At age 15, Paul Long was flipping burgers in his home town of Selah, across the street from a bank branch. Already thinking about his future, this “40 Under Forty” honoree took his resume to the manager of that bank and told him that he wanted to be a teller. 

Hired one week after he turned 16, Paul was himself a branch manager at 18 and managed multiple branches when he was 21. Today, he is a commercial banker with Timberland, with special focus on small business customers and SBA lending.

“I truly believe that small businesses get the short end of the stick,” Long wrote. So he is “focusing my efforts … and give them advice and service as if they were a billion dollar company … because I love seeing business owners succeed.”

Attention to a goal and persistence were also apparent when his future wife left for a year to study abroad in France. Long planned his own trip to the Continent and while there, took Stephanie to dinner at the Eiffel Tower and proposed to her. They now recall the memory and will some day share it with their awesome son.

“Making a difference in people’s lives every day,” Paul Long is in the Class of 2016 “40 Under Forty.”

Danielle Panzer is a Tacoma native, but the city hasn’t always been kind to her or so many others. She began working in food service at 14, serving church brunches and moving to an assisted living home dining room and kitchen for two years. 

For six months while in high school, Danielle lived on the streets as one of Tacoma’s teenaged homeless population. So she is rightfully proud today to be a self-staining, productive member of society and mother to a two-year-old son. 

During her senior year at Wilson High School, she took a part-time clerical job that grew into eight years of increasing responsibility culminating as Research and Circulation Manager for the Business Examiner. Then Panzer returned to her original career path in food service, when she became a catering sales assistant with Aramark at the city’s convention and trade center.

She is a past president (the youngest) of Executive Women International Tacoma, member of the local chapter for National Association of Catering Executives, and a tutor for the Werlin Read-2-Me program. She also volunteers with Tacoma Community House, the Rescue Mission, Courage 360 and as an art instructor for YWCA, local Campfire and Girl Scout troops.

A truly remarkable “40 Under Forty” honoree is Danielle Panzer.  Meet the whole class at their celebration event, Club 40 – a Speakeasy – on Wednesday, August 17 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Ticket information is at this link.