The celebratory evening at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick saw three business leaders get inducted into the New Jersey Business Hall of Fame, but attendees also got a chance to meet some of Junior Achievement of New Jersey’s (JANJ) student leaders – the next generation of business leaders in the state.
Each year, JANJ reaches more than 60,000 students (K-12) throughout New Jersey and aims to inspire and prepare them to succeed in a global economy. By utilizing real world relationships with business, government and education partners, the students develop the employability and financial literacy skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.
The real world business leaders inducted at JANJ’s 15th New Jersey Business Hall of Fame celebration included: Linda Bowden, regional president of PNC Bank New Jersey; Sally Glick, principal of and chief growth strategist at Sobel & Co.; and Robert Marino, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.
While all three laureates said they were deeply honored, each expressing their gratitude for the privilege of induction, they used their time on stage to highlight the importance and value of JANJ’s mission.
“[The three laureates] are not the stars tonight,” Bowden said. “The real celebration is around our great state of New Jersey, our business community and the terrific young people here tonight.”
Bowden has been named among the “25 Women to Watch” by US Banker magazine and is involved in a range of community programs. She serves on the board of the Drumthwacket Foundation, as well as the executive committees of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Choose New Jersey.
Turning her attention to the 60 students in attendance, she emphasized, “You are our future. …You have the potential to make a tremendous difference in this state. We need your knowledge, drive, passion, perspective and advanced skills. Without you, we are not going to have the future that we hope to [have].”
Glick said, “For the students here this evening, I predict that my accomplishments are not nearly as impressive as yours will be. I know this because I had the privilege of visiting JA’s new facility to see firsthand the essential skills [students] are learning.”
Glick has received countless awards recognizing her work over the years, including being honored by NJBIZ in 2016 with its Lifetime Achievement Award, and being the recipient of NJBIA’s NJ Inspiration Award, which recognizes women for their leadership, innovation, philanthropy and dedication to the advancement of others.
She offered advice to the young people in attendance, emphasizing the importance of being both passionate and purposeful with “whatever it is you decide to do.”
“Junior Achievement is a very special organization. Its sole mission is to inspire young people to succeed in a global economy,” said Marino, who serves on a number of health insurance industry boards, and is involved in several charitable and community boards including Choose New Jersey, St. Benedict’s Preparatory School in Newark, the Executive Committee of the Newark Regional Business Partnership, and the Newark Alliance.
“When I visited JANJ, I saw tomorrow’s leaders learning and practicing fundamental business skills. The New Jersey business community is fortunate to have an organization like JA that is helping to develop tomorrow’s business leaders.”