Our series continues to highlight individual honorees from the 2013 “40 Under Forty” recognition program. In each of the next 18 editions, we will feature two among the class of 40 youthful leaders in the South Sound.

Jim Cooper, executive director of TOGETHER!, a Thurston County non-profit focused on substance abuse prevention among youth, participates in many important decision-making processes as a member of Olympia’s city council. But among his most proud moments is time spent in 2008 as an official member of the Washington state delegation to the national Democratic Party convention in Denver, where Barack Obama was named nominee for and eventually was elected President of the United States.

It seems natural that Farra Vargas would hold a position as community representative for Puget Sound Energy in our capital city, for she has been an Olympia resident her whole life. In fact, she reports earning her first dollar at age 14 as a page in the state legislature. A part-time job with a government agency as she finished high school was followed by other full-time work with Department of Natural Resources, a stint with a non-profit trade group and her current private sector position. Farra is also “mom” to a son who enters kindergarten in the fall.

The public is invited to join in celebrating the 2013 class of “40 Under Forty” at an evening program outdoors at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium on Wednesday, Aug. 7, beginning at 6 p.m.  Details and ticket information are at this link.