Top 40 Under 40 winner Marcell Newell of AVIDWORX Production Inc. (r) and friends Hollie Whitehead (l), Paaren Mihtla and Ivy have the sexy sophisticate dress code down to a tee.

Top 40 Under 40 winner Marcell Newell of AVIDWORX Production Inc. (r) and friends Hollie Whitehead (l), Paaren Mihtla and Ivy have the sexy sophisticate dress code down to a tee.

Jennifer Hungerford appears proud of husband Michael Hungerford of the Hungerford Group, one of the winners.

Jennifer Hungerford appears proud of husband Michael Hungerford of the Hungerford Group, one of the winners.

Andrea Baxter (l), co-founder of Smart Cookies, and Spark PR's Beth Boyle flash dynamo smiles.

Andrea Baxter (l), co-founder of Smart Cookies, and Spark PR's Beth Boyle flash dynamo smiles.

Purple-scarfed Paul Haagenson of Live Nation Canada pursued a passion for concerts all the way to a Top 40 under 40 Award (Here with wife Alison Schmelke.)

Purple-scarfed Paul Haagenson of Live Nation Canada pursued a passion for concerts all the way to a Top 40 under 40 Award (Here with wife Alison Schmelke.)

Surgeon and spinal-cord-injury genius Brian Kwon of VGH took the night off from saving lives to accept an award.

Surgeon and spinal-cord-injury genius Brian Kwon of VGH took the night off from saving lives to accept an award.

Thinkbox Marketing's Ashlee Hatterback & Emily Psimoulis.

Thinkbox Marketing's Ashlee Hatterback & Emily Psimoulis.

Steve Curtis of Evergreen Venture Capital Corp. looks happy between two lovelies, Cybele Negris (l) of Webnames.ca Inc. and Sarah McNeil of McNeil Nakamoto Recruitment Group.

Steve Curtis of Evergreen Venture Capital Corp. looks happy between two lovelies, Cybele Negris (l) of Webnames.ca Inc. and Sarah McNeil of McNeil Nakamoto Recruitment Group.

With a smirk of glee, Daniel Steiner of Stikeman Elliot takes a break from the crowd to bask in the glory of victory.

With a smirk of glee, Daniel Steiner of Stikeman Elliot takes a break from the crowd to bask in the glory of victory.

Elio Luongo (l) of KPMG beside winner Sarah Howard of Compton Fundraising Consultants.

Elio Luongo (l) of KPMG beside winner Sarah Howard of Compton Fundraising Consultants.

Danielle Wilson of Sweet Peanut Clothing Company: baby clothing designer by day, Top 40 Under 40 winner by night.

Danielle Wilson of Sweet Peanut Clothing Company: baby clothing designer by day, Top 40 Under 40 winner by night.

Winner Irene Jeremic (l) of Stork Craft Manufacturing takes a break with friend Emerald Lau.

Winner Irene Jeremic (l) of Stork Craft Manufacturing takes a break with friend Emerald Lau.

John Lyotier and Patrick Lok of CityMax and EO Vancouver were sponsors of the BIV event.

John Lyotier and Patrick Lok of CityMax and EO Vancouver were sponsors of the BIV event.

Catherine Dorazio and Paul Milley (l) of Connor Clarke Lunn Private Capital cheer on founder and CIO Jeffrey Guise as he accepts his award.

Catherine Dorazio and Paul Milley (l) of Connor Clarke Lunn Private Capital cheer on founder and CIO Jeffrey Guise as he accepts his award.

Top 40 winner Gary Pooni of Brock & Associates with his team: Julia Reimer (l), Blaire Chisholm, Kristin Treat, Kate Lambert and Blake Hurney that evening.

Top 40 winner Gary Pooni of Brock & Associates with his team: Julia Reimer (l), Blaire Chisholm, Kristin Treat, Kate Lambert and Blake Hurney that evening.

Got milk? Meadowfresh Dairy Corp.'s Rahim Talib stands proudly with wife Christine Talib while waiting to accept his award.

Got milk? Meadowfresh Dairy Corp.'s Rahim Talib stands proudly with wife Christine Talib while waiting to accept his award.

Just call her Sergeant Seana. Survivor Bootcamp's Seana Wade.

Just call her Sergeant Seana. Survivor Bootcamp's Seana Wade.

It was hard to take a bad photograph with beauties like Karen Booth of MITACS and Melissa Orozco of Peak Consultants at the celebrated event.

It was hard to take a bad photograph with beauties like Karen Booth of MITACS and Melissa Orozco of Peak Consultants at the celebrated event.

Jason McLean of McLean Group and Andrea Martin pose with Jason's celebrated award of the evening.

Jason McLean of McLean Group and Andrea Martin pose with Jason's celebrated award of the evening.

Lindsay Nahmiache of Jive Communications (l), Christina Howton of PWC and Maria Rayanayagam of RBC.

Lindsay Nahmiache of Jive Communications (l), Christina Howton of PWC and Maria Rayanayagam of RBC.

Studs abound. Top 40 winner Milun Tesovic of Metroleap Media Inc. (centre right) poses with his posse: Derek Brown (l), Callum McLeod and Terrell Norris.

Studs abound. Top 40 winner Milun Tesovic of Metroleap Media Inc. (centre right) poses with his posse: Derek Brown (l), Callum McLeod and Terrell Norris.

Bruce Croxon and winner Allison Hegedus of VIDA Spa picked up an award for her vision of relaxation.

Bruce Croxon and winner Allison Hegedus of VIDA Spa picked up an award for her vision of relaxation.

Recognize him? He's in the used-car business, or so he says. Jimmy Pattison (l) with Scott Johnston of Koffman & Kalef LLP.

Recognize him? He's in the used-car business, or so he says. Jimmy Pattison (l) with Scott Johnston of Koffman & Kalef LLP.

Event: Business in Vancouver's Top Forty Under 40 Awards Reception
Venue: Fairmont Vancouver Hotel
Date: January 28, 2010


Standing in a room with forty of the top professionals in Vancouver. Daunting? Intimidating? Both of those things, yes, and for the countless young business people who aspire to be one of the Top 40 Under 40 – your faithful scribe included – it was another thing, too. Inspiring.

The winners of Business in Vancouver's Top Forty Under 40 come from a variety of industries, from fitness (a Survivor Bootcamp instructor) to medicine (a spinal-cord specialist from VGH) to urban land (real estate juggernaut). Each received his or her plaudit with humility and grace.

My highlight of the evening? A one-on-one audience with Canada's fourth-richest man, Vancouver billionaire Jimmy Pattison. I introduced myself and asked, coyly, what line of work he was in. "Me? The used-car industry," he shot back with a smile. If used cars are what it takes to have success like his, sign me up.

I left the Fairmont that evening with a pack of business cards, a camera full of photographs, and the knowledge that Vancouver's business future is in capable hands.