Chamber member Melissa Ballate, founder and president of Blue Daring, was recently recognized in Crain’s Chicago Business “40 Under 40” list as a Chicago entrepreneur who is helping shape the new economy.

For those that know her, this doesn’t come as a surprise.

From the Crain’s Chicago Business piece:

Ballate… started working at, an online auto classified advertising business, at 19. She later became an account manager there, working with companies like GM and Mercedes-Benz.

At 23, she left to launch Blue Daring, which she’d been working on during lunch breaks and at night. Today, the River West firm’s annual revenue is upward of $1 million, she says.

Right now, Blue Daring is the go-to partner for people with vision. The team is working with inQUEST – a team of diversity & inclusion experts and a fellow Chamber member – to develop, brand and launch a new D&I game experience, Contineo. They have partnered with Divvy to drive targeted engagement as they launch into new neighborhoods and are currently working with Toyota to help develop, brand and launch Social Innovation—a new way of partnering with others in society to both advance the company’s business while inspiring solutions for a better world.

Personally, Melissa is passionate about education and business and gives her time to organizations that nurture them. She serves on the board of Junior Achievement of Chicago and is one of nine members of the Chicago Police Board, an independent civilian body that oversees certain activities of the Chicago Police Department.

Click here to read the full “40 Under 40” piece in Crain’s Chicago Business.

Click here to learn more about Blue Daring.