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Junior Achievement inducts 2021 laureates into Business Hall of Fame in virtual presentation

Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 7:47 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Two local business leaders were inducted into Junior Achievement’s Business Hall of Fame on Tuesday. The event was presented by BB&T (now Truist).

Connie Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Med Center Health and Chief Executive Officer of The Medical Center, and John Kelly, former Senior Executive at DESA International and Pan-Oston, were chosen as the 2021 honorees.

Smith and Kelly join 32 other business leaders whose leadership and community service are aimed to be an inspiration to the students that look to Junior Achievement for guidance and support.

The Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame was designed in 1992 to recognize outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to our community. Inductees are selected based upon their entrepreneurial spirit, business achievements, and positive economic impact upon the South Central Kentucky area.

“I would like to thank Junior Achievement of South Central Kentucky and the Business Hall of Fame committee for this prestigious award,” said Smith. “We teach our youth that success and accomplishment do not happen without teamwork and the support and dedication of those around you. It is in this spirit that I humbly accept this award on behalf of the entire Med Center Health team and the 3,800 individuals who dedicate their lives to the health and well-being of others.

Joining Smith in the 2021 Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame is John Kelly. “I would like to thank Junior Achievement for this most prestigious award,” said Kelly. “To be selected to join the distinguished Business Hall of Fame with the previous group of award recipients is truly humbling and exciting.”

Kelly’s family is the namesake of the Kelly Autism Program at Western Kentucky University, which provides educational and social support for individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Over the years, Junior Achievement has honored individuals who epitomize five key standards of excellence: entrepreneurial spirit and achievement; exceptional role model for youth; economic impact on area; business leadership; and commitment to the goals of Junior Achievement.

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