If you congratulate Quentin Phipps, the head of the city's Downtown Business District, for being named to Connecticut Magazine's prestigious "40 Under 40" list, he'll defer to a core of mentors who guided him toward what he is today.
"I'm really humbled and honored and I think it's really a testament to all the people that have helped me over these years," Phipps said. "It's more representative of all the help and love and support I've gotten than what I've been able to accomplish."
"Q" as he's known to so many, executive director of the Middletown DBD, Bryant University and Middletown High School graduate, has, at 29, built quite a remarkable resume of community involvement, including development chair of the Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theater Board of Directors and vice president of the Middlesex Substance Abuse Action Council Board of Directors.
This infectionously energetic young man is also an instrumental member of the Middlesex United Way Young Leaders Society.
"The small piece that I've been able to help out, with Oddfellows and politics, it's more a condition of what Middletown as a whole is doing than it is the small little piece I've been able to make," Phipps said.
Phipps attributes his work in the community to a family deeply ingrained in the Middletown community.
"I'm working on issues and that I care about. Education has always been a very important value in my upbringing. I come from a family of [civil] servants — my grandparents were deacons and deaconesses, my mom gave 30 years to the state working at [Connecticut Valley Hospital]," Phipps said. "Trying to follow that legacy has always inspired me to give back."
Phipps explained that his philanthropy is a way of giving back to the community that helped him achieve his goals. "I've had people that really cared about me embrace me, believe in me, way before I believed in myself ... Ireally think that was the key to my success all these years."
"If every day, I sacrifice as much as my mom, teachers and coaches have done," Phipps said, "I'm trying to do what people have always done for me."
"It seems weird to be recognized for having so much fun."
Each year, the publication honors the "best and the brightest among Generation Next" when it publishes the annual list in January.
Phipps was elected city treasurer in November 2011 and served as chairman of the planning and zoning commission. From 2003 to 2011, he worked in the banking industry.
According to the magazine's website, nominations are made by friends, family members, co-workers, and Connecticut Magazine editors. The list includes individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds and industries.