Since 1996, 20 Under 40 has recognized 500 artists, entrepreneurs, doctors, educators, nonprofit executives, public figures, business leaders, behind-the-scenes contributors, and more. These honorees are diverse, passionate and committed difference makers that are transforming our region through their professional and community contributions. In a typical year, we receive at least 200 candidate profiles making 20 Under 40 one of the most coveted and prestigious award programs in the Region. Past Award Recipients are a virtual Who’s Who of current leaders in our area. A motivation for its founding was the issue of “brain drain,” where large numbers of young professionals were leaving the area and relocating to Columbus, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, and cities around the country. The program is a celebration of those individuals, under the age of 40, who have made the decision to remain or return, and in doing so, to make an impact on the communities where they live and work. Nominees for the award are young professionals who live and work in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. An extensive communications effort is done to obtain nominations from around the region. It is aimed at prospective nominees in 19 counties in northwest Ohio (Allen, Crawford, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca, Van Wert , Wyandot, Wood, Williams, and 3 counties in southeast Michigan (Hillsdale, Lenawee, and Monroe).


What is the age requirement for consideration of Toledo’s 20 Under 40?

To be eligible for the 20 Under 40 Class of 2021, nominees must be over the age of 18 and UNDER the age of 40 on June 30, 2021.

How do I nominate someone for 20 Under 40?

Nominations are open through June 30, 2021. Include your nominee’s name, best e-mail and address. We then contact the nominee and get all the information we need directly from them. (Please check spellings and make sure all information is entered correctly, especially with email address)

Who should I be nominating for 20 Under 40?/What makes someone a good candidate

Nominations are solicited through a campaign throughout the 22- county northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan area. Nominees/Candidates must live and/or work in communities within that region. 20 Under 40 recipients are the best and brightest in the region. They are artists, entrepreneurs, doctors, educators, nonprofit executives, public figures, business leaders, behind-the-scenes contributors, and more. 20 Under 40 recipients are diverse, passionate and committed difference makers that are transforming our region through their professional contributions and community engagement.

Can I nominate more than one individual?

Yes. You can nominate as many individuals as you like.

Does being nominated multiple times help my nominee?

No. The judges will only be given a candidate profile that has been filled out by the nominee. While you may want to ensure that your nominee was considered and nominated, it won’t make a difference if they were nominated one time or 15 times.

Will nominees be told who nominated them?

Yes. We will do our best to notify nominees the name of their nominator(s).  

When and how will my nominee be notified of their nominations?

Nominees will be notified no later than Friday July 2nd of thier nomination via the email address you provide. They will then be asked to complete a candidate profile that will be due Friday, July 23 2021 at 11:59 p.m. PLEASE VERIFY YOUR NOMINEE’S EMAIL ADDRESS. This is the only way we can communicate with them.

I’ve been nominated 20 Under 40, now what?

Congratulations! We have a two-step nomination process—first you must be nominated and second you must complete a candidate profile. In your email, you should have received a notification of your nomination that also includes a link to the candidate profile. You MUST fill out the profile in order to be considered. This is the only information that the judges use to determine the award recipients. The deadline for the candidate profile and consideration for an award is July 23, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.  The person who nominated you did NOT provide any information beyond your name and email.  It’s up to you to tell your story.

How are the top 20 selected?

Each year, we receive hundreds of nominations for Toledo’s 20 Under 40. Nominees are required to fill out a candidate profile to be considered for the award. Candidate profiles are reviewed by an independent judging panel consisting of a diverse group of leaders in the community, often including 20 Under 40 Alumni. Judges are rotated so that each year a new group of community leaders is involved with the judging process. The panel reviews these profiles using a judging rubric to review and select the 20 award recipients. Top quality candidates will have demonstrated a high level of achievement, whether in their career or community service or a combination of the two

What makes a candidate profile stand out?

Our judges look for nominees who have demonstrated, measurable achievements in their field and/or in community service. Be as specific as possible when completing the candidate profile. Measurable career achievements should be included, such as increasing profits, completion of a project, awards from professional associations or other groups. We know that many achievements aren’t easily quantified or acknowledged, so give us as much detail as you can. The judges will look at community and volunteer involvement that speaks to a nominee’s willingness to help others as well as a commitment and contribution to their community. Again, be as specific as possible.  The judges are looking for evidence of a person going above and beyond their job duties, and are also compared to their peers in a similar role in the community.  What makes you stand out?

When will candidate be notified of the award?

The award recipients will not be announced until the night of the event!  No exceptions!  Surprise is a big part of this event.

I want to attend the event, how do I do that?

Event information and tickets will be available at a later date.

Nominations for next year’s 20 Under 40 awards are now open.
Nominate an over achiever by June 30th!