Congratulations to our owner, Kevin Wilkinson, for being nominated as one of the Tribune’s Top 20 Under 40 for 2014

Some of San Luis Obispo County’s best and brightest leaders have been selected as The Tribune’s Top 20 under 40 award winners this year.

Now in its 10th year, the competition honors the accomplishments and achievements of young women and men under the age of 40 who have demonstrated excellence in their professions and commitment to community service. To be eligible, nominees must have lived and worked in the county year-round.

About 70 individuals were nominated for the honor. Five judges representing both the private and nonprofit sectors evaluated the nominations, selecting the winners at The Tribune’s request.

The judges were Chris Connors, general manager, Zurn Industries LLC; Lesley Santos Dierks, chief executive officer, Spokes; Betsy Kinsley, chief of staff, Cal Poly President’s Office and Top 20 under 40 winner last year; Heidi McPherson, chief executive officer, The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County; and Brian Talley, owner, Talley Vineyards.

Short biographies of the winners will be published in The Tribune in early February. The winners also will be recognized at a special luncheon Feb. 5 at the Madonna Inn. Adam Firestone, co-founder of Firestone Walker Brewing Co., will be the guest speaker.

As in years past, winners have proven they have the leadership skills, dedication and vision to make a difference in their organizations and respective communities. They also represent a diverse group of occupations and industries, and have been involved in a wide range of nonprofit organizations.

The judges said they were impressed with the quality of all the nominees, both in their professions and volunteer commitments.

“It’s exciting to see so much community involvement at this age level,’’ McPherson said. “It speaks volumes for the leadership of this county.”

2014 Top 20 Under 40 winners