Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40 FAQs

If these FAQs don’t answer your questions, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you.

What is the age requirement for Top 40 Under 40 candidates?

To be eligible for consideration in the Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2020, nominees must be over the age of 18 and UNDER the age of 40 on November 1, 2020. Candidates who turn 40 between the nomination deadline and November 1 are NOT eligible.

How do I nominate someone for Top 40 Under 40?

To nominate someone visit us online before April 30, 2020, and fill out the nomination form. This year, the nomination is easier than ever for the nominator. You just need your nominee’s name, job title, phone number, e-mail address and a brief explanation of why you think they should be named to the Top 40 Under 40. Then we go straight to the source and get all the information we need directly from the nominee.

What information do I need to have to fill out the nominee acceptance form?

The following are the questions asked in the form:

1. I will be over 18 and under 40 on November 1, 2020. Y/N

2. I have been featured in Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40 in the past. Y/N

3. Select your city of residence. Calgary/Metro Edmonton

4. Many people’s success is shared with a co-founder, co-owner or partner. If your nomination should be considered a co-nomination with one or more other nominees, list them here and provide their email addresses.

5. Provide your contact information and social media handles.

6. Enter your birthdate.

7. Enter your highest level of formal education attained.

8. Please list ALL post-secondary institutions and the names of the programs you have attended, including those where a diploma or degree was not granted.

9. Please list any accredited trade or professional development programs and any recognized academies attended, including those where a certificate or diploma was not granted.

10. Give us your elevator pitch. In 100 words or less, tell us why you should be included in Avenue’s Top 40 Under 40.

11. Briefly explain your company’s primary business. (If you are an artist, athlete or sole proprietor, consider your body of work your primary business and explain it here.)

12. What do you do in your work role? Remember that the judges may not be familiar with your industry or field, so try to avoid jargon.

13. What impact have you made within your field in this role? Please note any specific growth numbers (e.g. revenue, client, employee or profit growth), publications or shows, or the start of groups or businesses.

Try to avoid using percentages and instead provide specific absolute numbers. (Try to be as specific as possible. For example, provide numbers of clients or employees, growth in profit or completion of major initiatives.)

If you are including information here that cannot be published in Avenue, please note that in your response.

14. Please provide a name and phone number for reference at your current workplace (if you do not have a workplace per se, this can be a peer in your field)

15. Please describe your career accomplishments, including the length of time you’ve been in various roles, if applicable.

16. Describe your community contributions, including dates and length and amount of time you have volunteered or amount of money raised or donated as applicable. Do not include industry-related groups or professional associations here, we will ask about that later.

17. Please provide a name and phone number for reference with one of the groups you give to, volunteer or work with in the community.

18. Describe any industry-related or business association affiliations or contributions that you make, including annual time commitment if you volunteer with a professional association.

19. Describe any awards and honours you have received for your career or community work.

20. Describe how you have made a difference in or raised the profile of the city.

21. Provide any other information that the judges should know in considering you for the Top 40 Under 40.

Can I nominate more than one person?

You can nominate as many people as you’d like. And you can nominate colleagues, friends, family members or someone you know through their work in the community.

Can I nominate a group or a pair of people as co-nominees?

Yes. We know that many people’s success is as part of a team. That said, the intention of the Top 40 Under 40 is to recognize the outstanding work of people, so typically groups of two or three are the most likely to make it through our process. For example, two people who have started and run a business together, or a CEO-CFO team that has really grown a company. All of the co-nominees must be under 40 on November 1, 2020 and must have a strong tie to the area. To co-nominate people, fill out a nomination form for each individual and note the other people that they are co-nominated with in the box that asks about co-nomination. In order for each candidate to be eligible we must receive a separate form for each person.

Will the nominees be told who nominated them?

No. The nominees will be told that they were nominated and that they need to fill out a second form to complete the nomination, but we won’t tell them who nominated them (but you can feel free to tell them yourself if you’d like).

What makes someone a good candidate for Top 40 Under 40?

Top 40s are the best and brightest in the city. They are all different but they are all high achievers. They include business people, entrepreneurs, artists, designers, athletes, community organizers, politicians, teachers, inventors and more. They give back to the community and elevate the city through their work, whether it be in their career or volunteer work. They inspire us through everything they do.

Does being nominated multiple times help my nominee? Does it show that many people wanted them on the list?

No. The judges look mainly at the second form that has been filled out by the nominees themselves. While you may want to ensure that your nominee was considered and nominated, it won’t make a difference. We have also made changes this year so that the nominee will only get one notice of nomination.

The person I want to nominate lives outside of Calgary or Edmonton. Can I still nominate them?

