An independent jury pored over the Top 20 Under 40 entries, judging candidates on the basis of their career experience; industry leadership; community service; and other factors.


John Benson

Senior HR Director

Skanska USA

As senior human resources director for Skanska USA, John Benson leads a team of 10 HR leaders responsible for the coordination and delivery of human resources services across the Western U.S. Benson has been with Skanska for 10 years. His previous areas of responsibility include development/oversight of the firm's performance management, human resources information system (HRIS) and leadership development programs. He is based in Portland, Ore.


Gary Donnelly

Projects Administrator

Neeser Construction Inc.

Gary Donnelly was born into a construction family on Long Island, N.Y. If he wasn't at school or involved in athletics, he was on the job with his dad. Donnelly moved to Alaska in 1977 and started working with Jerry Neeser. He has been an integral part of the growth and success of Neeser Construction and hopes that "all us old guys" have set an example for the new NCI generation as it continues to build on a legacy of teamwork; pride in quality; and integrity in all its business practices.


Heather Thomas

Area Marketing Manager

Brown and Caldwell

Based in Seattle, Heather Thomas serves as an area marketing manager with Brown and Caldwell. She has more than 15 years of experience in partnering with staff and clients to develop appropriate communication materials for intended audiences in order to promote branding, relationship- building and buy-in. She also serves as an internal staff coach, advising on public speaking, improving the efficacy of presentations and offering key talking points to stay on message.