Nominations open now for Sumter Item's annual 20 Under 40


COVID-19 has changed almost every aspect of our lives, but one thing it has not stopped is the drive of young professionals trying to improve their surroundings.

The Sumter Item, in partnership with the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce and Young Professionals of Sumter, is honoring such area professionals with the third-annual Top 20 Professionals Under 40. Nominations are now open at The Item's website, Anyone can nominate any professional for the 2020-21 contest who lives in Sumter, Clarendon or Lee County.

"This contest is about recognizing standout leaders across our region. It's especially important this year as businesses and organizations adapt to survive and thrive. We'll be telling those stories through this contest and these winners, and we'll celebrate honorees throughout the next year," Item Publisher Vince Johnson said.

Young professionals honored in the contest's two previous cohorts have represented a cross-section of the tri-county region, from health care professionals to educators to civic and nonprofit leaders to business owners and standout employees.

Nominations end Sunday, Aug. 13. Then, anyone can vote daily for his or her favorite nominees Aug. 14-28.

Winners will be featured in the 2020-21 Top 20 Professionals Under 40 magazine and receive a free ticket to the Top 20 Under 40 reveal. If it is safe to publicly gather, an in-person event will be held. If the community is unable to safely gather because of COVID-19, a virtual event will be held to recognize and honor the winners. Details will be disseminated as they are determined.

All winners, former winners, nominees and community members are encouraged to attend the reveal event.

Previous winners are not eligible to win again. Eligible nominees must be under 40 years old as of Thursday, Oct. 22.

Final selections will be determined by a combination of popular vote and a selection panel set up by The Sumter Item and Chamber.

To see last year's magazine and winners, go to

To learn more about how to get your business involved in the contest/magazine/event, reach out to your sales representative or email