Seven of Connecticut's notable leaders in the Greater Hartford and Greater New Haven regions will be honored by Junior Achievement of Southwest New England at the Virtual Business Hall of Fame event on Thursday, April 8, 2021. The prestigious annual event recognizes business and community leaders for significant contributions to the prosperity and quality of life of their region and the state.
The 40th annual Business Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is being held virtually for the first time this year. Being honored at the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame are:
Barats, Meléndez and Scillia are being inducted as Hall of Fame Laureates, Shaw will receive the Spirit of Hope Award, Muthu and Lecky will receive the Entrepreneurship Award and Taylor will be recognized with the Community Leadership Award.
The Laureates are recognized for contributions to the prosperity of the region through leadership in business and the community. The Spirit of Hope Award recognizes an individual who has exhibited a strong commitment to providing hope for the future of others in the community. The Entrepreneurship Award is earned by innovative individuals who have meticulously built an enterprise that benefits the community.
"They have each established a standard of excellence that reflects their commitment to community and determination to improve individual lives in meaningful and enduring ways," said Jeremy Race, CEO of Junior Achievement of Southwest New England. "We are particularly pleased to honor their leadership and their example at this year’s virtual ceremony, which promises to be a very special evening celebrating their impact on our state.”
The evening will also include special performances from the Yale Whiffenpoofs and Broadway stars Derrick Davis and Dan’yelle Williamson. Don Allan, Stanley Black & Decker, serving as Chair of the Hartford Committee and Diane Wishnafski, DLW Consulting, LLC, serving as the Honorary Chair of the New Haven Committee, will be joining celebrity emcee Bill Griffeth, Anchor-at-Large at business news network CNBC.
Junior Achievement is a global leader in providing cutting-edge, hands-on financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work-readiness education. During its four decade history, the JA of Southwest New England Business Hall of Fame has inducted more than 140 individuals and organizations for their career achievements and contributions to the community. With the health and safety of our guest in mind, due to the pandemic, this typically in-person event will leverage a virtual platform and bring together the Hartford and New Haven regions for the first time in JA’s history.
Providing children from kindergarten through 12th grade with positive adult role models who illustrate ways to build self-confidence and develop financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work readiness skills, is a hallmark of Junior Achievement. JA volunteers come from all walks of life and use their personal experiences to make the JA curricula of more than a dozen programs practical and realistic, helping to empower students to own their economic success.
Even amidst the pandemic, JA has continued to provide quality programs, working closely with schools and volunteers from leading companies, connecting professionals and students virtually. JA has successfully completed, or is moving forward to offer, an array of more than 150 virtual programs.
The support of leading local businesses and individuals is indispensable in furthering JA's work with local schools throughout the region. Top Sponsors for the Hall of Fame event include: Hartford Steam Boiler (Presenting Sponsor), Stanley Black and Decker (Virtual Dinner Sponsor), Travelers (Diamond), Webster Bank (Diamond), Prime Materials Recovery (Platinum) and Voya Financial (Gold). Additional sponsorships are available. All net proceeds will benefit JA educational programs.
To attend the Virtual Business Hall of Fame evening on April 8 at 7:00 p.m., go to www.jaconn.org for reservations and to obtain link information. To learn more about Junior Achievement’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony, or for sponsorship information, contact Jacqueline Lombardi, JA's Special Events and Marketing Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Media contact: Jeremy Race
860-525-4510, Ext. 224, email@example.com
Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame l April 8, 2021
Hall of Fame Laureates
Greg Barats is President and Chief Executive Officer of HSB Group Inc., parent company of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company with insurance and engineering affiliates worldwide. He also heads up Munich Re’s Global IoT business, targeting commercial and industrial markets with new technology, risk solutions and business models. Barats serves as Chairman of HSB Solomon Associates, LLC, the leading performance improvement company for the global energy industry. While at HSB, he has developed and holds seven U.S. business-method patents, and founded Munich Re Ventures, the venture capital arm, which invests in and partners with innovative tech companies. During his 30 year career, Barats co-founded two companies and has held executive management positions within Munich Re, HSB and AIG.
Yvette Meléndez is president of YMR Consulting, a management consulting organization focusing on board governance. She is a former healthcare policy executive, with over 30 years of experience in public policy and has led large government agencies, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. Meléndez retired in 2017 as Interim President of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. She currently serves in leadership roles as a corporate and nonprofit trustee in various organizations focusing on research and development, philanthropy, public broadcasting, and the arts. Prior to leading the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and serving as Vice President of Government and Community Alliances for Hartford HealthCare, she was Chief Administrative Officer for the Connecticut State University System and served as Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner for the State Department of Public Health.
Anthony Scillia is Marcum’s regional managing partner in New England and is a member of the Marcum Executive Committee. He has more than 35 years of experience in public practice, working in international accounting and consulting firms. He has extensive experience serving a wide variety of companies, including providing expert witness testimony for litigation, arbitration and mediation. Active in professional and community organizations, he has served as Chairman of the Audit Committee for the Board of Directors of the National Stock Exchange, Inc., and the University of New Haven Board of Governors. Among his leadership positions, he served as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Shubert Performing Arts Center and as a member of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Spirit of Hope Awards
Don Shaw has enjoyed a distinguished career in the private sector and in public service. He retired in 2010 after seven years as Administrative Operations Manager for the City of Hartford. Prior to that, Shaw was an Associate Partner at Accenture, retiring in 2003. His career began in Wethersfield as Assistant to the Town Manager from 1975–81. Shaw served as Interim Executive Director for Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity, 2012–14, chaired their board of directors, 2004–08, and was elected Board Member Emeritus in 2016. He has served as a volunteer and board member with numerous nonprofit organizations, is a U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran, and a Top 10 member of the 2018 Class of Connecticut’s 60 Over 60.
Donna Lecky is Managing Partner of Health Venture Capital, CFO & Co-Founder of HealthVenture and Co-Founder & Board Chair of HealthHavenHub. Previously, she was VP, Chief Tax Officer and Tax Counsel, Treasurer and Chief Benefits Officer, at Omnicare, a CVS Company. Prior to Omnicare, Lecky was the VP, Chief Tax Officer and General Tax Counsel of HealthSouth Corporation. Before that, for approximately 20 years, she operated in various roles with KPMG, Ernst & Young and Deloitte, supporting healthcare and financial services clients in finance and tax structures, mergers & acquisitions, due diligence, strategy and business development. She is an Associate Fellow at Pierson College at Yale University and serves on the State and Local Tax Advisory Board of New York University School of Law.
Sri Muthu is CEO & Co-Founder of Health Venture Corporation and Managing Director of HealthVenture Labs. He is also a Co-Founder and Board Chairman of HealthHavenHub. Immediately prior, he was the Head of Technology for Innovation, R&D and the Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator. Other roles include the Head of Technology and Operations for ClearXchange, a payments joint venture of Bank of America, Capital One, JPM Chase, US Bank and Wells Fargo. He co-founded and managed Wells Fargo’s Internet Services Incubator, Labs and R&D in 2007. Muthu graduated from Yale with an MBA in Healthcare Leadership and completed Oxford Private Equity Program and the Strategic Decision and Risk Management program at Stanford.
Community Leadership Award
Michael R. Taylor has been employed by the Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center (CS-HHC) since 2010 and served as its Chief Executive Officer since 2012. Prior to that, he was Founder and President of a health care consulting firm that served more than 200 community health centers nationally and also held leadership positions with several national accounting and health care consulting firms, including The Lewin Group. He is a creative entrepreneur who is deeply passionate about community health’s capacity to improve the quality of people’s lives.