Erie's 40 Under 40: Class of 2023

by Erie Reader Staff July 12, 2023 at 8:00 AM
Photos by Jessica Hunter

From a literary standpoint, numbers in writing are almost always significant. No writer worth their salt picks a number at random without it being a metaphor for something meaningful to the rest of the story. 

And so it goes with 40. Throughout history, in religion, science, literature, and pop culture, 40 keeps coming back around. Rain fell for "40 days and 40 nights" during that one big flood (there are scads of biblical and religious references to the number), there were 40 thieves in Arabian Nights, there are 40 weeks of pregnancy, popular songs are ranked by their standings on a scale of 40, and a standard workweek is 40 hours (to name a few).

The number 40 for the Erie Reader is always significant as summer rolls around, when we take the time to sift through hundreds of nominations to make the tough decisions on who to include in the newest class of Erie's 40 Under 40. This year, we read the incredible biographies of over 300 nominees and somehow whittled that list down to 40. We've got farmers and entrepreneurs, professors and scientists, historians and activists, artists and musicians. Essentially, 40 people who have had a hand in helping to make Erie a more knowledgeable, fair, and beautiful place by being themselves and doing what they believe in.

So please join us in welcoming the 11th class of 40 Under 40 inductees. The honor is greatly deserved.


Written by: Jonathan Burdick (JB), Ally Kutz (AK), Erin Phillips (EP), Matt Swanseger (MS), Cara Suppa (CS), Amy VanScoter (AVS), and Nick Warren (NW)

All photographs by Jessica Hunter

Do you know someone you would like to see in the 2024 class? Our online nominations are now open! Just visit

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