Four Under 40 Awards Gala

Thursday, September 19, 2024


Now Accepting Nominations!

Help us celebrate The Next Wave of leaders in the Brainerd Lakes Area! We seek to recognize outstanding young professionals between the ages of 18 and 39 who live and work in the BLA. Hosted by the WAVE Young Professionals Network—a program by the Brainerd Lakes Chamber—the Four Under 40 Awards celebrate the talent, ambition, and accomplishments of young leaders shaping the future of our community. Honorees inspire others to strive for excellence and make a positive impact in their chosen fields and beyond.

Together with our Presenting Sponsor Brainerd Dispatch, we invite individuals, businesses, and community organizations to nominate a worthy young professional to receive a Four Under 40 Award. The four winners will be recognized at the Awards Gala on September 19th, 2024. Of the four award winners, one individual will be named the Young Professional of the Year live at the event!

Nomination Deadline: Friday, July 12, 2024 

Award Criteria
A panel of anonymous judges will score the applicants based on the following criteria. We strongly encourage nominations to include information that supports evidence of the nominee exemplifying these qualities.

  • Professional Excellence: Nominees should exhibit excellence in their profession, demonstrating a high level of expertise and accomplishment.
  • Leadership: Nominees should demonstrate strong leadership qualities, inspiring and motivating others to achieve success.
  • Community Involvement: Nominees should be actively engaged in their community, volunteering their time and talents to support local causes and organizations.
  • Potential for Future Success: Nominees should show promise for continued success and leadership in their careers and community.

Nomination Process
Nominations are open to the public and may be submitted by individuals, businesses, or community organizations. Self-nominations are accepted. Applicants do NOT have to be members of WAVE or be Chamber members. Nominations must be completed and submitted by Friday, July 12, 2024. Applicants may be nominated multiple times; however, judges will score applicants and select winners based on the award criteria and not by the volume of nominations.

Judging Process
All applications will be reviewed in July by an anonymous panel of judges comprised of Chamber representatives, WAVE members, and community leaders. Judges will evaluate each nominee based on the criteria outlined above. The judging committee will name four finalists, which will be publicized in August. 

Award Recognition

  • Each winner will be featured in a news story and will receive a personalized award at the Four Under 40 Awards Gala.
  • Each Four Under 40 winner will receive $500 for the charity of their choice. The Young Professional of the Year will receive $1,000 for their charity.
  • Four Under 40 winners will also receive recognition at the Chamber’s Celebration of Excellence in November.


Who can submit a nomination?
Nominations are open to the public. Individuals may nominate themselves.

What is the deadline to nominate?
Friday, July 12, 2024.

Who can win a Four Under 40 Award?
Eligible nominees must be between 18 and 39 years of age at the time of the Four Under 40 Awards Gala on September 19, 2024. Nominees must also live and work in the Brainerd Lakes Area.

Do you have to be a WAVE or Chamber member
No, nominations are open to the public.

How many award winners are there?
Four individuals will receive a Four Under 40 Award. Out of these four winners, one individual will be named the “Young Professional of the Year” and will receive additional recognition. The YPY will be announced live at the end of the Awards Gala.

Who can attend the Four Under 40 Awards Gala?
This event is open to the public. You do not have to be a member of WAVE or a Chamber member to attend. You do not need to be under 40 to attend—all are welcome.

The Awards Gala will take place at The Gathering Event Center
34212 County Road 3
Crosslake, MN 56442 United States
Event Contact
Ali Beste
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Thursday, September 19, 2024
Brainerd Lakes Chamber Event
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