Accomplished Under 40 — Where Are They Now?


(ShanRae Hawkins~ 2006 Award Winner)

As CBN celebrates our 18th year of honoring young business leaders in Central Oregon, we — along with our sponsor, Washington Trust Bank — thought it would be fun to reach out to some of our past award winners and ask…

Where are they now?

What advice would you give to your former self at the time you were featured as an Accomplished Under 40 Award recipient?

If I were to offer advice to my former self when I was recognized as an Accomplished Under 40 Award recipient, I would emphasize the importance of continuing to trust my instincts and surrounding myself with wonderful people.

What has changed the most in Central Oregon since then?

It might be easier to answer the question of what hasn’t changed since 2006! I believe the most notable change has been the rapid rise in population and development of the region. The growth has created both opportunities and challenges, motivating us to work towards maintaining a resilient community where everyone has the opportunity [to]thrive.

How has your career and community involvement changed since you were selected?

After working for several of Central Oregon’s iconic businesses, including the Old Mill District and Sunriver Resort, I realized there was an opportunity to establish a unique communications and public relations agency. Over a decade ago, I founded StingRay Communications with the primary objective of partnering with clients to help tell their stories and navigate complex challenges by delivering effective communication solutions. I love it!

I dedicate the majority of my community involvement to supporting and mentoring youth, and raising awareness for the agriculture industry.

What did it mean to you to receive the award?

Receiving the award was truly an honor. It really extends beyond me as an individual and is representative of the support and guidance of my family and mentors who’ve invested in my journey personally and professionally.

What are some of you proudest accomplishments that make you who you are today?

My greatest source of pride stems from the meaningful relationships I have with my family and among clients. A mentor once shared with me that “it’s all about the people,” and I believe that to be true. When you prioritize relationships, everything else tends to fall into place

What advice would you give to this year’s — and future — recipients of Accomplished Under 40 Award?

Look for the good in every situation, invest time in building meaningful relationships, trust your gut, and do things that bring you joy and make you forget to check your phone!

What question would you ask yourself for this interview?

“Who is one person that positively impacted your career?”

Bill Smith. He could have hired someone more experienced or qualified, but he took a chance on me when I was 24 years old. He mentored me and showed me what I was capable of achieving. He also encouraged me to pursue my dream of starting my own business.

Additional Comments

Thank you for the opportunity to share and for selecting me as one of your top 40’s before I was in my 40’s!


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