The Junior Achievement Central Ohio Business Hall of Fame was established in 1987 to honor leaders in the Columbus business community. Laureates must meet a series of criteria, including a history of achievement that demonstrates:
- Business excellence.
- Courageous thinking and actions.
- Vision and innovation.
- Inspiring leadership.
- Community mindedness.
In addition, the laureate must be at least 50 years old and have been a resident of Columbus for a minimum of 10 years.
Nominations for the Central Ohio Business Hall of Fame are garnered from the Columbus area business community through letters of solicitation and advertisements in local business publications. A committee of laureates, sponsors and JA board members selects who will be the year's honorees.
A Student Laureate Scholarship Award was added in 1998, so the business community can meet the best of its future work force. It also allows students to see how hard work and dedication lead to success.
Junior Achievement is the world's oldest and largest nonprofit economic education partnership. Its mission is to ensure that every child in America has a fundamental understanding of the free enterprise system. Its purpose is to educate and inspire young people to value free enterprise, business and economics to improve the quality of their lives.
JA of Central Ohio Inc., which began in 1950, served more than 31,000 students in the 1999-2000 school year. Its franchise comprises Franklin County and the counties of Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Guernsey, Ross, Jackson, Licking, Muskingum, Madison, Pickaway, Pike and Union, plus 14 Appalachian counties, Adams, Athens, Belmont, Gallia, Harrison, Hocking, Jefferson, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry, Vinton and Washington.
Sitting on the local board of directors are chair James Schultz of Nationwide Insurance; vice chair Laura Bradford of Hopewell Constructors; secretary John Williamson of Bueter & Associates; treasurer David Maul of Continental Office Furniture; and past chair Susan Porter of Schottenstein, Zox & Dunn.