Worcester Business Journal

August 21, 2017

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wbjournal.com | August 21, 2017 | Worcester Business Journal 19 4 0 U n d e r F o r t y F O C U S Residence: Millbury Birthplace: Salisbury, England College: Clark University Maryann C. Johnson, 31 Chief development officer, Oak Hill CDC, Worcester Johnson oversees fundraising, market- ing and strategic planning at Oak Hill and developed a diversified fundraising plan using Community Investment Tax Credits – a gift-matching program rais- ing $800,000 in new funding. Ultimately, Johnson finds community needs and pairs them with programming to make the community a better place to live, work and play. Last fall, Johnson com- pleted the national Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business program and used her knowledge to assist Oak Hill in developing a sustainability plan. She serves on the Canal District Alliance board. Her and husband, Rob, have twin daughters, Ashley and Claire. How do you define success? Making a positive difference in our community. What would the message be if you spoke at a college graduation? Whatever you decide to do, make sure it becomes your passion. What movie actress would play you? Nicole Kidman. She is a triple threat: singing, dancing, acting. And she has red hair. P H O T O / E R I K A S I D O R Residence: Worcester Birthplace: Worcester College: Hofstra University Asmar N. Akman, 39 President, Akman Enterprises Inc., d/b/a Pleasant Pawn & Jewelry, Worcester Born as a first-generation American from parents Sabri and Meryem Akman – who left Turkey to give their children a better future – Akman moved from Webster Square to New York City for leadership roles at places like Bank of New York and Carnival Cruise Lines. He returned to Worcester and learned the jewelry trade from his father before striking out on his own with Pleasant Pawn & Jewelry in 2005, seeing the ris- ing demand in the pawn industry. Akman markets his custom jewelry and focuses on superior customer service, a friendly environment and workmanship. Akman serves on the board for St. Mary's Church in Shrewsbury and sup- port nonprofits like the Boys & Girls Club of Worcester. He and wife Barbara have two children, Joey and Adessa. What do you daydream about? Making my kids' quality of life better. Best career advice? My parents said, "Always be honest in business." What Central Mass. location should everyone visit? LifeTime Fitness. Best gym I've seen, and I love to workout. Residence: Holden Birthplace: Kenya College: MCPHS University Dr. Milka Njoroge, PharmD, 39 CEO & administrator, Century Homecare, LLC, Worcester Njoroge co-founded home healthcare provider Century in 2012. At the same time for the next three years, she worked as a clinical pharmacy specialist at UMass Memorial Medical Center, leading implementation of pharmacy- led initiatives, serving as director of the cardiology pharmacy specialty residen- cy program and teaching pharmacy, nursing and medical students. Njoroge joined Century full time in 2015, ini- tially as the chief clinical officer before transitioning to CEO. Century has grown from one employee to more than 350 in four locations, providing services to patients, mainly elderly patients and underserved communities. What business person do you look up to? My mom. As a single woman raising five children, she ran multiple successful businesses to pay for our education. Her advice, "Provide quality service and respect your customers." Favorite piece of Central Mass. histo- ry? Mechanic's Hall for its unique archi- tecture and intriguing history. Its resto- ration in 1977 revived downtown. Ryan A. Wagner, 33 Financial advisor, Robert Fine & Associates, Framingham Residence: Boylston Birthplace: Norwich, Conn. Colleges: Northeastern University, University of Connecticut Wagner is known as a helper and a fixer, attracted to challenges and happi- est when solving complex issues. Since joining Robert Fine in 2014, Wagner's success been recognized by his peers for his nontraditional approach to financial strategy, creating strong client relationships and often friendships. Wagner and his wife, Jess, and their two sons – Ben, 4, and Jack, 2 – empha- size giving back to the community, sup- porting organizations like The Jimmy Fund, Autism Speaks and National Rebuilding Day. In his off time, Wagner and his family enjoy sailing, going to the beach, hiking and skiing. What would a movie made about your career be called? "Paradigm" – If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. What will work colleagues say at your funeral? I was a man of honor and integrity, always believing if you put good into the world, good will come back to you. Favorite Central Mass. restaurant? Armsby Abbey Kenneth F. Burns Memorial Bridge, Route 9 W W W W

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