- By BRANDON MESSICK Today’s News-Herald
Thirty of Lake Havasu City’s young business leaders gathered Tuesday at College Street Brewery in celebration, after being recognized for their efforts in improving and shaping the Havasu community.
The “America’s Best Communities Vision 20/20 Team ’30 Under 40’ Event” recognized 30 business and organization leaders, each younger than 40 years old, for their contributions to the Havasu community. The event was held weeks after the 30 professionals were featured in a special publication by the News-Herald.
James Gray, of the Lake Havasu City Partnership for Economic Development, said the event perfectly highlighted the leadership, skills and talent that already exist in Havasu.
“From my position in economic development, human capital is the backbone of any economy,” Gray said. “This event was truly impactful as people from the outside look at our community. One of the things that became crystal clear tonight is that we could have easily brought in another 30 who weren’t even on the list.”
The emergence of Havasu’s next generation of leaders could be one step closer toward reversing a trend of “demographic starvation” in Havasu: That being the aging and retirement of the present workforce, without a younger workforce to replace it. The notoriety of the “30 Under 40” may draw the attention of a much-needed millennial demographic to the area.
“It’s really important to highlight millennials in our city,” said Mayor Mark Nexsen. “These 30 individuals have taken leadership positions throughout the community, at a very early age. They should be commended.”
Nexsen says the process of demographic starvation is one that won’t be reversed overnight, however. “It’s a very long-term process,” Nexsen said. “But events like this are a great start. We have a tremendous amount of young, smart people who are ready to lead. They may tell their friends and associates that ‘here is a place where my talents are appreciated.’ That might get other millennials to become interested in Havasu, and come here as well.”
Local brewers crafted an original light ale, called “Bright Future Pale Ale,” in honor of the “30 Under 40,” with cases of the beer given to those honored on Tuesday.
The event featured a free buffet for guests of the event.