Meet your first 5 Future 40 winners of 2016
CBC Saskatchewan is unveiling this year's winners all week on radio, TV and online
CBC Saskatchewan received hundreds of inspiring nominations this past week, sharing the accomplishments of people, under age 40, from across the province.
Now, our judges have made the final cut.
From Monday, March 14 to Thursday, March 17 CBC Saskatchewan is announcing five winners each morning and evening.
Listen to Saskatoon Morning with Leisha Grebinski on 94.1FM in Saskatoon and The Morning Edition with Sheila Coles on 102.5FM in Regina and 540AM across the province each morning to hear about a fresh batch of winners. Then, tune in to CBC Saskatchewan News with Jill Morgan each evening at 6 p.m. CST for another five winners, announced on television.
The submissions below are written by the nominators.
Here are your first five Future 40 winners of 2016:
James Dennis is a 38-year-old entrepreneur and father of four born and raised in Saskatchewan.
He is the co-founder, president and operating partner of Sound Solar Systems Inc., providing solar solutions and building a portfolio of renewable energy projects in Saskatchewan. He is a solar energy designer and certified technician with a passionate interest and comprehensive knowledge of renewable energy technologies.
James currently holds a Guinness World Record for participation in the longest journey by a non-solar electric vehicle in the Tesla roadster. He is a car enthusiast and his mechanical and technical knowledge and interest of electric vehicles is instrumental to Saskatchewan.
James is also the regional director of business development for Sun Country Highway. He is helping to build an electric vehicle market and charging stations in the province and across the country.
In 2015, James helped bring the first shipment of electric cars to Cuba.
Touch base with James on Twitter at @mrrenewble.
One of Saskatchewan's most recognizable independent musicians, Melanie Hankewich encapsulates artistic community.
From Fosston, Sask., Hankewich took twelve years of classical vocal training along with jazz and contemporary music study at Grant MacEwan College to develop the musical stylings of Belle Plaine.
Garnering successes behind her sophomore release, "Notes From a Waitress", her 1940s swing influence developed further into a songwriter's hybrid of folk, country and jazz, captured in 2016's "Belle Plaine and the Unrequited Love".
As a purveyor of community, she frequently collaborates with local visual artists, Terri Fidelak, Monique Blom, and Carey Shaw and generously gives her time to the charitable efforts of Mamas for Mamas and Grandmothers for Grandmothers.
Category: Community/Social Activism/Volunteerism
Working at Carmichael Outreach as the Frontline Support Manager, Nic has made connections and friendships with some of the most vulnerable people in the city. His aim is to find them places to live. Homes.
Nic has started a campaign called Hat Farm, where he sells collectible hats with all the proceeds going to helping people with everything from prescriptions, to paying for new ID so they qualify for renting apartments to meals and any other small thing most of us take for granted. He has presented at multiple City Council meetings stressing the importance of affordable housing and regularly checks in on the people he has been able to house, driving them to appointments, taking them for coffee, or just sitting down for a visit.
He is also the author of two books (To Call them To Wander and The Adirondack Haystack Still Floats) and multiple articles and blogs. Enough cannot be said for the many ways Nic has made his city a better place.
Evan Taypotat is a true leader. He is principal of Chief Kahkewistahaw Community School (CKCS). He is a First Nations role model, a coach, a mentor, and a support to Kahkewistahaw First Nation.
Evan joined the Canadian Forces in 2007 and soon became the officer in charge of aboriginal recruits of the Bold Eagle Military Program. He served in Afghanistan as part of Canada's Missions Transition Task Force in 2011.
His background in the Canadian Armed Forces has prepared him to present a clear vision and precise planning. As a result, staff and students at CKCS are focused on education. Pride and confidence is developing in the students and CKCS has now found its way in the educational world.
Evan is enrolled in graduate studies at the University of Regina and he will write his thesis on the current aboriginal funding gap.
He leads through motivation, participation, and student support. Athletics is a strong motivator. Students at CKCS are developing pride in their accomplishments.
Sneha Chakraborty is endeavouring to enhance fashion and retail entrepreneurship in Saskatchewan.
Sneha moved to Saskatoon and left behind her established career as an IT professional and classical dancer in India. In the first few years she struggled as a newcomer, confined to the walls of her home.
This was when she took action and started teaching dance in her home, which soon led to the opening of Mudra School of Performing Arts that has about 100 students and a rented studio.
Dance is passion for Sneha and she would often teach students with limited financial resources for free. Her passion to do something different and utilize her entrepreneur skills led to Colors of India with mere savings of $3,000 on Ave B. Her hard work and passion led to a bigger location within a year on 2nd Avenue.
Today, the store is flourishing with her imports coming from the underprivileged vendors in India. She is a source of employment to newcomers struggling to start their careers and employs about three to four at a time.