Watson named to Business Weekly Forty Under 40

Melanie WatsonFORT WAYNE — Melanie G. Watson, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering, has been named among Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly's annual Forty Under 40 honorees.

Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly announced the 2019 winners on Feb. 14. The awards honor 40 individuals 39 years of age and younger who go above and beyond at work and in the community to make a difference. These young northeast Indiana professionals were chosen by a panel of distinguished judges from a record-breaking number of entries. 

In addition to serving on the Trine faculty, Watson is founder and CEO of Blaire Biomedical, a company developing a handheld device that eventually will perform multiple blood tests in real time when linked to a smartphone. The project has been the focus of Trine senior design projects over the past several years.

“It’s amazing to see how these entrepreneurs are working to make this a better community,” said Lisa Esquivel Long, Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly editor. “I think we have a nice mix of homegrown talent and those who have made Fort Wayne and the region their home. I admire how they are contributing to this community through their hard work and talents. I’m very glad that our new Forty Under 40 Awards format will allow these industrious people to get to know one another and perhaps come up with future collaborations."

The winners will be honored at an awards reception on Thursday, March 28, from 5:30–8:30 p.m. at the Ramada Hotel & Conference Center.

A special publication will highlight the winners in the March 15 issue of Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly featuring profiles of each of the Forty Under 40 honorees.

Others named to the Business Weekly Forty Under 40 Class of 2019 included:

Ashley Adamson, Junior Achievement, Program Manager In-School/JA in a Day Specialist
Sarah Arnold, Fort Wayne Trails, Inc., Community Engagement Manager
Dr. Franklin Awah, FW Oral Maxillofacial Surgery & Implant Center, Oral Surgeon/Partner
Adam Bartrom, Barnes & Thornburg LLC, Partner
Ashley Benvenuti, Superior Aluminum Alloys/OmiSource, Division Human Resources Manager
Zachary Briggs, Visual Prime Studios, Owner/CEO
Megan Butler, Riverfront Fort Wayne, Program & Events Manager
Tabitha Ervin, Greater Fort Wayne YMCA, Executive Director
Jes Farris, Studio 13 Tattoo & Explorer Tattoo Conference, Owner/Operator
John Felts, City of Fort Wayne, Public Outreach Coordinator
Aric Forbing, Modbar, LLC, Director of Engineering
Marcus Heminger, Barrett McNagny, Partner
Stephanie Henry, Pocket Potager, Consultant/Advocate
Martin Huttenlocker, Bradley Company, Vice President
Hajira Khan, Kiddie Academy of Fort Wayne, President/Owner
Isaac Lee, Steuben County Economic Development Corp, Executive Director
Amy Lehrman, Katz, Sapper & Miller, Director
Michelle Love, One Lucky Guitar, Inc., Account & Operations Manager
Natalie Manalo, Fort Wayne Neurological Center, Neurologist
Joe Marana, Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority, Director of Operations & Facilities
Rachel McMeeking, Lane & Lavender, Owner
Michael Niezer, Design Collaborative, Architect
Brandon Noll, Reusser Design, Sales Consultant
Nestor Rodriguez, Caliente, CEO
Andrew Royer, LandArt, Inc., President/Owner
Jason Russell, Optimum Performance Sports, Executive Director
Aaron Schaffer, First Merchants, Vice President Commercial Banking Manager
Rachel Schermerhorn, Sylvan Cellars, Owner
Nick Scheumann, Oak Partners, Wealth Advisor
Cameron Smith, Holm Reporting & Smith Academy, Owner/Co-Founder
Matthew Sparling, MKM Architecture + Design, Principal
Matthew Stout, BKD, LLP, Partner
Reneta Thurairatnam, Lake City Bank, Vice President, Wealth Advisor
Holly Tonak, GiGi’s Playhouse, Executive Director
Adam Welch, Greater Fort Wayne, Inc., Director of Business Development
Karlye Whaley, MainStay Solutions, CFO
Allison Wheaton, Summit Equestrian Center, Owner
Anthony Wilson, New York Life Insurance Company, Financial Services Professional
Rebecca Worrell, Sturges Property Group, Broker