Abilene Young Professionals Announce 2022 Top 20 Under 40

February 7, 2022Laurin Kocurek, VP Operations & Communications

The Abilene Young Professionals (AYP), a program of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, is thrilled to announce 2022’s Top 20 Under 40 recipients.

Shawna Atkinson, City of Abilene; David Bailey, First Financial Bank; Brad Barham, Abilene Pediatric Associates; Rebecca Bridges, Center for Contemporary Arts; Talan Cobb, Big Brothers Big Sisters; Rosendo Contreras, Hendrick Health; Stephanie DeLaGarza, Texas Tech University Health Science Center & The Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health; Jeff Duncan, Condley and Company, LLP; Shelby Ebarb, Eide Bailly, LLP; Ryan Feerer, Feerer Co. and The Good Things; Andrea Harden, Midway Plumbing; Lindsay Flores, Lytle Land and Cattle; Martez Hawkins, Yo! Martez; Jacob Hutson, Benchmark Business Solutions; Andrea Jackson, Jackson Law Firm; Joe Mangrem, Enprotec / Hibbs & Todd, Inc.; Brock New, Development Corporation of Abilene; Danielle Robertson, Goodwill – West Texas; Trevor Rupe, Parkway Advisors; and Grant Seabourne, First Financial Trust.

The program recognizes 20 young professionals who are outstanding in their field and are making a difference in the Abilene community. This year’s class will be recognized at a reception this Thursday in front of close family and friends.

About The Recipients
Shawna Atkinson is the City Secretary for the City of Abilene. She has held a variety of careers in her life but feels she’s finally found her “niche” as a City Secretary. Shawna would describe herself as “amicable” and you can find her enjoying her hard-earned time off on her ranch, baking treats, or volunteering throughout the community.

Executive Vice President of Commercial Banking for First Financial Bank, David Bailey loves working in the banking industry because it allows him to build relationships with a diverse customer base while serving the communities in which First Financial operates. David’s advice for someone starting out in his field would be, “learn something new every single day and always consider any opportunity that comes your way.”

Pediatrician Dr. Brad Barham describes himself as “compassionate” and hopes in 10 years you’ll find him with the same drive for his patients that he has today. His piece of advice to someone starting out in his field is, “never give up. When you’re called to something, don’t stop until you get there.”

Rebecca Bridges is the Executive Director for the Center for Contemporary Arts and credits three daily habits of time blocking, taking breaks to recharge, and working towards a zero inbox each day that have led her to success. She credits Guy “Cliff” Vanderpool as one of the people who have influenced her most in her field, and you can find her enjoying her hard-earned time off in Shackleford County enjoying her family’s land with all the dogs.

Market President for Big Brothers Big Sisters, Talan Cobb, describes herself as “gritty” and credits Edmund Morris as some as the best advice she’s ever received; “He made a dent in practicing fearlessness.” She credits making the bed, meditating on life, and loving the life she has as her three daily habits for success!

Rosendo Contreras, Director of Patient Safety for Hendrick Health, attributes his parents as the people who influenced him the most in business crediting them for his work ethic. Rosendo loves his industry because he gets to help people and use his skills to make a difference in lives daily.

Assistant Director of External Relations for Texas Tech University Health Science Center & The Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health, Stephanie DeLaGarza credits her stepdad Eddie as the person who influenced her the most in business stating he has shown her success takes work and you should always treat people well while trying to do your best.

Jeffrey Duncan, Assurance Senior Manager for Condley and Company, LLP describes himself as patient. His three daily habits for success are taking daily walks, making time to answer questions, and reading Center for Plain English Accounting updates. His one piece of advice to someone starting in his field is not being afraid to ask questions.

The best advice Senior Manager for Eide Bailly LLP, Shelby Ebarb, has received is “not to worry about things that are out of your control, but to focus your energy on this you can.” She credits her grandaddy Billy Wayne Roe as the person who taught her hard work, success, and maintaining a strong work ethic while prioritizing time with family.

