There’s no doubt about it: Millennials get a bad rap.
Baby Boomers and Gen Xers think of Millennials — roughly defined as those individuals born between 1980 and 1994 — as having poor work ethic compared with previous generations. They are labeled as entitled, lazy, self-absorbed.
But those labels couldn’t be further from the truth. Consider this:
A survey of University of Pennsylvania business students found that 2012 graduates expected to work 72 hours per week after graduation. Guess how many hours 1992 graduates expected to work a week? Try 58 hours a week.
A survey by Ernst & Young found that 47 percent of Millennials in management positions have increased the number of hours they’ve worked in the last five years, compared with 38 percent for Gen Xers and just 28 percent for Baby Boomers.
It’s not just young professionals and recent college graduates who show impressive work ethic. A survey from Seventeen magazine found that 80 percent of college and high school students take at least a part-time job during the school year, which is the highest rate in history.
So even though the average tenure of Millennial employees is just two years, it seems data indicates that they’re going to work hard for you while you have them. And it’s a good thing because more than one-in-three American workers today are Millennials and in 2015, Millennials surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce.
So meet tomorrow’s leaders who are making an impact today. Here are 12 Millennials who are staying put long enough to have a big impact on Arizona’s economic landscape, changing the way their companies do business and redefining workplace culture all at the same time.
Stephanie Barnhart, 32
Vice president and commercial relationship manager, Washington Federal
Background: Barnhart is a member of the Arizona Tech Council, where she has served as an ambassador and is now the co-chair of the Ambassador Committee. In her spare time, Barnhart is a volunteer for the Cancer Support Community.
What to watch in 2019: “Digital disruption will continue to affect all industries in 2019. For banks, continuing the adoption of FinTech and blockchain technologies will create unique opportunities to establish competitive environments that offer clients enhanced quality, speed and accuracy. Those that integrate and innovate will be the future industry leaders.”
Leib Bolel, 31
President and CEO, Arizona Israel Technology Alliance
Background: Bolel has built a reputation as a leader that can develop and manage organizations with both a domestic and worldwide presence. His volunteer engagements include World Vision, Smile Train and the Jewish Federation.
What to watch in 2019: “Trends are often short-lived. Technology and Innovation are not slowing down and the realization of ideas we may have only thought were fiction are quickly evolving into reality. Most people only see the physical hardware breakthroughs, however, much more is happening on the software side with the likes of Cyber, AI, Blockchain and others. The impact means a rapidly changing world, one where adaption and embracement is a necessity.”
Jessica Crawford, 26
Director of development, Focus On Lyme
Background: Crawford has experience in nonprofit management, global communications, sales and marketing. She now works for Focus On Lyme managing all events, marketing and general business operations. She uses her battle with Lyme disease to connect and engage with the community through public speaking.
What to watch in 2019: “An accurate diagnostic tool for Lyme disease would have the biggest impact on our industry. The tests are currently unreliable and an accurate test would give the ability to diagnose more patients and work towards a cure. This would make a global impact on this growing epidemic and give people answers to their pain and suffering.”
Maria Fernanda Hubbard, 30
Background: Hubbard serves on the Arizona Supreme Court’s Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee and Attorney Ethics Advisory Committee. She is active in Los Abogados and the Hispanic National Bar Association. She was recently named one of Arizona’s Top 50 pro bono attorneys.
What to watch in 2019: “In a word: cybercrime. More companies are trying to mitigate risk by purchasing cyber insurance, but these policies are expensive, relatively new, not standard, and have gaps in coverage. As cybercrime increases, expect an increase in coverage denials, disputes, and litigation as insurance carriers become concerned about their exposure.”
Trent Hancock, 34
Vice president of sales and marketing, Camelot Homes
What to watch in 2019: “The exponential curve in the advancement of technology will have a big impact on the homebuilding industry in the coming year. We are seeing more automation within the home, and now have the ability to create ‘scenes’ within the home with systems like Control 4 and Savant. For instance, I can pull into the garage of the Cheval model at White Horse and the second the garage door opens, the security system is disarmed, lights are turned on in specific hallways and rooms, my favorite Spotify station starts playing music and my window shades are lowered throughout the home.”
