Junior Achievement of the Bluegrass proudly announces the following professionals as 2017 inductees into the Bluegrass Business Hall of Fame:
The late Robert Congleton; Carol Martin Gatton; Mike Scanlon; and, Al Smith.
The 2017 class of Bluegrass Business Hall of Fame Laureates will be officially inducted during a banquet and ceremony to be held on Tuesday evening, May 16 at Keeneland.
These Laureates are leaders who have exemplified the American Dream. Their labor and vision have benefited their own businesses, while also improving the quality of life for the entire Bluegrass area. These business leaders are being honored for achievement in their careers, service to the community and for serving as role models for our youth.
Since 1989, Junior Achievement’s Bluegrass Business Hall of Fame has annually recognized esteemed leaders of the Central Kentucky business community. To be considered as a Hall of Fame member, an individual’s record of business achievement must demonstrate: 1) courageous thinking and actions, 2) vision and innovation, 3) business excellence, 4) inspiring leadership, and 5) community mindedness.
About Al Smith – Al Smith built a small but significant chain of rural newspapers in Western Kentucky. He served for 33 years as host and producer of the most important public affairs commentary program in KY. He was appointed by President Carter as federal co-chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission and continued to serve for a year under President Reagan. He bought and published the London Sentinel-Echo before selling to Park Enterprises. He was co-founder of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at UK. The Al Smith Arts Fellowship is awarded in his honor for the work he did as chairman of the KY Arts Council. He was a founding President of Leadership KY (he received their annual Flame of Excellence Award last year) and a founding chair of the Shakertown Roundtable. He was honored by the National Rural Assembly in Washington, DC sponsored by the Ford and Kellogg foundations, as a National Rural Hero in Media in 2007.