Yes. All Top 40s should have a strong connection to either the city of Calgary or Edmonton. They can live outside of the city limits, but should work or volunteer in the city they are nominated for if this is the case. But, if in doubt, nominate and we’ll sort it out.

I nominated someone last year and they weren’t selected. Can I nominate them again?

Absolutely. There are a number of reasons nominees might not get selected including that the judges consider their achievements not yet proven. An additional year may have made them better candidates.

I received an e-mail saying I was nominated, what do I do now?

Congratulations, someone has nominated you for Avenue‘s Top 40 Under 40. We have a two-step nomination process. To accept the nomination you must fill out the nominee form by no later than May 10. The form includes questions about your career achievements, education, volunteering and community work. It also asks for references from your work and volunteering experiences. The e-mail you received telling you that you were nominated includes a link to the nominee form on Survey Monkey.

Why do I have to complete the nomination if I was already nominated?

We have found that often the people who nominate someone for Top 40 don’t have enough information to give us a clear picture of who the nominees are and what they have accomplished. So, we go straight to the source and ask the nominees to tell us themselves what they’ve done. Your nomination is judged mainly on what you put in this form — the information you provide and how clear it is.

What will happen if I don't complete the nomination form?
If you have been nominated but you do not complete the nominee form you will not be eligible for the Top 40 Under 40 and your information will not be sent to our judges for consideration.
I've already been featured as a Top 40, can I be nominated again?

When you’re a Top 40, you’re a Top 40 for life. If you have been a successful Top 40 Under 40 in the past and featured in Avenue or CalgaryInc, you are not eligible to be featured in the Top 40 Under 40 again.

How are the Top 40 selected?

Each year, we receive hundreds of nominations for the Avenue Top 40 Under 40. From those nominations our editorial staff create a short list of approximately 80 nominees who have demonstrated the highest levels of achievement, whether in their career or community work. We also look for well-rounded candidates who have achieved high levels in both career and volunteer work.

The short list is sent to our judging panel made up of leaders in the community, Top 40 Alumni and members of the Avenue staff. The panel goes through these nominations with a fine-toothed comb and debates the merits of the candidates, weighing their achievements until they find the Top 40 Under 40 for the year.

What makes a nomination stand out from the pack?

Our judges look for nominees who have achievements in their field, which includes community work, so try to be as specific as possible when you are filling out the nomination or nominee completion form. Measurable achievements should be included and could include achievements such as increasing profits, awards from professional associations or other groups or completion of a project, but we know that many achievements aren’t easily quantified or previously acknowledged, so give us as much detail as you can. The judges will also look for community and volunteer involvement that speaks to the nominee’s willingness to help others as well as their commitment and contribution to our city. Again, be as specific as possible.

The short list is sent to our judging panel made up of leaders in the community, Top 40 Alumni and members of the Avenue staff. The panel goes through these nominations with a fine-toothed comb and debates the merits of the candidates, weighing their achievements until they find the Top 40 Under 40 for the year.

The form asks if I consent to being contacted for more information. Is signing up for these lists mandatory?

The form asks if Avenue can contact you for a number of different things: for more information, to let you know when gala tickets go on sale and to receive our newsletters. You are not obligated to agree to receive any further information from Avenue or our partners and agreeing or not agreeing is not a factor considered when we judge the nominees. However, if you say that we can’t contact you for further information or to inform you of the results, we will be unable to contact you to tell you if you have been selected as a Top 40 and so you will be ineligible. You can unsubscribe from any and all contact from Avenue at any time.

When will I find out if I have been selected as a Top 40?

Due to the high number of nominees, we are unable to contact all nominees to let them know the status of their nomination. Only those who are selected for this year’s Top 40 will be contacted. The Top 40 will be announced in the November issue of Avenue.

What happens if I have been selected?

Congratulations! You will be contacted by the editorial department of Avenue to arrange for an interview and photo shoot. If you plan on being away for any length of time between the middle of July and the middle of September, please notify the editorial department when you are contacted.

If I am selected, can I be disqualified?

Yes. Avenue reserves the right to remove nominees from the Top 40 Under 40 at any time for ANY reason, including but not limited to if the nominees can’t make themselves available for sufficient time for interviews and original photography, or if any of the information submitted in the nomination package is found to not be accurate or if employment details change.

Can I tell all my friends and family that I am in the Top 40 Under 40?

Yes — but not until the story is released in November. We know that if you are selected you will be excited and we don’t expect you to keep your selection as a Top 40 a complete secret, but we want the announcement of the list to be a surprise, so please refrain from advertising your selection to the Top 40 in any form, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Failure to abide by this rule may result in your removal from the list.

Rules & Regulations

Click here for details on the rules and regulations