Nominations open for 40 Over 40 🏆

Help us find and celebrate people all over Charlotte who are making our city a better place.

It’s back: The city’s hottest new contest, The Charlotte Ledger 40 Over 40, is returning for a second year — and it premiers today.

Nominate for 40 Over 40 now

40 Over 40 honors and celebrates those who are making mighty contributions to this place we all call home — even if they are aged 40+. It’s no secret that we’re all enduring some tough times. But there’s hope out there: Many people in our community are working hard to improve the quality of life in Charlotte, and we’re going to find them and celebrate them.

You can help: Help us discover some of these unrecognized heroes among us. Last year, our inaugural crop of 40 Over 40 winners included impressive leaders in business, the arts, charities and many other areas. This year, we want to cast an even broader net and ensure we’re including educators, healthcare workers, first responders and others who are making Charlotte a better place to live in many different ways, all over town.

We’re determined to find the unheralded over-40s in our midst — not the big-name corporate chieftains and headline-grabbing civic leaders everybody already knows. We recognize that there are plenty of ambitious under-40 go-getters out there, too — our city is a better place because of them, and other awards programs recognize their achievements and potential.

40 Over 40 celebrates people who have taken lessons learned in their 20s and 30s and are applying them in middle-age and beyond. And, like last year, it’s a low-key event — there will be no endless and stuffy pay-to-play awards dinner, no fee to enter, no gala award table to sponsor, no solicitation of employers to take out overpriced congratulatory ads, no money changing hands.

As we did in 2020, we’ll find a creative way to honor the winners, who will receive the traditional certificate suitable for framing (frame not included) and a limited-edition “Charlotte Ledger 40 Over 40” koozie — perfect for keeping cold that adult beverage that they didn’t have to show ID to purchase.

The contest will be overseen by The Charlotte Ledger, the locally owned e-newsletter that is taking Charlotte by storm by repeatedly breaking news and providing thoughtful and lively insights about Charlotte. If you need to sign up for The Ledger, which offers free and paid subscription plans, you can do that here:

This contest is (obviously) unaffiliated with any other age-based award program.

Here’s how 40 Over 40 works:

  1. Starting today, you can nominate somebody by using this easy entry form ( People submitting nominations may be any age, and they may submit as many nominations as they like.

  2. Your nominees must be 40 or older (born on Feb. 15, 1981, or earlier) and live or work in Mecklenburg County.

    Nominate for 40 Over 40 now

  3. You must personally know the person you are nominating. The main question asks why you are nominating this person. You’ll want a thoughtful answer, but you can complete the form quickly. You may nominate yourself. The nomination deadline is Monday, Feb. 15, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.

  4. In late February, The Ledger will convene a panel of responsible under-40 judges to review the applications. The judges are chosen for their wisdom and common sense. We will introduce you to them in the next few weeks. (We used to call them “wise millennial judges,” but some millennials turn 40 this year — and are eligible to be recognized as winners for the first time!)

  5. Once the winners are chosen, we will verify their information, and they will be celebrated in a special edition of The Charlotte Ledger. We will also honor them in some kind of to-be-determined event, which may or may not include David Hasselhoff.

  6. For those who are nominated but don’t win, there’s good news: Your eligibility to apply for 40 Over 40 in future years expires only when you do! We’ll never punish you for slowing your career to raise kids or for spending your 20s and 30s figuring out what the heck to do with your life. And, of course, in future contests, many of The Ledger’s valued under-40 readers will age into eligibility — a welcome and unexpected perk of turning 40.

For the latest news and information about the contest, be sure you are signed up for our e-newsletter. You might also want to follow our 40 Over 40 LinkedIn page. We are going to have some fun promoting this in the next few weeks, and we’d love for you to follow us as we experiment, as we did last year, with some innovative marketing.

Official contest rules are available here.

Feel free to spread the word about The Charlotte Ledger 40 Over 40 by sharing this post:


Or nominate a special 40+ person in your life right now:

Nominate for 40 Over 40 now

Let the games begin!

Questions? Contact the talented and capable Deborah Goldberg at

— Tony Mecia, publisher, The Charlotte Ledger

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The Charlotte Ledger is an e-newsletter and website publishing timely, informative, and interesting local business-y news and analysis Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, except holidays and as noted. We strive for fairness and accuracy and will correct all known errors. The content reflects the independent editorial judgment of The Charlotte Ledger. Any advertising, paid marketing, or sponsored content will be clearly labeled.

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Executive editorTony MeciaManaging editorCristina BollingContributing editor: Tim Whitmire, CXN AdvisoryReporting intern: David Griffith