Business hall of fame exhibit dedicated

Candy Neal/The Herald
Dubois County Business Hall of Fame


JASPER — A permanent exhibit showcasing the business people inducted into the Dubois County Business Hall of Fame was dedicated Wednesday afternoon.

The exhibit is at the Dubois County Museum, and was officially dedicated in a Wednesday afternoon ceremony.

The exhibit stretches across one long wall in Exhibit Room 3 of the museum.

Plaques of all the laureates, which are living inductees, and historical laureates, who are now deceased, are featured prominently in the exhibit. Each plaque includes information about the laureate, which is listed under his photograph.

The two most recently installed laureates — 2019’s laureate Doug Bawel , CEO and board chairman of Jasper Engines and Transmissions, and historical laureate the late Robert Menke Sr., founder of OFS — are featured in the middle of the exhibit. Their plaques will be moved to where the others are mounted when the new inductees are honored this year. A television screen is mounted above the current laureates and will be used to play video vignettes that were created about the honoree; the videos also played at the honorees’ induction ceremony.

At one end of the exhibit is a timeline about Junior Achievement, which is mounted above bookcases that feature some products created by JA students. At the other end are plaques recognizing individuals and companies whose investments covered the cost for creating the permanent exhibit.

All the Hall of Fame inductees are included in the exhibit. Those are:

• 2018: German American Bancorp Chairman and CEO Mark Schroeder and the late Stanley Krempp, founder of United Cabinet, later named Aristokraft.

• 2017: OFS Brands President and CEO Hank Menke and the late Gervase Schwenk, former CFO of Jasper Engines and Transmissions.

• 2016: Best Home Furnishings founder Clem Lange and the late Alvin Ruxer, founder of Ruxer Ford and Jasper Engines and Transmissions

• 2015: The late Robert Ruckriegel, chairman of Jasper-based Servus!, and the late Arnold Habig, founder of Kimball International. Ruckriegel was the living laureate at the time of his induction; he died this year, in June.

The Dubois County Business Hall of Fame honors community leaders for their business excellence, leadership and community involvement. The honor is presented by Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana.

Junior Achievement started the Hall of Fame in 2015. Each year, an induction ceremony for the most recent laureates is held at the Huntingburg Event Center, though last year’s ceremony was rescheduled due to the virus.

This year’s ceremony, hosted by JA in partnership with Dentons Bingham Greenebaum, will be held at 7 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 28 at Huntingburg Event Center, 110 E. 14th St. Gilbert “Gib” Verkamp, retired chairman and CEO of MasterBrand Inc., and the late Jerry Seger, former CEO and president of Wabash Valley produce, are the laureates who will be honored. The induction includes video vignettes about each laureate’s life, outlining their significant accomplishments in Dubois County.

Proceeds from the ceremony will benefit Junior Achievement programs in Dubois County.

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