his own through a mix of passion, determination, and a lot of hard work. One of his earliest jobs was cutting plants in a field. He says he learned poignant lessons from that experience. “I look back on that experience, and realize there are a lot of people working as hard as I am, but because of lack of education or life factors they are stuck and not able to meet their full potential. It really is a constant reminder of how lucky I am today, and proof that drastic life transformation is possible,” he says. — MC


Chris Weber, 29

The Herbfarm, chef

HometownChrisWeber
Holley, New York
Residence
Bothell
Education
Johnson & Wales University, associate’s in culinary studies
First Job
Dishwasher
What is the last app you downloaded?
Houzz

The Herbfarm is a world-renowned restaurant that features nightly multicourse meals served with local ingredients. Its chef, Chris Weber, is the youngest person to oversee the kitchen of a AAA Five Diamond Restaurant in the United States. Not bad for a guy who got his start as a dishwasher at Brockport Golf Club in Rochester, New York. Weber, who spends his spare time fishing, camping, foraging, brewing beer, and playing guitar, said one of the most challenging things about cooking at a high level is defining The Herbfarm’s cuisine in a consistent way. “I grew up in a small farming community, and I think that played a large part in how I still view food,” he says. “I was shaped from an early age to appreciate what we are fortunate enough to have.” — EC


20150429_30under30_632Gregg Workman, 29

Wiserg, mechanical engineer

Hometown
Federal Way
Residence
Kirkland
Education
Washington State University, bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, minors in math and material science
First Job
Round Table Pizza
What is the best advice you ever received?
Have the courage to live a life true to yourself, not to others’ expectations.
What is the last app you downloaded?
Bandsintown

Mechanical engineer Gregg Workman is a problem solver who attributes much of his success to his first job at Round Table Pizza. “[It] taught me the value of a good work ethic and the importance of applying yourself,” he says. Now he is tasked with helping change the way the world thinks about and utilizes food waste. WISErg, the company he works for, builds the Harvester, a zero-waste nutrient recovery system that turns food scraps into organic fertilizer, and much of WISErg’s path has been through uncharted territory. “[Gregg] is tackling some tough problems that have no current solution. He is an innovator and a doer. Gregg is the one we look to in engineering to figure out how we push solutions that work for our customers while aligning WISErg’s objective to turn this food waste stream into an urban resource,” says WISErg CEO Larry LeSeur. — EC

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