Amber Lewis of Olympia so believes in the importance of ensuring everyone has access to health care services they need, that she is making a career of working toward that goal.

This “40 Under Forty” honoree created Lewis Consulting LLC after a number of years working in government policy-making jobs and politics. Her firm is an advocate (lobbyist) for clients seeking understanding of their positions by state legislators and state agency officials.

Her nominator wrote that she is a person who works everyday to make her community healthier and safer.

“I am most proud of not being a negative statistic,” Lewis explained in her personal profile for the judging panel. “I was raised in a chaotic, transit(ory) home that led to be getting emancipated at age 15. I was told early in high school that I would not graduate, let alone succeed.” However, she did – and became the first in her family to earn a college degree, and now, to be recognized as a member of 2016 “40 Under Forty.”

Jacques Colon also focuses much of his life on health, especially the wide disparities in healthy outcomes within Pierce County. The “40 Under Forty” honoree is essentially a researcher as health equity coordinator for Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.

It was largely through his work that differences in health outcomes were linked by zip code residential areas, such as life expectancy and rates of disease. Colon credits his father as his most important mentor, who challenged him to be inquisitive and never be mediocre.

“I am constantly trying to ask the right questions,” Colon explained, because “I began to realize (with guidance from my dad) that asking the right questions translated to success in any field.”

He also believes that having the right answer is not as important as creating the space and conditions for your team to be empowered to come up with the right answers together. That sounds like a winning formula for Jacques Colon and the rest of “40 Under Forty” to face society’s problems going forward into their next 20 years.

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.