Business Hall of Fame to call county museum home


JASPER — A permanent place to showcase the Dubois County Business Hall of Fame is under construction at the Dubois County Museum.

The exhibition will be the hall of fame’s permanent home, and will include videos and information on each honoree as well as local Junior Achievement memorabilia, said Chad Hoffman of the Dubois County Junior Achievement Advisory Board.

“We want to pay homage to all the great industrial leaders who helped make Dubois County what it is,” Hoffman said, “who made the courageous decisions to establish and expand their businesses, and to support the community. We want to make sure they are honored.

“We also want to make sure the youth of our community can see and possibly have the aspirations to become a laureate one day themselves,” he said.

It is the hope that the exhibit will be ready for the public later this fall. But that is dependent on the people and companies who are volunteering their time and skills to install the exhibit, Hoffman said.

The wall for the exhibit has been prepped in Room 3 of the museum, and shelving, benches and television monitors will be installed. Everything is being donated to Junior Achievement, including the labor from Seufert Construction, the company building the exhibit.

Dubois County’s Junior Achievement program is a part of Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana.

“JA has been in Jasper since 1975,” said Ruth Wilson, program manager of Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana. “So they have quite a bit of memorabilia from that they want to display as well.”

The memorabilia is in storage and not accessible to the public. “It’s never been on display anywhere,” Wilson said. “The board wanted to create something that was more permanent, to showcase those laureates. And then they thought that since they have all this memorabilia, we can showcase JA in Dubois County.”

Junior Achievement started the Dubois County Business Hall of Fame in 2015. The induction ceremony is held annually at the Huntingburg Event Center, at which each laureate receives recognition and an award. A plaque honoring each winner is also created for the ceremony. Those plaques will be on display at the permanent exhibit, as well as the video vignettes created about each honoree that played at the honoree’s ceremony, Wilson said.

“Right now, the video is played at Hall of Fame, and that’s it,” she said, “no one else ever sees it. We want to be able to showcase these as well.”

The laureates who have been honored in the Dubois County Business Hall of Fame so far include Robert Ruckriegel, chairman of Servus!, and the late Arnold Habig, founder of Kimball International, in 2015; Best Home Furnishings founder Clem Lange and the late Alvin Ruxer, founder of Ruxer Ford and Jasper Engines and Transmissions, in 2016; OFS Brands President and CEO Hank Menke and the late Gervase Schwenk, former CFO of Jasper Engines and Transmissions, in 2017; and German American Bancorp Chairman and CEO Mark Schroeder and the late Stanley Krempp, founder of United Cabinet Corporation (now MasterBrand Cabinets), in 2018.

“We just want to pay respects to the people who have done so much for our county,” Hoffman said. “And we want to give the kids something to walk through on field trips, for them to touch a touchscreen and see what people like Alvin C. Ruxer did and what Hank Menke have done for our community.”

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