Deadline approaching to nominate professionals for RUBY Award - WNEM TV 5

Deadline approaching to nominate professionals for RUBY Award

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
MIDLAND COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Mid-Michigan First State Bank is looking for some gems in Mid-Michigan for the annual RUBY Awards.

The award honors the brightest professionals under the age of 40.

Jenee Velasquez was overjoyed in 2006 when she got the news she had won the RUBY Award. Now she is helping choose this year's lucky winners.

"We have chemists, we have educators and fitness instructors. And those folks just have to be the best in their profession and we want to recognize that excellence in the region because I think it lifts up others and it also makes them realize that this region appreciates them," Velasquez said.

Velasquez earns her living as executive director of the Dow Foundation in Midland. It was her work there that caught the attention of the RUBY committee. She was just 38 at the time.

She said RUBY Award winners like her stay in the Great Lakes Bay Region for the long run.

Their goal during the ceremony is to recognize special people who are helping to grow the area and other young professionals.

"Each year when they give their presentations they do a recap of how many of those award winners from the past are still in the region and the number is very high. It's in the ninetieth percentile or higher," Velasquez said.

The selection committee deliberates and hand picks all the winners. While it's a tough process, Velasquez said learning about their road to success is the best part.

"Their stories are amazing. They're incredible. No matter what circumstances they came from or what their journey has been, it is inspiring," Velasquez said.

The deadline to nominate a high achiever under 40 is Nov. 2. You can do so here.

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