Forty of East Texas’ most influential young leaders were celebrated Friday night.

Winners of ETX View Magazine’s inaugural 40 Under Forty contest were officially unveiled during a community banquet at The Villa in Tyler, which was packed full of approximately 350 community members who showed up in support of their friends, peers and co-workers for the celebratory event.

The contest, hosted in partnership with Young Professionals of Longview and Tyler Young Professionals Network, highlighted young leaders in the East Texas community who have achieved success and excelled in their expertise before the age of 40. The winners were chosen after a voting process held earlier this fall.

Longview native Julie Englerth, 34, was selected as the winner of the worship category.

Englerth said she was not expecting to win and is extremely honored to receive the recognition from the East Texas community.

“I was kind of shocked when I got nominated,” Englerth said. “I’ve been in East Texas my whole life, so it’s just a big honor to have people that I know love me even put my name out to be nominated. To win, it’s just wild.”

Englerth serves as the worship leader for HighRidge Church of Longview where she works alongside her husband, Chris, who is the worship pastor.

All 40 winners and their categories are: Suzette Farr, African American Community Figure; Zach McMillan, Agriculture and Cattle; Micah Lyons, Arts and Culture; Joshua Spraggins, Automotive; Ariana Thompson, Banking and Lending; Emily McGaugh, Childhood Learning and Activities; Amber Varona, City Officials; Trey Brewer, Community Development; Smith Reid, Construction; Emily Sanford, Cosmetic and Beauty; Spencer Mack Hansen, Dental; Amy Mims Bruyere, Education; Erika Rader, End of Life Care; Wes Killingsworth, Energy, Oil and Gas; Andrea Moore, Fashion and Home Décor; Travis Bearden, Finance and Investments; Amber Hill, Fire and Rescue; Kristen Henton, Fitness; Antonio Martinez, Hispanic Community Figure; Collin Phaup, Insurance and Protection; Cody Grace, IT and Technology; Justin Roberts, Law and Policy; LaDarian Brown, Law Enforcement; Jared Johnson, Manufacturing, Grocery and Distribution; Jennifer Ware, Marketing and Advertising, Reagan Roy-Young, Media and News; Jennifer Williams, Medical and Healthcare; Justin Hargrove, Men in Business; Meaghan Simpson, Music and Performing Arts; Miki Dougherty, Nonprofit/Philanthropist; Daniel Ross, Outdoor Beautification; Lindsay Steele, Photography and Graphic Design; Melanie Northcutt, Real Estate; Chelsea Cace, Restaurant and Hospitality; Kelly Belt, Social Entrepreneur; Kerry Lane, Sports; Mitch Howie, Tattoo and Artistry; Lauren Bresch, Volunteer; Teri Killingsworth, Women in Business; and Julie Englerth, Worship.

More than 16,000 nominations were received and nearly 43,000 votes were cast by the community when selecting winners for the awards. Each winner will also be profiled in a commemorative edition of ETX View which will be released on Sunday.

Justin Wilcox, publisher of ETX View and senior vice president of M. Roberts Media, said he was pleased with the tremendous turnout for the event and also the community participation in this first-year contest.

“It is great to see the community come together and honor the people that make it special,” Wilcox said. “Congratulations to all the winners.”

Alyssa Purselley-Hankins, regional advertising director for ETX View and M. Roberts Media, welcomed guests and said all attendees – both nominees and supporters – should be proud to be part of the event.

“ETX View was created to celebrate East Texas. What could be more fitting to close out our first year of ETX View Magazine than with a celebration honoring our exceptional, young leaders who live, work, worship, go to school, teach and volunteer in East Texas,” she said. “I am so proud and humbled by all the support we received from our community and sponsors during our first year of ETX View. 2022 is going to be a great year and I cannot wait to see all the things we accomplish in Year 2.”

She also thanked all sponsors for allowing the event to come to fruition, including: CHRISTUS Health, Nursery Supplies, Inc., Ariana Thompson with Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, The Tutoring Center, Tyler Trophy, The Genecov Group, Smelley Enterprises, The Crutcher & Hartley Team – RE/MAX Properties, The Mortgage House, Samaritan Servants International, Brookshire’s Grocery Company, Face Studio WOW!, East Texas Symphony Orchestra, East Texas Baptist University, Retire Smart of East Texas Ross & Shoalmire, Integrity Financial, Advanta, Texas Farm Credit, Altra Federal Credit Union, Jose Sanchez Law Firm, P.C., Roberts and Roberts Law Firm, Romph and Pou Agency, M. Roberts Digital and Longview Too AMBUCS.

The banquet featured entertainment from Pete’s Dueling Pianos as attendees were treated to a meal provided by Azalea Catering Co. of Tyler. Floral arrangements were provided by Expressions Florists.

CBS 19 anchor Shardae LaRae was the emcee for the event.

ETX View is a bi-monthly magazine that celebrates the best of East Texas life and culture. Its award-winning writers, photographers and designers showcase dynamic stories of the people, events and trends that represent the community. ETX View is a product of M. Roberts Media, the parent company of the Tyler Morning Telegraph and the Longview News-Journal. The magazine is inserted into newspapers for Tyler and Longview subscribers and is available on stands at more than 60 locations across East Texas. For more information, visit