Fast Start, our biweekly feature that profiles young professionals and entrepreneurs, is not exactly young anymore. It first appeared in the Rochester Business Journal print edition more than 10 years ago.
But Fast Start has remained fresh, thanks to the staffers who’ve produced the page and the hundreds of individuals we’ve written about, each with a compelling story to tell.
Now, Fast Start’s evolution continues. Through a partnership with 98PXY, the rising stars we feature on this page also will be on the air. Each Monday following publication of a new Fast Start, Megan Carter and Corey James will interview the person profiled. To catch these interviews, tune in to #TeamPXY with Carter and Corey, which airs on 98PXY from 6 to 10 a.m. (Listen to a sample.)
“As young professionals ourselves, we’re beyond excited to showcase all the incredible young professionals in the Rochester area and help spread their inspiring stories and share their helpful tips,” Corey James says.
Adds Megan Carter: “No matter what field we’re in, Rochester-area YPs have one thing in common: the pride we have in our city, and our desire to see it thrive. Teaming up with the RBJ gives us an opportunity to spark a dialogue—to learn from and become inspired by each other, while simultaneously shining a spotlight on those leading the charge.” What’s not changed about Fast Start is the idea that prompted us to launch the feature. Instead of embracing the prevailing assumption that most people in their 20s and 30s were fleeing this area, why not write about the young professionals and entrepreneurs who have chosen to build a career or a company here? Much like the Forty Under 40 honorees we’ve recognized for more than two decades, they are the future of our business community.
Over the years, the people featured on the Fast Start page have come from almost every sector of the local economy—high-tech, arts and culture, sports, medicine, human services, manufacturing and much more. What has united them is their belief in Rochester and the opportunities it offers.
In the beginning, Special Projects Editor Sally Parker took the lead on Fast Start. For a number of years, she edited—and often wrote—the stories and short items that appear on the page.
Sally continues to edit Fast Start, but staff reporter Kerry Feltner has taken over the writing responsibilities. Kerry, who joined the paper in September 2013, covers a range of beats for us including telecommunications and technology, Web and software firms, retail, advertising and marketing, and security. A year ago, she was honored by the New York Press Association in its Rookie of the Year award category.
Among her recent articles is one headlined, “What brain drain?” In this story, Kerry scrutinized the widely held belief about the outmigration of young people and found the numbers tell a different story. In fact, research by Texas-based Headlight Data shows Rochester ranked No. 1 for growth in millennials from 2009 to 2014 among the nation’s metros with populations over 1 million. While it’s true that Rochester has fewer millennials than most of these metros as a percentage of the total population, the trend clearly is in the right direction.
So, even after more than a decade of Fast Start stories, we have no fear of running out of subjects. Each generation of entrepreneurs and professionals brings new ideas and passion to our business community—more than enough to keep us busy writing about them
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