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    Emma Lishness, 26
    Manager of Marketing and Communications

    Nearing graduation from Cape Elizabeth High in 2004, Emma Lishness undertook an ambitious Senior Transition Project – promoting the creation of bike lanes on narrow Mitchell and Shore roads.

    The lane idea didn’t come to fruition, but Lishness succeeded in raising awareness of an alternative form of transportation and of biking safety issues. The project is an early example of the drive and talent that contributed to Lishness’s selection as a Forty Under 40 honoree.

    Lishness, 26, became manager of marketing and communications at Tilson, a Portland-based IT and telecommunications consulting firm, in January of 2011. There, says one of her award nominators, “She leverages traditional methods and social media to promote Tilson’s work.

    “But what really sets her apart from her peers and co-workers is how she does her work and engages in her community,” says Jessica Esch of United Way of Greater Portland. “Emma understands the value of relationships and expertly wields her network to connect people, ideas and issues.”

    Lishness is playing a key role at Tilson: The company has demonstrated exponential growth in recent years, recognized by Inc. in 2011, having shown 260 percent growth over the last three years.

    In the words of Tilson president Joshua Broder, “Emma has taken the art of earning media to the next level. She has successfully engaged with a local and national audience on a range of complicated technology projects with significant public policy and public good implications, particularly in the areas of educational technology, broadband expansion, and rural economic development.

    “Emma has given the public and Tilson’s clients clear, accessible windows into the innovation economy infrastructure projects around them.”

    Lishness volunteers for United Way, serves on the board of PROPEL and the events committee for the Gourmet Gala for Gary’s House, and is assistant chair of the Junior League of Portland’s PR Council.

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