Five 49ers named to Charlotte Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 list

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

The Charlotte Business Journal recently named four University alumni and a faculty member to its 40 Under 40 Awards class for 2021.

The awards program, which has been a staple in the greater Charlotte region for the past 28 years, recognizes members of the local community who are under the age of 40 and have already made a significant mark in their careers. Awardees are selected for their business success, community involvement, leadership ability, and influence on the region, public policy, and quality of life.

“Every year, the competition becomes more extreme as the nominations for this exclusive award pour in from the community,” said Adam Norman, who serves as Charlotte Business Journal’s event director. “This year was no exception, with hundreds of qualified nominations. CBJ is proud to recognize the 2021 40 Under 40 winners.”

40 under 40Charlotte’s 40 Under 40 recipients are:

  • Erin Barbee ’06, senior vice president of programs and fund development at DreamKey Partners, who completed a bachelor’s degree in sociology
  • Joey Smith ’06, vice president of Frampton Construction, who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He also is a member of the Executive Advisory Board Member for the Lee College of Engineering’s Construction Management program
  • Jennifer Todd ’11, director of the Center for Building Performance at Little Diversified Architectural Consulting Inc., who completed a Master of Architecture
  • Daniel Valdez ’08, director of North Carolina and Mid-South Operations, Hispanic Federation and president, Charlotte Pride Board of Directors, who completed bachelor’s degrees in history and Latin American Studies
  • Jun Xu, assistant professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science, and director of the Vehicle Energy and Safety Laboratory

View the full listing of 40 Under 40 Award recipients. The Charlotte Business Journal will recognize this year’s honorees formally at the 28th annual 40 Under 40 Awards ceremony on Oct. 7 at the Grand Bohemian Hotel.