Danielle Hazeltine, 38
Associate, Gallagher & Kennedy
Background: Hazeltine, an environmental attorney, has specialized in air quality permitting and compliance for the past two years. She acquired previous legal experience at the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and now serves on the Board of Ballet Arizona as member-at-large on the State Bar’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section Committee.
What to watch in 2019: “In the environmental arena, one of the most important topics for 2019 will be EPA’s continued effort to evaluate existing regulations and guidance under the Regulatory Reform Agenda in accordance with E.O. 13777. Many different industries can benefit from enhanced regulatory certainty.”
Erin Itkoe, 38
Director of client experience and senior wealth counselor, Versant Capital Management
Background: Itkoe provides wealth management to high net worth individuals and families, including investments, estate and tax planning, family governance, and philanthropy. She enhances the advisor-client relationship by advancing efforts anywhere Versant interacts with its clients. Erin is president of the Financial Planning Association of Greater Phoenix and volunteers at Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.
What to watch in 2019: “Trends come and go. The focus should remain on longer-term goals and objectives. As advisors, it’s essential to remind our clients that markets and economies have cycles and not to get caught up in the short-term noise. Customized wealth plans must be continually monitored, so adjustments can be made as needed.”
Deepa Prasad, MD, 39
Pediatric cardiologist, Cardon Children’s Medical Center
Background: Dr. Prasad has a special interest in 3-D printing of the heart to assist in the planning of complex heart surgeries. She completed her cardiology fellowship at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Ohio and completed her advanced cardiac imaging fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital. Her research has been showcased in several national and international conferences as well as top journals of cardiology.
What to watch in 2019: “3-D imaging and printing, and virtual reality technology will have the greatest impact in our industry. This will enable cardiac physicians to assess every detail of the heart problem accurately and also perform virtual surgeries to assess if the planned surgical procedure works for that patient. It may potentially significantly improve outcomes of heart surgeries in children.”
Jennifer Preston, MD, 36
Program director, Banner University Digestive Institute
Background: Dr. Preston is the youngest and first female program director for the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix Integrated Surgical Residency at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix. She is part of the surgical team at the Banner – University Medicine Digestive Institute.
What to watch in 2019: “Robotic-assisted surgery is increasingly being utilized as a minimally invasive surgical technique for general surgery and will increase next year into more service lines. As I continue to incorporate it into my practice, the residents that I train will gain exposure and will require additional training.”
David Richardson, 29
Background: Richardson is the co-founder of bioSyntagma, a precision medicine company focused on eliminating drug resistance in cancer treatment. Prior to this, he performed research, designed orthopedic implants, and developed software as an engineer. He holds a PSM in nanoscience and BSE in mechanical engineering from Arizona State University.
What to watch in 2019: “The cure to cancer won’t be a drug – its data. We’ve never had more data about patients than today, but the question is how do we get the right data and what do we do with it? It’s a frontier that will mark the beginning of the end in the war on cancer.”
Kevin Walsh, 34
Partner, Quarles & Brady
Background: Walsh is a partner in the business law practice at Quarles & Brady and an elected governing board member of the Kyrene School District. He is also chair of Jobs for Arizona’s Graduates, president of the Phoenix One Foundation and a member of Valley Leadership Class 40.
What to watch in 2019: “The diversification of Arizona’s economy will continue, fueled by growth from businesses focused on new and disruptive technologies. The legal market needs to be equally dynamic and demonstrate expertise in emerging industries. As efforts to attract and develop a talented workforce persist, expect education to remain an important issue.”
Stephanie Whitlow, 36
Vice president and marketing director, Western Alliance Bank
Background: Whitlow has 13 years of experience in public relations and marketing strategy for successful companies in banking and real estate. Prior to joining Western Alliance Bank (Member FDIC) in 2017, Whitlow was director of marketing and communications for RED Development, a mixed-use real estate company.
What to watch in 2019: “From our perspective as a leading business banking organization, the biggest factor that could impact our industry is the overall state of the economy. As the economy continues to remain generally buoyant, businesses are likely to continue seeking resources to grow, even if they face more headwinds in 2019 than they do today.”