Jake Kiehl became very interested in computer programming at age 14 and used self-taught learning to qualify as an intern with a state government agency three years later. He was hired full time as soon as he graduated and today, this “40 Under Forty” honoree has 16 employees at Kiehl Northwest, a company he founded in 2007.

“I’m incredibly proud that the growth of my business has allowed me to offer great salaries and benefits to my employees,” Kiehl says. Doing custom software development for government agencies, he describes it as “a place of employment that people can do what they love and be well compensated for it.”

With three young children in his family, this entrepreneur says he has always struggled with work/life balance, but since moving out of a home office after eight years, he reports finding a better sense of separation. 

A one-time instructor for software development classes at Pierce Community College, Jake Kiehl is an example of great youthful accomplishment. And a worthy “40 Under Forty” honoree.

Jill Klinefelter is another, as president of Tacoma Sunset Rotary Club, owner of an independent insurance agency, five-year volunteer for Junior Achievement. The “40 Under Forty” honoree says she is passionate about giving back for being so fortunate in her own life.

This from a teenage mother who, together with the father (her husband) joyfully celebrated that daughter’s graduation from PLU last year. “Being a young mom was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done,” she says, “but it has taught me how to work hard, how to be selfless, to be patient and many other life lessons I hold dear.”

Klinefelter began the insurance career that has brought her much success at an administrative desk in Spokane. In 2001, she moved to Tacoma to be office manager for another Farmers Insurance agent. Soon, she learned to step outside and become a full producer, introducing clients to the protection coverage they needed and opening her own branded agency. Fours years later, she gave that success up to start over by opening her own independent insurance agency.

Meet all of this year’s distinguished leaders at “Club 40” a recognition celebration on Wednesday, August 17, at 5:30 p.m. Ticket information is at this link.