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Four Business Leaders Inducted to Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame

MILWAUKEE, WI – Junior Achievement of Wisconsin held its 31st annual Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame™ on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at the Junior Achievement Kohl’s Education Center and live streamed across the state.  The 2021 Laureates included Jack Link (Jack Link’s Protein Snacks); Dave Skogen (Festival Foods); Timothy W. Sullivan (in recognition of his contributions to Bucyrus); and Daniel F. "Jack" McKeithan, Jr. (Tamarack Petroleum Company, Inc.), inducted posthumously.  They join a prestigious group of over 100 past inductees that include Don Zietlow, Kwik Trip, Inc.; Craig Culver, Culver’s; Diane Hendricks, ABC Supply; Russell M. Darrow, Jr., Russ Darrow Group, Inc.; William Specht, Cousins Submarines, Inc.; Frederick Stratton, Jr., Briggs & Stratton; Frederick C. Miller, Miller Brewing Company; Catherine Cleary, First Wisconsin Trust; Pleasant Rowland, American Girl; Richard Teerlink, Harley-Davidson, Inc.; and Bud Selig, Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club, among others.

“Our 2021 Business Hall of Fame Laureates truly embody the entrepreneurial spirit and are beacons of leadership and success”, said Kara Kaiser, Head of US Corporate Real Estate for BMO Harris Bank and Chair of the Junior Achievement of Wisconsin Board of Directors. “They took risks, they rose to unprecedented heights, they inspired confidence in the midst of uncertainty, and thanks to their fortitude and resilience, enriched the economic landscape of our great state”, added Kaiser.

Also honored were three accomplished business leaders. The Distinguished Executive Award was presented to Jim Popp for his leadership of Johnson Financial Group, as well as his engagement with the charitable and civic organizations he supports.  The Peak Performer Award was given to Patricia Contreras of Rockwell Automation for her work with businesses, global governments, and community partners to influence public policy that has improved the quality of life in communities where Rockwell Automation has a presence.  Finally, the 2021 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (sponsored by EY and presented by Junior Achievement and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction) was presented to Jonah Larson of Jonah’s Hands.  The 13-year-old La Crosse, Wisconsin entrepreneur has become a worldwide sensation with two books, a successful website where he sells his crocheted patterns and creations, and over 277,000 Instagram followers.

Established in 1990, the Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame honors individuals whose business innovations, effective management, and civic involvement have made a difference in their companies and communities throughout the state. The laureates are also recognized for the high standards they set as role models for Wisconsin’s young people and as innovative business leaders who have positively shaped Wisconsin’s business climate.

The Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame benefits Junior Achievement of Wisconsin and supports its efforts to provide young people with the skills and confidence to own their economic future and contribute to the economic viability of their families, communities, and country. Research shows that Junior Achievement programs impact the success of participating students.  90% of JA Alumni feel confident in their ability to manage their money.  JA Alumni are 2.5 times more likely to start a business than the general public and incur less debt than their peers. 

The call for 2022 Laureate Nominations is now open.  To be considered as a Laureate candidate for the Junior Achievement of Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame, an individual must meet these criteria:

  1. Made significant accomplishments on a local, regional, or national level, that had positive impact on his/her organization/industry.
  2. Served as a role model for others in business as well as for young people.
  3. Made accomplishments as a continuity of achievement (in contrast to a “one-time” effort).
  4. Exhibited the highest ethical standards of conduct.
  5. Lived and worked in Wisconsin during the time these criteria were met.
  6. May be either living or deceased, but not currently involved in the daily operations of the business for which he or she is receiving the award. 
  7. Been active during any period in Wisconsin history.

Nominations can be sent to Hannah Pausma at

Media Contacts:

Hannah Pausma

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