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The Hot 20 2010 Reader's Choice Nominees: Vote on Who We Should Feature in the Magazine

You hear that the Bay Area is a hotbed of creativity and innovation a lot. So much, in fact, that it's easy to get a little jaded on the subject. But it's true, we live in a community brimming with do-gooders, entrepreneurs and risk takers, as evidenced by the extremely impressive group of Hot 20 Reader's Choice nominees below. So read their quick stats, get inspired and then vote on who you think we should feature as the Readers' Choice Winner in our October Hot 20 Under 40 issue, an annual celebration of the city's 20 most up-and-coming movers and shakers under 40. (Check out the 2009 Hot 20 Under 40 class here)

We have so many great nominees that we've decided to do rounds of voting (your votes will only be counted once for each round).

August 2: 20 Finalists
August 5: 10 Finalists
August 9: 5 Finalists
August 11: Reader's Choice Winner Announced

So without further ado, here are your 2010 Reader's Choice nominees...



1. Jason Berthold, Executive Chef at RN74
Jason Berthold, executive chef at Michael Mina's RN74, led his team toward some pretty impressive accolades this year. RN74 was a James Beard Foundation Best New Restaurant Finalist and earned a prestigious Wine Spectator Grand Award. Jason also produces his own wine, called Courier.



2. Lisa Lee and Melissa Hung, Publisher and Founding Editor of Hyphen Magazine
Hyphen Magazine is one of the most influential Asian American publications in the country, featuring stories from Asian American culture, arts and politics, many of them right here in San Francisco. Lisa and Melissa both have day jobs (Lisa at Facebook and Melissa at WritersCorps) and run the magazine as a side project (Melissa also curates the annual Slant Film Festival).



3. Ali Cox, Olympic Rower
Bay Area resident and UC San Diego grad Ali Cox has an Olympic Silver Medal (Athens, 2004) and a World Championship title on her resume. After six years in the "real world," as a Director of Sponsorship and Marketing for entertainment agency IMG, she's turning back to training, and going for the 2012 US Olympic Rowing Team.



4. The Park, Hip Hop and Jazz Collective
You may have seen SF's The Park playing with Darondo at Outside Lands or backing up UK songstress Alice Russell, Boots Riley and Zion I at 3:30 Ritch and Yoshi's. Check out their music here.



5. UCSF's Mabuhay Health Center
This group of renegade UCSF MDs (all under 40) opened a free clinic last December at Bayanihan Community Center in SoMa. Now they're extending their services to the youth of SF by opening a site at Bessie Carmichael Elementary school in October, which will offer health education and free medical and dental care for students.



6. Tae Kim, Design Director at Alite Designs
A former Design Director at both the North Face and Timbuk2, Kim launched Alite with two fellow Stanford alums earlier this year. Alite, which is geared toward young city dwellers and rookie/casual campers, offers affordable and fun outdoor products that help bring more people together outside. You may have seen their sleeping bag for two, which we blogged about earlier this year.



7. Mike Del Ponte, Founder of Sparkseed
Mike Del Ponte's Sparkseed, a non-profit that awards student social entrepreneurs with $10,000 of seed funding, recently won the Financial Times Award for Best Social Investment Strategy, beating out both Gap and McDonald's for the title. This week, Sparkseed's hosting Dangerously Ambitious in Silicon Valley, an annual summit that brings together social innovators and angel investors for four days of sky diving, tea ceremonies, hiking and urban gaming. Del Ponte is 26 years old.



8. Sumaya Kazi, Innovator and Entrepreneur
Sumaya is the CEO & Founder of YoProCo, a soon-to-launch site that's being billed as a "CNN meets LinkedIn" for young professionals worldwide. She's previously been recognized by BusinessWeek magazine as one of "America's Best Young Entrepreneurs", by CNN as a "Young Person Who Rocks" and by Silicon Valley Business Journal as a "Woman of Influence."



9. Rob Cann, National Program Coordinator for Street Soccer USA
Rob Cann acts as National Program Coordinator for Street Soccer USA, an organization that gets homeless people off the streets and into the workforce through healthy competition and motivation. The San Francisco team is on its way to the SSUSA Cup in Washington DC.



10. Andrew Mariani, Vintner at Scribe
Vintner at "of-the-moment" Scribe winery in Sonoma, 27-year old Mariani is the face of sustainable winemaking.



