January 24, 2019
Oakland University’s Kristin Rohrbeck, director of the Joanne & Ted Lindsay Foundation Autism Outreach Services (OUCARES), and OU alumnus Nicholas Kristock, chief executive officer of Empathy 313, are among the three finalists vying for the top spot in the Oakland County Executive’s Elite 40 Under 40 Class of 2019.
The program, now in its eighth year, is an initiative of County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and honors exceptional individuals under the age of 40 who excel in their field and improve the quality of life in Oakland County and beyond. Of that group, the three candidates who scored the highest are placed before the public in an online vote to determine the “Best of the Best.”
Voting continues through noon on Friday, January 25. Individuals may vote once every 24 hours at Elite40.com. Among other opportunities, the top vote-getter will introduce Patterson at his State of the County address on Feb. 7.
“I’m excited about this outstanding class of talented and passionate leaders who are committed to improving their professions and their communities every day,” Patterson said. “These young leaders are wonderful ambassadors for Oakland County.”
Rohrbeck is a Farmington Hills resident with an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in developmental psychology from Ohio State University. As director of OUCARES, she serves over 2,300 people impacted by autism spectrum disorder in southeast Michigan with more than 100 annual programs.
In 2018, Rohrbeck, led the development of a partnership with the Ted Lindsay Foundation, which resulted in a $1 million gift to grow OUCARES programs to support teens and adults living with autism spectrum disorder. She also developed an employment readiness skills program for adults, which results in more than 30 adults either receiving jobs or continuing their education to reach career goals.
“I am constantly looking at trends in the disability community to try to improve the quality of life for families that I serve as well as future generations,” Rohrbeck said.
Kristock is a Novi resident and holds a master’s degree in business administration from Oakland University. He describes himself as a serial entrepreneur and servant leader who founded three non-profit organizations.
In 2015, he started Fleece & Thank You, which provides hope and comfort to hospitalized children by giving donors the opportunity to make the child a fleece blanket and a video message of hope. It has generated more than 41,000 blankets since inception.
Kristock is a former Oakland University Division 1 soccer player and played professionally in Australia in 2014-15. While in Australia, he was on the startup team for Orange Sky Laundry, the world’s first mobile laundry service for the homeless.
“My life’s purpose is to serve the social impact space,” Kristock said. “Whether it be through building businesses that solve social problems, mentoring organizations on how to better solve the social problems they are facing or speaking to audiences about the importance of doing what we can to make this world better, I am constantly focused on helping solve real problems and making a real impact.”
Also vying for the top spot is Dr. Candice Colby-Scott, a physician with the Michigan Ear Institute.
Along with Rohrbeck, Kristock and Colby-Scott, this year’s “40 Under 40” class also includes Madelyn Rzadkowolski, director of curatorial services for Meadow Brook Hall. To see a complete list, visit www.oakgov.com.
Sean Delaney, Communciations and Marketing