Elizabeth Cohen
Training and development have become her stock-in-trade
33, Senior Environmental Specialist
Novi, Mich.

As a national technical lead with engineer ARCADIS U.S. Inc., Elizabeth Cohen developed three technical groups that together engage more than 300 staff members. In addition to performing staff education, training and development, Cohen develops best practices, webinars and guidance documents that promote quality work and consistency with regulatory practices. Much of her work also focuses on advancement of innovative technologies to solve complex environmental problems. Cohen, who specializes in industrial chemistry, has twice presented at ARCADIS' Annual Technical Excellence Training, which engages more than 60 junior staff, clients and industry members in a three-day seminar focusing on current industry technology.



Shannon Coomes​​​​​​​
Born leader brings identity, growth to fledgling enterprise
35, President
Hill/Ahern Fire Protection
Franklin Park, Ill.

In 2010, a time when specialty contractor Hill/Ahern Fire Protection was struggling to develop an identity, the firm challenged new hire Shannon Coomes to create an enterprise known for large projects and superior levels of service, quality and safety. Coomes delivered. Since 2010, the firm has quadrupled in size. Colleagues say Coomes is a born leader. She also has a keen business sense, having reorganized Hill/Ahern's design team. Since joining the company, Coomes has introduced greater accountability to the enterprise as well as greater understanding of large contract projects.



Sarah Dirsa
Community giving has become this architect's calling
34, Global Chair of Social Responsibility
St. Louis

Three years after joining architect-engineer HOK in 2010, architect Sarah Dirsa co-founded IMPACT, a company-wide social responsibility initiative. Today, as HOK's global chair of social responsibility, she focuses on three modes for community giving: public interest design projects; volunteerism and donations; and working with firm leadership and outside organizations to enhance communities throughout the world. Dirsa also recognizes charity begins at home. Among other activities, she leads a St. Louis-based volunteer group that designed a fully accessible playground for Accessible Play Inc., a local nonprofit organization. Dirsa sits on the Young Professionals Board of the St. Louis Area Foodbank and is board vice president with The Isthmian Gallery, an organization that empowers youth by promoting student artwork and assisting students in fundraising for charities they support.