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March 9, 2023 | Connecticut Business Leaders Slated to be Inducted into Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame at Upcoming Event

April 4 Event Honors Leaders from Hartford and New Haven Regions: Robert Cox, Erik Clemons, Alice Forrester, Rhona Free, Joe Gianni, Karraine Moody Earn Recognition

Six 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 44th Annual Business Hall of Fame Awards induction ceremony on Tuesday, April 4, 2023.

The prestigious annual event recognizes individuals for their leadership, success in business, community involvement, and their significant contributions to the prosperity and quality of life of their region and the state. The event is returning in-person at the Hartford Marriott Downtown and will also be livestreamed.

Being honored at the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame on April 4 are:

  • Erik Clemons, CEO, Connecticut Community Outreach and Revitalization Program (ConnCORP)
  • Robert B. Cox, Partner, Halloran Sage
  • Alice Forrester, CEO, Clifford Beers Community Health Partners
  • Rhona Free, President, University of Saint Joseph, West Hartford
  • Joe Gianni, President, Greater Hartford, Bank of America
  • Karraine Moody, CEO, Habitat for Humanity of North Central Connecticut

“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 pleased to recognize their leadership and example at this year’s induction ceremony, which promises to be a very special evening as together we will honor their impact on our state.”

Don Allan, President & Chief Executive Officer at Stanley Black & Decker, Inc., is serving as Chair of the Hartford Committee and Diane Wishnafski, Retired Executive Vice President, NewAlliance Bank, is Chair of the New Haven Committee in planning the Business Hall of Fame event. During the evening, they will be joining Junior Achievement of Southwest New England CEO Jeremy Race and celebrity emcee Brian Shactman, host of Mornings with Brian & Company on WTIC Radio, in presenting the honorees and highlighting the work of Junior Achievement locally.

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 (Dinner Sponsor), and Bank of America (Reception Sponsor). Additional sponsorships are available. All net proceeds will benefit JA educational programs.

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.

Junior Achievement is a global leader in providing cutting-edge, hands-on financial literacy, entrepreneurship and work-readiness education. In just the past year, Junior Achievement of Southwest New England, which serves seven of the state’s eight counties, has worked with over 29,000 students and volunteers from 143 leading companies. Even amidst the pandemic, JA has continued to provide quality programs, virtually and in-person, working closely with schools to provide more than 1,200 programs, and spending more than 67,000 hours with students.

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 twenty programs practical and realistic, helping to empower students to own their economic success.

To attend the Business Hall of Fame evening on April 4, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., go to for reservations and to obtain link information. To learn more about Junior Achievement’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony, or for sponsorship information, contact Ashlyn Lower, JA’s Marketing and Communications Manager, at

Media contact:

Jeremy Race