Hot 20 2010
If Jane Kim looks familiar, it could be that you recognize her as the SF Board of Education president, not to mention the leading candidate in the race for District 6 supervisor (a post held by controversial legislator Chris Daly since 2000). Or you might know her as the electric-bass player in a female indie-rock band called Strangely, which performs at venues such as Brainwash. “After politics, my second love is definitely music,” says the Stanford grad.
Aaron Patzer, 29
To become the man he is today, Aaron Patzer gave up seven months of his golden 20s to lock himself in a room and write code. At the tender age of 24—frustrated with the multistep process of the popular financial-planning program Quicken—he decided budgeting didn’t have to be such a burden. Three years later, Patzer launched his solution: Mint.com, a website that keeps track of financial transactions, no manual input required.
Millions of users caught on—as did Mint’s undisputedly bested competitor, Intuit (which owns Quicken). All’s well that ends well: Last year, Intuit bought Mint for $170 million.
Camelia Aveloaei Skikos, 35
Fashion designer and illustrator
For Camelia Aveloaei Skikos, teenage rebellion came in the form of altered hemlines and multicolored leggings. “For this, I was sent home from school for a few days,” she says of growing up in communist Romania. “But it only gave me more time to sketch ideas for dresses.”
Part of her country’s first wave of fashion school graduates, Skikos relocated to SF in 2003 and became head designer of Levi’s customization department. Not bad for a girl who barely even had jeans growing up. “They were almost impossible to find, and if someone did, we thought it was the most amazing thing,” she says.
Aida Mollenkamp, 30
Host, Food Network and Cooking Channel
In the new millennium, becoming the next Food Network star is the dream of many and the reality for few. But Aida Mollenkamp, who was discovered in 2007 while working as an editor at foodie website CHOW in SF, might just be on her way. With both brains and beauty, she’s clearly got the one-two punch. That’s not to say there wasn’t a learning curve. “I completely didn’t know what to do the first time something caught on fire,” says Mollenkamp. “I thought I should just keep talking.”
Vernon Davis, 26
Tight end, San Francisco 49ers