All four of this year’s inductees Walden O’Dell, Don Casto, Mark Swepston and Cheryl Krueger display the type of entrepreneurial spirit, relentless drive and community leadership with which we are proud to be associated. They each set a great example for all of us in their passion and dedication to the future of Central Ohio and the free enterprise system.
The Central Ohio Business Hall of Fame is an important event for Junior Achievement. It allows us to recognize the excellence that leaders in our business community have achieved and that our 1,000-plus volunteers teach in the classrooms of Central Ohio.
It is this tradition of excellence that drives us to continue to be the largest and fastest-growing organization dedicated to teaching young people about business, economics and personal finance. Our volunteers teach children how to balance a checkbook, get a job and run a city. They show the benefits and risks that exist in the real free enterprise world. Each year, we reach more than 23,000 students in Central Ohio, ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade. We help them learn through an interactive learning curriculum that is fun.
We at JA in Central Ohio are committed to our push into the urban and rural school districts in Central Ohio. The needs of these children are diverse, but the potential impact of a solid economic education, combined with the knowledge that a volunteer from the community cares enough to spend time in the classroom, can yield immeasurable results for our community. As we pursue the education in urban and rural school districts, we will continue to deliver quality programs to our school districts.
I invite you not only to join us in congratulating our honorees but also in helping us create the business leaders of tomorrow. In the short run, our children will be better prepared for their schoolwork and standardized tests. In the long run, they will be better prepared to assist in creating a strong, diverse economy.
I look forward to working with the leaders of today to create the leaders of tomorrow.
Michael S. Schoedinger is chairman of the board of Junior Achievement of Central Ohio.