Three more outstanding area business leaders who helped shape our area’s economy in past years will be honored this spring at the eighth annual Champions of Business Dinner established by Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, Inc. – Northcentral District. A panel of independent judges selected the Fromm Brothers, John Slayton and David Smith as the 2016 honorees. A dinner on Thursday, May 12 at the Jefferson Street Inn will celebrate their historic contributions to the Wausau area business community.
In 1901, Walter, Edward, John and Henry Fromm (ages 8 to 13) of Hamburg, discussed their dream of producing the finest silver foxes in the world. In order to acquire the capital necessary to pursue this dream, the Fromm brothers began farming ginseng. The Fromm farm quickly became the largest ginseng operation in the world. By 1913, the brothers were able to purchase their first premier silver foxes. By the 1930s, the Fromm’s had also become the world’s largest producer of silver fox furs, and were instrumental in funding research for animal vaccines and genetics. The Fromm Brothers will be honored with the “Founder Award” for their business success prior to 1945.
David Smith and John Slayton will receive the “Developer Award” for their contributions to the Wausau area economy and community after 1945.
“Although these honorees are no longer with us, each of these Champions of Business has left a lasting impact on our regional business economy and serves as an excellent role model for those young people among us who may become our future entrepreneurs,” said Bridget Wenman, event chairperson. “The Champions of Business honor is unique because it cannot be awarded to business leaders who are currently actively involved in their business. Each of these individuals and our previous winners have stood the test of time, and their success can teach us a lot about what it takes to create and maintain a quality and ethical company.”
More than 10,589 Northcentral District kindergarten through 12th grade students participate in JA’s experiential learning programs. Critical to the success of JA’s approach is the use of community volunteers who use their own job and life experiences to bring the curriculum to life. Ethics, as it relates to business, has always been taught as part of the Junior Achievement curriculum.
The purpose of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, Inc. is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. Today, Junior Achievement reaches more than 166,000 Wisconsin students annually and ten million students worldwide.