Society Column: Junior Achievement inducts business leaders into Hall of Fame


Junior Achievement of Central Indiana hosted the 2014 Business Hall of Fame Awards on Feb. 20 in the beautifully decorated Indiana Roof Ballroom, with a record 630 people in attendance.

“We appreciate the generosity of our many supporters who helped make this our most successful Hall of Fame ever,” said Jennifer Burk, the CEO and president of Junior Achievement.

Hall of Fame awards were given to accomplished corporate and civic leaders David E. Simon, Chairman and CEO of Simon Properties, Billie Dragoo, President and CEO of RepuCare, Dave P. Lindsey, CEO and president of DEFENDER Direct, and Michael Smith, the retired executive vice president CFO of Anthem.

Each received a beautiful crystal eagle, symbolizing outstanding leadership.

Junior Achievement is the largest organization dedicated to educating students in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship through hands on programs. To date, Junior Achievement reaches over 4 million students in the United States, and Junior Achievement Worldwide reaches an additional 9 million students in 120 countries,

Junior Achievement presenters at the 2014 Hall of Fame Awards ceremony represented an impressive group of young students. During the VIP reception, several very poised students dressed in tuxedos and cocktail dresses, approached me, introduced themselves and handed me business cards stating their names and future career choices.

Among the future leaders I met were 9-year-old Braedyn White, Navy SEAL; 10-year-old Marquise Smith, President of Smith Robotics and Engineering; 9-year-old Jackson Spear, Director/Producer; and 10-year-old Kenneth Page, forward for the Miami Heat.

Grace Spear, a future actress for MGM Studios, opened the award ceremonies with Marquise Smith.

The City of Carmel was well-represented by Indy Fuel Hockey Team co-owner, Jim Hallett; Junior Achievement Board Members Mike Hannigan and Mark Shaffer, and Mark’s wife, Gerri Shaffer.

Among the many other notable guests were Secretary of State Connie Lawson and former Colts player Marlin Jackson.

We also met several Junior Achievement staff members and supporters who helped create a wonderful evening: Tabitha Williams, Special Events Manager; Harry Danz, Board of Directors; Lauren Sheldrup, Development Director and Yvonne Shaheen, Event Chairperson.

Find more information about Junior Achievement at:


Tonya Burton is the Current’s social scene columnist. You may contact her at



Current Morning Briefing Logo

Stay CURRENT with our daily newsletter (M-F) and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox for free!

Select list(s) to subscribe to

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Current Publishing, 30 S. Range Line Road, Carmel, IN, 46032, You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact