Welcome to the 2023 Top 40 under 40!

We’ve also published a special print edition just in time for summer, a rarity that you can find on newsstands this week around Richmond. Pick it up! And thanks very much to our advertisers and supporters in that issue.

During a year when we've frequently been told about how rapidly evolving artificial intelligence is speeding our species — blindly, some argue —toward fewer jobs and a more dangerous future (“Do you read me, HAL? Hello?"), this is an issue dedicated to human beings working to help other human beings — as well as the planet. We salute them.

The majority of Class of ’23 winners were chosen from nominations submitted by the public in March, with a few more winners added based on past reporting over the year. Nominees were evaluated for “their vision and leadership, innovation and achievements, and strategies for success” with emphasis placed on “community service, including the impact of their volunteer work, their commitment, and the diversity of their interests and involvement.” Style Weekly is owned by VPM, but it was not involved with selecting winners.

Please note that our next print issue will be the Fall Arts preview in September. If you have upcoming story ideas or big events taking place September through November, send them to editor@styleweekly.com. And to support one of the few remaining, locally owned journalism outlets, contact Ren Bell at rbell@vpm.org for information about purchasing ads.

We’ll close with another reference to Stanley Kubrick’s classic sci-fi movie, “2001.” In particular, the lyrics from the 1892 song “Daisy Bell,” which the murderous HAL 9000 computer sings as its memory is being dismantled; a winking nod to the first computer to ever use speech synthesis to perform a song, the IBM 704 in 1961.

“Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do/ I’m half crazy, all for the love of you/It won’t be a stylish marriage/I can’t afford a carriage/ But you’ll look sweet, upon the seat/ of a bicycle built for two.”

Here’s to a future where we sing our own songs, ride our own tandem bikes, and make our own communities more human, not less.

Emmanuel "Manny" Baiden, 29
Owner of Manny Eats; co-owner/executive chef of Penny's Wine

Kara Keuthan Beatty, 39
Psychiatrist and owner, Resilience Health

Leah Branch, 37
Executive chef, The Roosevelt

C. Paul Brockwell, Jr., 38
Associate director of communications, MCV Foundation

Sanjur "Sandy" Brooks, 39
Director, Human Research Protection Program at VCU

Ms. Jaylin Brown, 26
Musician and programs coordinator, Capital Area Health Education Center

Jordan Brown, 35
Interim executive director, Visual Arts Center of Richmond

Mercedes Edwards Buck, 37
Owner RICH Nail Lounge and Suites, educational technology integrator at Richmond Public Schools

Jennifer Case, 39
Executive director, Virginia Down Syndrome Association

Desiree Dabney, 30
Head of musical theatre and assistant professor, VCUarts; executive director of Theatre Diva Productions

Stephen Davenport, 36
Assistant vice president, Social and Economic Development, Division of Community Engagement (VCU) and administrative director, Office of the President (VCU)

Trevor Dickerson, 34
Founder and creative director, Boulevard Creative

Will Egen, 35
Senior policy analyst, Virginia Commission on Youth

Kyle Elliott, 37
Chief legal officer and general counsel, Virginia Community Healthcare Association

Anjali Ferguson, 35

Ann Flippin, 37
Executive director, Autism Society of Central Virginia

Trevor Beck Frost, 37
Documentary filmmaker and photographer

Rachel Garmon-Williams, 33
Artistic director, CSz Richmond Theater

Zoe Golden, 31
Co-owner of Small Friend Records and Books

Anthony Grimes, 38
Executive director, Virginia Association of Recovery Residences

Trey Hartt, 36
Co-founder and managing director, The Hive

Will Keck, a.k.a. OG ILLA, 34
Owner and creative director, the MSQshop/CNTR

Elijah Lee, 15
Activist, Maggie Walker freshman

Melissa Lesh, 32
Documentary filmmaker

Jennifer Ligon, 39
Partner, Williams Mullen

Sesha Joi Moon, 39
Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, U.S. House of Representatives

Cindy Moussavou, 38
Program director, Housing Families First

Bianca Myrick, 34
Executive director and founder, Pretty Purposed

Abbey Phillips, 36
Director of policy, Legal Aid Justice Center

Hannah Pollack, 36
Co-founder and president, Nightingale Ice Cream Sandwiches

Douglas Powell a.k.a. Roscoe Burnems, 36
Founder/CEO, the Writer's Den

Jordan Pulaski, 33
Co-owner of Small Friend Records and Books

Annie Rhodes, 32
Director, Virginia Memory Project, research scientist, Virginia Center on Aging

Daniel Riddick, 39
Director of marketing and communications, Ukrop's Homestyle Foods

Alexsis Rodgers, 31
National organizing director, National Domestic Workers Alliance

Lyons Sanchezconcha, 29
Graduation coach, Huguenot High School

Megan Schultz, 38
Chief operating officer, SportsBackers

Taylor Scott, 24
Founder, RVA Community Fridges

Ali Thibodeau, 31
Singer and songwriter

Anna Yates, 39
Licensed clinical social worker, Thriveworks