The 29th annual Washington Business Hall of Fame, benefiting Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, was held on Nov. 30, 2016, at the National Building Museum. Dubbed the “Academy Awards of Business” for the DC region, approximately 1,200 attended the black-tie event which was founded by Greater Washington Board of Trade, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, and Washingtonian magazine. This year's event was chaired by James Schenck, President and CEO, PenFed Credit Union.
A record more than $1.3 million was raised for Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, with proceeds benefiting JA’s innovative financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship K-12 programs designed to inspire the next generation to navigate their own path to the American dream.
During the 2015-2016 school year, JA served 65,108 students at 263 schools and after-school sites delivering 714,618 instructional hours with the help of 2,141 educator partners and 5,375 JA Hero Volunteers from 411 organizations.
At the event, Ed Grenier, President and CEO of Junior Achievement of Greater Washington said, “The time to come together as a community to systematically make sure our young people are truly prepared to adapt and excel within this evolving world economy is right now.” JA is leading “a movement to transform education, to create opportunities, to fuel a generation of thinkers, creators, doers, dreamers, leaders, innovators. And that’s a big job. And it’s a job JA is proud to take on," said Grenier.
This year, four Laureates were inducted into the Washington Business Hall of Fame and honored for their professional and philanthropic contributions to the Greater Washington region. The four laureates this year are:
o Diane Hoskins, Co-CEO, Gensler
o Tony Nicely, Chairman and CEO, GEICO
o Kenneth Samet, President & CEO MedStar Health
o Gary Tabach, Managing Partner, Greater Washington, Deloitte & Touche LLP
The laureates were each introduced by (respectively, according to order above) the following DC business and civic VIPs: Linda Rabbit, Don Graham, William Roberts and Tony Buzzelli.
At the top of the ceremony, JA Superhero Grace Harvey shared some facts about each laureate as follows:
About Diane Hoskins: “We’ve got a woman who went from playing with legos to designing some of the most amazing buildings in Washington and around the globe. I mean have you seen the Shanghai Tower? That’s the second tallest building in the world, you know?”
About Tony Nicely: “We’ve got a man who oversees 14 million auto policies, 23 million vehicles, and a lizard who helps people save money on car insurance. If you give him 15 minutes he’ll save you 15 percent.”
About Ken Samet: “There’s a guy who became president of a hospital when he was in his early thirties. And he’s got 31,000 associates, 4,700 doctors, and half-a-million patients depending on him every year.”
About Gary Tabach: “He somehow manages to find time to run one of the biggest offices of the biggest companies in the world. They don’t call it the Big Four for nothing! And he sits on more boards and advocates for more causes than I can count.”
They join over 100 laureates, all of whom have shaped the regional landscape and consistently demonstrated the following characteristics: outstanding business accomplishments; visionary, innovative leadership; integrity and strong core values; and passionate community engagement. The biographies of all past Washington Business Hall of Fame laureates are available to be viewed at www.washingtonbusinesshalloffame.org.
The night's program was led by JA Board Member and longtime friend of Junior Achievement, Washington Journalist, Leon Harris with some help from JA Superhero Grace Harvey as well as JA kid and student entrepreneur Zoree Jones.
Jones, who is currently in her freshman year of high school at Patriot High School, in Nokesville, Va, received a standing ovation from the crowd of business elites following her remarks. In her speech, Jones discussed the value of the volunteer role models that administer JA programs saying, “Our volunteer mentors taught us valuable lessons about business and about life. These are lessons that can’t be Googled, but can only come from being coached and mentored by people with many years of business and leadership experience.”
Jones went on to thank JA for her experiences, saying, “ I was able to connect the dots between the knowledge and skills that I’ve acquired in school to their relevance in real world business situations. Thank you for giving me -- and tens of thousands of kids like me every year – the platform to take action on our dreams.” To hear Jones' remarks in full, click here.
This Presenting Partner for this year's event is Capital One. Capital One has committed nearly $12 million in Junior Achievement programming in the DC metro region. Over the last four years, over 1,200 Capital One volunteers have volunteered at JA Finance Park and in regional classrooms, impacting the lives of over 15,000 young people through tens of thousands of instructional hours.
In her remarks at the event, Capital One Senior Vice President of Risk Management and Greater Washington Market President, Kerri Palmer, said, “Together, Capital One and JA have served more than 200,000 students nationwide since the partnership began in 2006.”
Junior Achievement of Greater Washington extends their sincere gratitude to everyone to came out to this year's event and helped to make it a resounding success. To see more photos from the event, click here.
About Junior Achievement of Greater Washington:
Since 1965, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington (JAGW) has inspired the next generation to be financially capable and tenacious, equipped with the tools to solve problems creatively, manage risk effectively, and welcome opportunity. Through our experiential financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship K-12 programs and capstone experiences taught by volunteer role models from the community, JA® inspires the next generation to answer the demands of the 21st century with “I can.”
During the 2015-2016 academic year, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington delivered its programs to more than 65,000 students in over 20 counties and independent cities in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia through more than 700,000 instructional hours of in-classroom and after-school programs taught by nearly 5,400 volunteer role models from the community. JA and its partners provide middle school students a real-world experience of finance and the modern economy through Junior Achievement Finance Parks in Fairfax, VA, and Prince George’s County, MD, with a third JA Finance Park slated to open in Montgomery County, MD in 2018. Over the past 50 years, JA has impacted the lives of more than 800,000 young people throughout the region.