Full disclosure: I have a serious case of Millennial envy. As a member of the largely forgotten-about Generation X, I have to admit I begrudge the attention the world lavishes on these young upstarts. When Millennials made it clear they prefer a walkable, live-work-play ethos, developers across the country scrambled to transform faded downtowns, building luxury apartment projects at a head-spinning rate. When the 20-somethings decided open-floor-plan offices were cool, employers knocked down walls, literally, to woo them to their firms. (More on that in our story “Millennials at Work”.)
Millennials are brash. Tech-savvy. Ambitious. They have a social consciousness that puts previous generations to shame. And they take our accusations of “lazy and entitled” with insouciance, letting their actions speak volumes instead. While we Gen Xers muddle along dutifully in our reproducing/property-tax-paying stage of life, Millennials are in their prime — and society seems hell-bent on making sure they get what they need to succeed.
This constant catering to Millennials may be personally annoying to anyone born in the 1970s or earlier, but even I have to admit to being inspired by their ability to give a collective middle finger to convention — and to conventional ideas about careers and business. I’m reminded of this when we do our annual Wunderkinds cover story, honoring impressive Westchester overachievers under the age of 30. Rather than tread the conventional route (start at the bottom, work up to middle management and patiently wait for a shot at the corner office), our honorees forge their own paths, choosing entrepreneurship, making careers out of social activism or working collaboratively with employees twice their age without batting an eyelash.
Some examples from this year’s crop: our youngest-ever Wunderkind, 15-year-old Anna Zhang, felt magazine publishers ignored her demographic, so she launched her own publication to bring fashion-and-culture coverage to her peers. David Tubiolo, 29, stepped undaunted into his elected post as a Westchester County Legislator after replacing a 20-year veteran of the job. Overseeing a staff of 100 employees and tending to the needs of 140 elderly patients didn’t give pause to 26-year-old Samantha Krieger when she became the executive director of The Bristal at Armonk. And Marc Miller, 27, spun a passion for basketball into marketing-partnership-revenue gold for the Westchester Knicks in the team’s very first season — and each year since.
So I hope you’ll put aside any of your own Millennial misgivings and join me in honoring all 23 of this year’s Wunderkinds at our cocktail event on May 24, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Mamaroneck Beach & Yacht Club. (For tickets, visit here)
Enjoy the issue!
Amy R. Partridge