Discover why local young professionals call the Space Coast home.
Florida’s Space Coast provides the culture for rewarding careers, with the opportunity to make a difference. Here, young professionals are encouraged to lead not only within their position, but within their community. A truly scalable region with a small-town vibe, the Space Coast is not only the place to launch rockets, but it is the place to launch your life. One of the many local non-profits that encourages leadership and stewardship within the community is LEAD Brevard. In February, the organization awarded its coveted 4 Under 40 Awards to four amazing recipients, while recognizing 12 finalists who are making a difference. Discover what they love about calling the Space Coast home:
“I’ve never felt a sense of belonging to a community as I have here. I love the fact that we are growing in so many ways, I love the fact that we’re on the world’s stage every few days here when a rocket goes up,” Peter Mannino, Resident Director, Market President, Merrill/Bank of America.
So what makes it a great place to live? There is something for everyone. Bobby Putnam, Project Manager for Cool Pools and a Space Coast native knows this too well. “It’s such a dynamic place, you have such a scope of people and programs. I grew up with Space Shuttles and sea turtles, oranges and engineers, cowboys and fisherman, northerners and southerners, there is few places in the world you can get that dynamic culture where they don’t clash, but come together.”
And that dynamic is growing. Just a week after the 4 Under 40 Awards, the Milken Institute announced that the Space Coast rose to the second best-performing city in the nation, siting the area’s strong wage and job growth, which are third and eight in the United States, respectively. And this statistic is more than just numbers, it is a feeling. “It’s a place that I think is making history, and its exciting to live here, and I’m proud to live here,” said Kristen Johnson, Director of Operations and Administration, Early Learning Coalition of Brevard County.
“The best part about Brevard, is the people”
It’s not just the exciting growth, it’s the people. James Trudeau, Deputy Director, Program Management Division for Patrick Space Force Base moved here as a military family in 2006 and immediately felt at home, a feeling they had not received in some time. When there is something for everyone, it allows transplants to find a niche for them, and quickly – from countryside to beachside and a growing downtown scene, the Space Coast has a home sweet home for everyone and any lifestyle.
What about the Space Coast makes it a great place to work? The growth. A common thread echoed in all 12 finalist interviews, including Sara Almond, APR, of Brevard Public Schools. “I’m excited about the growth because of the resources it will bring, we are veraciously recruiting to fill these amazing things that are happening here in the aerospace and tech industry.” The opportunities are boundless, and just like our lifestyle, they are diverse. From high-tech goliaths to small manufacturing establishments, there is an opportunity for any career goal.
“There is so much happening from a workforce standpoint,” Jana Bauer, Program and Contracts Officer, CareerSource Brevard.
The Space Coast continues to see a strong improvement in high tech employment. The high-wage employment grew 7.6% in 2020, despite pandemic headwinds and local companies continue to hire throughout the county.
And how does the Space Coast allow you to lead? What propels these 12 finalists to make such a difference? The community they live in. Some are long-time locals, others were born here but called to return, some found the Space Coast and knew it was the place they wanted to call home. But all of them agree, there is no where else in the world where you can get the feeling you get here; where history is being made, and we are all a part of it.
Congratulations to the 2021 LEAD Brevard 4 Under 40 Recipients:
And congratulations to all 12 finalists:
- Sara Almond, APR, Community Relations Specialist, Brevard Public Schools
- Jana Bauer, Program and Contracts Officer, CareerSource Brevard
- Matt Brandt, Vice President, Clear Channel Outdoor
- Shamika M. Chamberlin, Owner, The Custom Ladybug, LLC, 1st Vice President & Charter member of The National Council of Negro Women, Inc. Brevard, FL Section
- Evan Ernst, Executive Director, Who We Play For
- Rebecca Granger, Director of Strategic Programs, Alluvionic Inc.
- Kristen Johnson, Director of Operations and Administration, Early Learning Coalition of Brevard County
- Peter Mannino, Resident Director, Market President, Merrill/Bank of America
- Bobby Putnam, Project Manager, Cool Pools
- Sarah Stoeckel, PhD, Eastern Florida State College/City of Titusville, Advisor & Instructor/Council Member
- James Trudeau, Deputy Director, Program Management Division, Patrick Space Force Base
- Corey Williams, CEO, Space Coast Stars
To learn more about LEAD Brevard, visit www.LEADBrevard.org