Ryan Feerer is a designer, illustrator and graphic design program director and professor at Abilene Christian University. He credits creating the art for a series of stamps for the United States Postal Service as an accomplishment that has shaped his career. When not creating or teaching, you can find Ryan enjoying his hard-earned time off with family and friends eating really good food while having a good laugh.

Lytle Land and Cattle General Manager, Lindsay Flores, credits Sharon Riley as the person who has most influenced her in business. The best advice she’s ever received is “in order to lead, you have to learn to listen.” Lindsay credit becoming involved in the Abilene community helped shape her career in more ways than she could ever imagine.

Andrea Harden is the General Manager for Midway Plumbing. Andrea’s three daily habits that have helped her become successful are being on time, showing up and working hard, and listening to the people around you. She credits getting her Master Plumbing License as an accomplishment that helped shape her career and hopes to be running her own company in the next 10 years.

Martez Hawkins is the owner of Yo! Martez. While never working in the retail sector before, Martez credits creating and designing as a huge passion of his. His one piece of advice to someone starting out in his field is “starting is the easiest part. Staying consistent is the challenge.” Martez hopes in 10 years to have expanded his business or even have his products in a few high-end stores.

Jacob Hutson is the Regional Sales Manager for Benchmark Business Solutions and enjoys working in this industry because he enjoys cultivating working relationships with other members of the business community while providing a quality service. Jacob describes himself as “consistent” and you can find him enjoying his hard-earned time off with family and friends or at a field, court or swimming pool coaching or cheering on his kids.

Attorney and Counselor at Law at Jackson Law Firm, Andrea Jackson credits praying, hustling and repeating the first two as her daily habits for success. She describes herself as “tenacious” and the one piece of advice she would give to someone starting out in her career field would be “never stop being a student of the law; it’s called the practice of law for a reason!”

Joe Mangrem is a project manager with Enprotec / Hibbs & Todd, Inc. He credits marrying his wonderful wife, Kelsi, and his two children as an accomplishment that helped shaped his career stating, “they motivate me to be a better person.” The best advice he’s ever received is “the key to a happy life is having a thick skin and a short memory,” and hopes in 10 years to be “doing pretty much exactly what I am doing now.

Director of Business Development for the Development Corporation of Abilene, Brock New, credits three daily habits of beginning each day with a spirit of gratitude, surrounding himself with good people, and playing loud music on the way to work as actions that have helped him become successful. The best advice Brock has ever received is “letting small things be small things,” and hopes in 10 years to be doing more of the same – winning big projects for Abilene.

Danielle Robertson is the Senior Director of Mission Services for Goodwill – West Texas. She enjoys the non-profit sector because she finds job in using her skills to help others succeed. She describes herself as an optimist and credits “Be the Buffalo” as not only some of the best advice she’s ever received, but as the Robertson family motto.

Portfolio Manager for Parkway Advisors, Trevor Rupe, credits saying yes to opportunities, discovering his why, and prioritizing mental and physical health as his three daily habits for success. The most significant hurdle Trevor has had to overcome was leaving a secure job an investment company to take an internship at his current company. He credits focusing on the big picture and his long-term goals as part of the reason he is where he is today.

Grant Seabourne is the Assistant Vice President and Relationship Manager at First Financial Trust. If Grant could give one piece of advice to someone starting out in his career it would be to at least one a year stop and take time to plan what concrete steps your going to take to make sure you keep moving forward. He credits industry-related reading, maintaining an active lifestyle and making plans to accomplish daily and weekly goals as three habits that have helped him become successful.

For more information on this year’s recipients, visit abileneyp.org.

If you would like to nominate someone for next year’s 20 Under 40, they:

  • Must work in Abilene
  • Must be under the age of 40 as of Jan. 1, 2022
  • Must not have been a previous 20 Under 40 honoree

Abilene Young Professionals (AYP) is a program of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce targeted towards young professionals in the 22-40 age range looking to get involved in Abilene. Their mission is to attract, retain and engage young professionals in Abilene. For more information on Abilene Young Professionals program, please visit www.abileneyp.org



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