At the beginning of this year, The Roanoker Magazine named the class of 2021 “Top 40 Under 40,” a group nominated of individuals by the magazine’s readers for their outstanding leadership, career achievements, and community involvement. Two Ferrum College graduates are on the list.
RIDE Solutions Outreach and Communications Specialist Tim Pohlad-Thomas, a 2008 graduate of Ferrum College, was named to the list. In The Roanoker’s article, he is described as a “tireless advocate for our region” with a passion to help residents find alternate travel options, which saves money and provides a method to physical fitness. He is a 2018 graduate of Leadership Roanoke Valley and currently serves as vice president of the Clean Valley Council board, as a board member of 5 Points Music Foundation, as the Experience Outside Program chair with Get2KnowNoke, and as the FloydFest Outdoor Adventure director.
“When I learned that I had been chosen for the ‘Top 40 Under 40’ Class of 2021, I was honored and surprised,” said Pohlad-Thomas. “I felt honored because on the list I accompany many other incredible people doing great work for the region, including Ferrum graduate Beth Simms. I was surprised because I didn’t know I had been nominated and because I do what I do because of my passions and my love of helping others and not to receive accolades. Growing up around Ferrum College and going to school there certainly helped me understand why the motto ‘Not Self, But Others’ is important no matter where you end up in life or what you end up doing.”
The Town of Rocky Mount’s Cultural and Economic Development Director Beth Simms, a 2009 Ferrum College graduate, was also named to The Roanoker’s list. Simms was nominated because of her work in creating a $5,000 grant from the Reset Rocky Mount Small Business Grant Town’s allocation of the CARES Act, which aided local businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In The Roanoker’s article, Simms was praised for “her ability to focus on the big and small picture at the same time.” She is a 2017 graduate of the E.A. Morris Fellowship for Emerging Leaders program and currently serves on Ferrum College’s Alumni Board of Directors.
“I am honored to be named to The Roanoker Magazine’s ‘Top 40 Under 40’ list,” said Simms. “There are three of us from the Ferrum community and two who graduated from Ferrum College. I believe this proves that Ferrum students carry Ferrum’s motto of ‘Not Self, But Others’ with them throughout their lives. I am grateful for the positive attention this article has brought to Ferrum, Rocky Mount, and Franklin County!”
Read more about Pohlad-Thomas and Simms in The Roanoker Magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40” article.