September 25, 2023

Guy Occhiogrosso
Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce

Young Professionals Recognized with the 2023 Top 7 Under 40

Tomorrow’s leaders are here today working in positions behind the scenes and in those of prominence. The Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Whatcom Young Professionals, a chamber program, recently announced this year’s Top 7 Under 40. This is our community’s recognition of top young professionals in our region. 

This year over 70 nominations from coworkers, colleagues, and supervisors were submitted. The Top 7 Under 40 process values attributes such as character, community, leadership, professional accomplishments, and personal vision. To be qualified you must be 40 or younger on January 1, 2024.

The program culminates in a celebratory event on Thursday, October 19th at the Hotel Leo, where the seven will be celebrated by colleagues, friends, and family. At the event, a culminating award is announced which is chosen from one of the seven. This award is the Young Professional of the Year, which predates the Top 7 Under 40 event.

Guy Occhiogrosso, President/CEO of the Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce said, “This is such a great program to be able to produce – one where we can showcase some of the amazing talent and humans in our community. We need to support those young professionals and employees as they are not simply our future, they are our now.”

This year’s event is again sponsored by Barron Heating AC Electrical & Plumbing. Brad Barron, CEO and recent Top 7 Under 40 alum, agrees with the importance of showing younger professionals, “When we build up our young professionals, we strengthen our local economy and our future.”

The 2023 Top 7 Under 40 Whatcom Young Professionals are:

Leo Cohen

Kelsey Chance

Rhys-Thorvald Hansen 

Michael Harpool

Ashley Neville

Dr Will Nichols

Schantell Porter

The Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce has contributed to the success of the local business community for over 110 years. As a not-for-profit membership organization, the chamber advocates for its members by convening leaders and influencers, serving as a catalyst for business growth and advocating for policies that bring about positive change. Visit to learn more. Register for the event here:

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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