The 23rd annual Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame Event was held on November 9, 2023 at the JA Youth Learning Lab, presented by the Mallouk Family Foundation. This signature event recognizes the dedication and achievements of changemakers that play vital roles in Kansas City’s continuing growth as a hub for entrepreneurship.
Honored at the event were newly inducted Hall of Fame Laureates Chris and Angie Long of Palmer Square Capital Management and Kansas City Current; Chase McAnulty of Charlie Hustle; and Oscar Monterroso and CiCi Rojas of Tico Productions and Tico Sports, LLC.
The event welcomed over 150 supporters from around Kansas City, including fifth grade student hosts from T.A. Edison Elementary School from Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools. These student hosts helped to welcome attendees, shared lunch with all of the guests, and some even gave speeches as a part of the event’s program.
One student, Gracie, used her time on stage to summarize her experiences with JA BizTown, presented by CommunityAmerica Credit Union.
“Younger students are introduced to Junior Achievement in the classroom, then in 5th grade, we get to come to JA BizTown for a field trip!” she said. “Because of Junior Achievement, I know better how I can create my own future and be a game changer too.”
Rae Daniel, KSHB 41 Action News Morning Anchor and Reporter, served as emcee for the event, helping to celebrate the laureates’ unwavering commitment to Kansas City.
“Their outstanding achievements serve as a testament to the enduring importance of instilling personal finance skills, preparing for the workforce in a global economy, and nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit,” Daniel said. “Each of our laureates have left an indelible mark on our community, embodying the principles at the heart of Kansas City – and the heart of Junior Achievement.”
One overarching theme of the laureates’ speeches was teamwork. The Longs dedicated their speech to the teams behind both Palmer Square Capital Management and Kansas City Current, while Monterroso and Rojas brought their full Tico Productions team to the event.
After thanking his own team, McAnulty shared the story of his first introduction to JA BizTown, and the sentiments that inspired him to have a Charlie Hustle storefront in the simulated Kansas City learning environment.
“From the moment I walked in, I knew that this is a happy place,” McAnulty said. “It takes you back to elementary school and the joy of being a child and learning and growing. So, right away, I said, ‘Yeah, we’re in.’”
It was a day to remember, as five individuals were honored for exemplifying the guiding principles of Junior Achievement day in and day out.
To view pictures from this celebratory event, you can visit our photo album.