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Two Local Business Leaders To Be Added to Junior Achievement of South Central Kentucky's Distinguished Business Hall of Fame

Two local business leaders will be inducted into Junior Achievement of South Central Kentucky’s Distinguished Business Hall of Fame in March of 2023. 

From the field of nominees, Dr. Gary Ransdell, former president and President Emeritus of Western Kentucky University and former president of the Institute for Shipboard Education, and Mr. Johnny Webb, former Bowling Green mayor and founder of Operation PRIDE, were chosen as the upcoming 2023 honorees. Hall of Fame laureates are nominated by their peers and then selected by an independent committee.

The Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame was designed in 1992 to recognize outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to our community.  Inductees are selected based upon their entrepreneurial spirit, business achievements, and positive economic impact upon the South Central Kentucky area.  

In addition to his presidency at WKU and the Institute of Shipboard Education, Ransdell presided over Semester at Sea, and held various leadership roles at Clemson University, the University of Louisville, and Southern Methodist University.  He has been involved in the boards for the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce, the Board for the Inter-model Transportation Authority of South Central Kentucky, and the Warren County United Way campaign.  

In addition to founding Operation PRIDE and leading Bowling Green as its former mayor, Webb founded Southern School Supply Company in 1977, and served on the Transportation Authority Board.  Webb has won various awards, including the Bowling Green-Warren County Chamber of Commerce Small Business Person of the Year Award, Kentucky Small Business Person of the Year, Bowling Green-Warren County Jaycees Outstanding Young Businessman, and the Operation PRIDE Cherry Award for Outstanding Community Service.  

Ransdell and Webb join 34 outstanding business leaders whose leadership and community service serve as an inspiration to the students that look to Junior Achievement for guidance and support as they further their understanding of the business community.  A portrait exhibit of inductees is housed at the Knicely Conference Center.

Over the years, Junior Achievement has honored individuals who epitomize five key standards of excellence: entrepreneurial spirit and achievement; exceptional role model for youth; economic impact on area; business leadership; and commitment to the goals of Junior Achievement.

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