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Young professionals share words of wisdom for Augusta youth

The 2021 Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch were honored by Augusta Magazine, the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce, and about 300 members of the local business community at a luncheon at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center. (Photo by Neil Gordon)

Millennials are often stereotyped as lazy, unmotivated, and unreliable. But there are many young professionals in the CSRA who continue to shatter these stereotypes.

Since 2009, Augusta Magazine and the Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce have recognized the outstanding achievements of local professionals by selecting a list of the Top 10 in 10 Young Professionals to Watch. All these young professionals are between the ages of 25 and 35 and were selected based on their professional accomplishments, impact on Augusta, and community service. Those on the 2021 list work in a variety of career fields, such as law, business, marketing, and banking. They were honored at a luncheon at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center on Tuesday, June 29. Each professional was also featured in the June/July issue of Augusta Magazine. After the luncheon, four of the Top 10 shared their advice for young people struggling to find their way in life.

Tianna Bias, 28, serves as a criminal defense attorney for the Hawk Law Group and often mentors Augusta youth on how to be successful in both school and life. “Other people see me as a role model,” says Bias. She also advises young people to pursue their dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem. “Just because you have never seen it done doesn’t mean it can’t be achieved,” Bias states.

Beth Bargeron James, 35, serves as vice president and marketing director for Queensborough National Bank & Trust. James advises young people to network and build professional connections. “Put yourself out there, get connected, and talk to people,” she states. “It is how you learn to find your place,” James says networking has opened many doors for her. “I have met so many folks in Augusta and have had so many opportunities to sit on boards and go to events like these,” she explains.

Like James, Marissa Smith, market executive for Bank of America in Augusta and Aiken, emphasizes the importance of networking. “That takes being courageous and stepping out of your comfort zone,” says Smith, 34. She also advises young adults to “find a mentor you trust” to help guide them on their career paths.

Patrick Wells, 33, is president of Piedmont Landscape Management, which currently has 41 full-time employees. Wells advises young people to take risks. “Those risks should be calculated, of course,” he says. Despite his professional accomplishments and contributions to the community, Wells prefers to stay out of the spotlight. “I do things for the community, not necessarily for personal or business recognition,” he explains.

For more information about the 2021 recipients, pick up the latest issue of Augusta Magazine.

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