11. Stephanie Duchaine, "The LG Girl"
Beating out professional models and seasoned actresses in the audition process, former Google employee Stephanie Duchaine recently became "The LG Girl," an addition to the mobile phone company to bring brand awareness through social media. Stephanie blogs, tweets and does video interviews (recently at SF-based Twitter client Seesmic) on the latest and greatest in fashion, sports, tech, and of course, LG phones.



12. Daniel Cohen, Founder of Collective Good
A producer at the Graphic Design Group at Apple, Cohen also heads up Collective Good, an organization that promotes fun events and activities to raise awareness and inspire action. Their next event is August 11 at 111 Minna, where Collective Good will raise money for the Imagine Bus Project, an arts organization for children in underserved communities.  



13. KK Ledford, Yoga Teacher
Certified Ansura instructor KK Ledford teaches at the Hayes Valley Yoga Tree, incorporating Kashmir Shaiva philosophy, astrology, great music, fierce dedication and a quirky sense of humor into classes. She also works privately with clients that have health concerns and therapeutic needs. She can be found in dragonfly pose when she's not teaching classes.



14. Suzannah Scully, Career Coach
Former designer and merchandiser for the Gap and Williams-Sonoma, career coach Suzannah Scully helps San Franciscans "get their butts in gear" and find their true career passions. Weekly, she profiles local women entrepreneurs in her blog "Finding Your Aha Moment."



15. Michelle Hall and Bryan Janeway of Living Greens
Living Greens Organic Juice, which opened for business earlier this year, delivers fresh-pressed, organic juices and offers custom cleansing programs. The company began its journey as a passion for bringing natural goodness to loved ones and has grown to serve the same brand of organic freshness and delicious juices to people all around the Bay Area.



16. Mayka Mei, Blogger and Fashion Hound
Mayka Mei works for Palo Alto-based indie fashion company Moxsie and also runs, a blog that focuses on everything from race and ethnic issues to her love of enormous rescue dogs and the latest fashion trends.



17. Kate Berlin, Associate Director of LMU's Teach for America in the Bay Area
A former Teach for America Corps member herself in South Central LA, 26-year old Berlin now supports over 150 first-year Teach for America teachers in the Bay Area through Loyola Marymount University. LMU's Bay Area satellite campus supports teachers working in the most difficult school environments throughout Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose.



18. Lauren Geremia, Founder and Principle of Geremia Design
Part designer and part curator, Geremia is the visual force behind some of the Bay Area's hottest restaurants and bars, including projects at 330 Ritch, Aventine, Bloodhound and 83 Proof.



19. Johnny Hayes of SFFunCheap
Johnny Hayes' alter ego is Johnny Funcheap, the guru of all cheap and fun things to do in San Francisco. His website keeps people on a budget in-the-know on Bay Area happs. He's also a frequent guest on KQED Radio's Forum, KGO Radio, and a columnist for the SF Bay Guardian.



20. Katherine Mathis, Founder of Revolver Studios
Katherine opened Revolver Studios in 2009 in the midst of the failing economy. Combining her passion for design and branding, the Tenderloin local turned Revolver Studios into a multi-faceted branding and creative marketing firm, with services ranging from identity crafting to design to new media strategy.



21. Trevor Hubbard, Misha Vladimirskiy and Alexandr Vladimirskiy of Butchershop Creative
This trio helms a creative think tank for innovative advertising, marketing, branding, web development and graphic design. Their company, Butchershop Creative, is a wellspring of ideas for the wealth of companies in the Bay Area. Their client roster includes DOT429, Dos Equis and Black Star Beer.



22. Peaches Christ
Peaches Christ is Joshua Grannell, San Francisco drag queen legend. It all began at Landmark's Bridge Theatre (which Peaches managed) in 1998 with her mega-popular Midnight Mass show. Midnight Mass has since gone on a global tour. Peaches Christ writes and stars in short films and has had a retrospective dedicated to her at SF's de Young Museum.



23. Brooke Waterhouse of Project One Gallery
Art Director Brooke Waterhouse's Project One Gallery is helping to reinvent Potrero Hill. The 3,200-square-foot gallery and event space is more than just a lounge with an artsy side; it can be seen as a forum for creative people of all kinds. It showcases daring artists, designers, edgy DJs, benefit shows and has attracted a devoted clientele.



24. Christopher, Peter Doukakis and DJ George "GStav" Stavropoulos of SELECT SF
The SELECT SF men are changing up SF's club scene with a sleek and sophisticated European aesthetic. Internationally known DJs spice up their parties and attract an eclectic crowd to all of their events.



