The Owensboro Business Hall of Fame revealed its three latest inductees Friday in a ceremony at the Owensboro Convention Center. The recognition, which is organized by Junior Achievement of West Kentucky, is bestowed upon individuals for outstanding civic and business contributions to Owensboro.
Laureates for 2020 include John Geoffrey “Pete” Barnard who founded Modern Welding Company, Micahel E. Horn of Horn Industrial Companies and Chris C. Reid of Independence Bank.
Reid was present for Friday’s recognition as well as James Jones, current president of Modern Welding and grandson of the late Pete Barnard. Michael Horn was unable to attend the event. The inductee reveals were made by 2019 laureates Terry Woodward and Malcolm Bryant.
The three men will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Jan. 14, 2020, at reception in the German American Ballroom at the Owensboro Convention Center.
Dan Douglas, JA of West Kentucky president, also announced a multi-year sponsorship by German American Bank for the Hall of Fame. He said the partnership will also provide a permanent exhibit of Hall of Fame inductees, which will be announced at a later date.
Douglas said Owensboro Business Hall of Fame is only organized by Junior Achievement, but hopes that ownership of the recognition is attributed to the community.
“There are lots of wonderful business leaders that need to be recognized for their entrepreneurial spirit, adding value to the community and inspiring the next generation,” he said. “This is our way of saluting the best in Owensboro business as we better prepare those that will follow in our footsteps.”
It is business leaders’ impact on students that motivates JA to organize the Hall of Fame, but Douglas said it also serves as a fundraiser for the nonprofit. Last year was the reinstitution of the awards after the recognition stopped in 2000. More than 240 people attended the ceremony in 2018, raising approximately $25,000 for JA.
This year, Douglas hopes that the German American partnership will allow for a larger audience and more funds raised for JA.
Amy Jackson, regional president of German American Bank, said it was an obvious choice to be a part of Owensboro Business Hall of Fame and JA.
“Junior Achievement promotes financial literacy in youth and JA benefits from this program, so it was an easy sell,” she said. “We need a way to honor business leaders and make sure we are celebrating legacies and that is what the Hall of Fame does.”