Where Are They Now? Catching up with Previous SFNet 40 Under 40 Award Winners

June 17, 2024

By Eileen Wubbe

Past SFNet 40 Under 40 Award recipients discuss how the Award affected their careers and offer advice to the next generation.


Josh Ceccarelli, SVP, account executive/ team leader, Merchant Financial Group 2018 SFNet 40 Under 40 Award Winner

What advice would you give to this year’s “class” of 40 Under 40 winners?
Winning the SFNet 40 Under 40 award is a great recognition of your many accomplishments and outlook to be a leader in your field.  It’s a wonderful acknowledgement from both your company and the industry as a whole.  At this point you already know what it takes to be successful, so the only advice I would offer is to always be open to learn something new no matter how far along you are in your careers.  

Lisa Collier, partner, Latham & Watkins LLP 2022 SFNet 40 Under 40 Award Winner

Did receiving the SFNet 40 Under 40 Award help your career visibility? If so, how? Yes, absolutely! SFNet has a huge presence in the asset-based lending industry, and as a service provider who is always looking to expand my client network, the name recognition and visibility that comes with being involved in the SFNet community has been valuable in building those relationships. 

Licia Jacques, regional controller - Vendor Services, Mitsubishi HC Capital America, Inc. 2017 SFNet 40 Under 40 Award Winner

What advice would you give to this year’s “class” of 40 Under 40 winners?
Seize the opportunity, even if it feels “cringe” to promote yourself: put it on your LinkedIn page, add it to your resume, network with your fellow award winners. Women especially are taught to downplay our accomplishments when we should really be promoting them. This is no different, it is an award someone took the time to nominate you for and a panel of very impressive judges thinks you deserve. Own it and honor it. 
At the ceremony, an exec from my company joked that I’d need an agent before the night was over. Bask in the spotlight while you have it, then use the attention to make or strengthen connections within and beyond your organization. 

Michael Rich, member, Otterbourg P.C. 2023 SFNet 40 Under 40 Award Winner

What is something you know now that you wish you knew when you started your career and that you would encourage all young professionals to keep in mind?
Early on in any career, it is very difficult to envision and navigate a path towards your ultimate goal.  Starting out can be challenging, as you are learning so many new things and sometimes it feels like every step forward is two steps back. I would encourage everyone to remember that your path is not going to be linear – there will be twists and turns throughout your journey. Embrace those twists and turns, as they make you better at what you do. 

Click here to read the full article.

About the Author

Eileen Wubbe 150x150
Eileen Wubbe is senior editor of The Secured Lender.