25. Greg Vaisberg, Attorney
Greg Vaisberg, a talented licensing attorney at Oracle, uses the same drive and passion he has for his software job as he does with his civic engagement with the University of San Francisco's charitable events. He helped organize, with the American Cancer Society and students, the first Relay for Life event on the USF campus. He mentors law school students from his alma mater in Santa Clara by helping them prepare for the tough job market, and is an active member on USF's Alumni Board of Directors.



26. Kira Stackhouse, Dog Photographer
Kira Stackhouse captures San Francisco's deep love of dogs in her beautiful photographs of canines in all their glory. Her current project, Project DOG, aims to bring together and photograph all 151 breeds of American Kennel Club dog, both purebred and their rescue dog counterparts across the country.



27. Sheena's Events
One of Oakland's top-tier event planners, Sheena and her team work to make their clients' dream weddings, bar mitzvahs, dinner parties, seminars, renuions and more come to life, which is no easy task. Her clients include Wells Fargo, Kaiser Permanente, Pixar, Macy's, AT&T, and many happily married couples in the Bay Area and around the country.



28. Viola Sutano, Principle at Chewing the Cud
Sutano, who has a business degree from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business, leads design shop Chewing the Cud with a unique perspective in branding, spawning innovative ideas in event design and creating beautiful, witty and eco-friendly products.



29. Jenny Chung, owner of Acrimony
Aside from being a trend-setter, Chung is committed to excellence beyond retail lines through Acrimony's blog and upcoming e-magazine, Anathema.



30. Brian Hassan and Justin Roberts of BayPoint Benefits
Brian Hassan and Justin Roberts started BayPoint Benefits, an employee benefits consulting firm with a core focus in sustainability and the environment, four years ago. The company is an innovator in an industry notorious for its dearth of creativity. It has quickly grown into a nationally-recognized, award-winning organization that has become the exclusive benefits provider to science and tech giants and has been featured on CNN and Fox Business News.



31. Jill Rizzo and Alethea Harampolis of Studio Choo
Studio Choo is a two-woman flower operation run by Jill Rizzo and Alethea Harampolis out of Divisadero Street's new indie shop Prairie Collective. They provide their wildly stylistic floral designs for SF businesses like Delfina and the Curiosity Shoppe, take on big-budget weddings and events and write a garden column for Design*Sponge.



32. Doug Biehn, VP of Corporate Marketing at Blue Shield
As America embarks on the historic overhaul of the healthcare system, Doug Biehn is taking it head-on as the head of marketing at Blue Shield. He's tasked with transforming one of the country's most hated industries into something consumers trust.



33. Matthew Cheney, Founder of Mission Bicycles and Chapter Three (A Drupal Development Firm)
Matt started Mission Bicycles in 2009 and also is the co-founder of Chapter Three, a Drupal Development firm in SoMA which (full disclosure), redesigned both and our sister site, Chapter Three does open source web development with Drupal for companies like Oxfam, Kiva, Sanford and the United Nations.



34. Reverend Bertie Pearson
After years as an SF nightlife fixture, Bertie Pearson became a priest and started EpiscoDisco, a monthly DJ-ed party at Grace Cathedral. Pearson brings a hip, progressive and playful vibe to religion in the city.



35. Lea McIntosh of
The former owner of an upscale catering company (clients included Neiman Marcus, Kimpton Hotels and Louis Vuitton), Lea McIntosh started after she discovered that most new nesters lack both basic skills in the kitchen and easy ways to entertain with confidence.



36. Dava Guthmiller, CEO of Noise 13 and Chapter Leader of Slow Food San Francisco
Under the guidance of Guthmiller and other Slow Food members, the San Francisco chapter has grown to include over 1,400 members and host nationally recognized events and programs.



37. Sebastien de Halleux, Co-founder of Playfish
Since founding leading social gaming company Playfish with three friends in 2007, Sebastien has set out to change the way people play games by creating more social and connected gameplay experiences. With Playfish's US development studio located along San Francisco's Embarcadero, the social gaming phenomenon is being driven right in our own backyard. To date, more than 250 million Playfish games have been installed and played.



38. Lindsay Siegel, Digital Diva
Lindsay has led the development of groundbreaking interactive campaigns for the NBA, HP and Sprint at SF's esteemed Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. She's also partnered with branding house M2SF and is working on Nut-rients, a company dedicated to fighting child hunger in developing countries.

*Nominations that were emailed to with an explanatory paragraph about the nominee and a photo were published. We did not publish any nominees who were part of past Hot 20 Under 40 classes. All finalists must verify that they will be under 40 years old by October 1, 2010.