Wichita Business Hall of Fame Inducts Three New Laureates at Annual Junior Achievement Event | Junior Achievement of Kansas

Wichita Business Hall of Fame Inducts Three New Laureates at Annual Junior Achievement Event

Wichita, KS – Bob Babst, Tom Kice and Lynn Nichols joined the Junior Achievement (JA) Wichita Business Hall of Fame at the annual induction ceremony on Tuesday March 10 in Wichita. The event was emceed by Steve McIntosh, KNSS Radio, and Susan Peters, Susan's Kids.

Chris Purdum, Chairman of the Wichita Advisory Board of Directors, challenged the attendees to volunteer for Junior Achievement, sharing personal experiences to help JA inspire the next generation of laureates.

Marci Werne, JA of Kansas Wichita district director, celebrated highlights from JA from the past year. She included the Wichita State University symposium, and recognized the 336 volunteers that served 483 classrooms and 10,119 students.

The Fran Jabara Scholarship Award was given to Ky'aila Adams, a senior at Wichita West High School. Ky'aila thanked her friends and family and shared her enthusiasm for attending Wichita State University in the fall.

The Othal Vrana Volunteer of the Year is Kathy Beal with Delta Dental of Kansas. Kathy was recognized for her commitment to JA, including teaching up to 8 classes per year. Kathy taught the attendees of the evening a new word – voluneisa – which occurs when you forget that you're volunteering for the good of the organization because volunteering has done more good for you.

Textron Aviation was awarded with the Velma Wallace Memorial Recognition Award. They were recognized for providing 50 volunteers to serve 51 classrooms in the 2018-2019 academic year. Gwen Horsch, Textron Aviation Business Leader of Special Missions Aftermarket and Wichita Advisory Board Member, accepted the awarded on behalf of Textron.

Bob Babst, CEO of Metal Finishing Co., Inc, started by thanking his wife Jennifer, four children and five grandchildren. He reflected on the beginnings of the business, started by his (late) father Harvey in 1940. Babst took over the business at age 20, and led the business to nearly 100 employees in five locations. He thanked his son Rob for continuing the third generation of business ownership, leading the business to over 500 employees and six locations, including a location in Mexico. Babst closed by thanking Junior Achievement, noting that because of JA, his company has been able to hire employees that are better prepared for the workforce.

Tom Kice, President and CEO Emeritus of Kice Industries, reflected on his long and storied career, all of which has been at Kice Industries. He recollected with fondness that he's considered himself lucky to be able to have been surrounded by his grandfather, father, uncles, brothers, sons and more family members throughout his career. Kice saluted his entire team at Kice, thanking them for their drive and commitment that has led Kice Industries to 74 years of success in Wichita.

Lynn Nichols, Chairman and CEO of Yingling Aviation, recognized that he "stands in good company" with his present laureates as well as past honorees. Nichols noted the importance of his team that has stood with him along the many years of his career. He was thankful and appreciative, recognizing their leadership for and dedication to doing things right the first time, propelling Yingling to their multitude of achievements.

This is the largest fundraiser for the Wichita district of Junior Achievement of Kansas.

  • "Junior Achievement has given me a sense of what adults go through with budget issues."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "Junior Achievement reinforced concepts for me to remember later in life."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I thought the experience was amazing. The presentation was unlike anything I've seen."

    -Junior Achievement Student
  • "I liked how the Junior Achievement volunteer explained his job to us."

    -Junior Achievement Student
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