From left: Scott McPherson, Acting President and CEO/VP Operations & Finance, New Hampshire Public Radio; Jessica Wright, Leadership Mount Washington Valley, and Leadership Development Program of the Year; Will Stewart, Executive Director, Stay Work Play NH. (ALLEGRA BOVERMAN PHOTOGRAPHY)

CONWAY — Leadership MWV has been recognized as a "Rising Star" in the world of leadership development and young professionals in New Hampshire.

Stay Work Play, a Concord-based non-profit that focuses on promoting the state as a favorable place for young workers and recent college graduates, named the program as its "Leadership Development Program of the Year" at the 8th Annual Rising Stars award ceremony.

The Rising Stars Awards were created through a partnership between Stay Work Play and New Hampshire Public Radio to recognize New Hampshire's young professionals, civic leaders, entrepreneurs and college students, initiatives to keep them here, and the businesses and programs that recruit and retain them.

The Leadership Development Program of the Year award honors an "innovative program initiated and conducted by a N.H. organization. The program must be aimed at a young audience in N.H. that helps those young people propel their personal and professional growth."

Leadership MWV was founded in 2008 by the Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce and Mt. Washington Valley Economic Council. It iworks to create a network for developing professionals, providing opportunities for mentorship for community involvement and support for civic leadership. It aims to generate new participation on local boards; empower those with leadership capabilities to effectively help solve local problems; and support young professionals in the community

Graduates of Leadership MWV; its facilitators, Erin and Howard Stanten of Vanguard Coaching; and Janice Crawford, executive director of the chamber, traveled to Bow for the Rising Star Awards ceremony. The program and its representatives were recognized and presented with citations by Gov. Chris Sununu, Sen. Maggie Hassan, and U.S.. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter.

"It is so exciting to be recognized in this capacity," said Jessica Wright, a 2016 graduate of the program, upon accepting the award.

Crawford said: "I am proud of this program and its graduates who go on and apply what they have learned from Leadership MWV to make our community a better place."

Going on its 11th year, Leadership MWV has over 100 graduates, with over 60 percent of those graduates staying, working and playing in the Mount Washington Valley.

Graduates represent multiple career paths, including health care, entrepreneurship, sales, recreation, banking, tourism, non-profit sector, technology and education.

Leadership MWV has also fostered a spin-off non-profit, Stay MWV, that focuses on providing support to young professionals making a life in the valley, with a signature mission of alleviating student debt through fundraising and student debt repayment scholarships.

For more information on Leadership MWV, to apply for the 2018 program or to join the Stay MWV initiative, go to

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