MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – On June 1, 2023, four Wisconsin businesspeople will be inducted into the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame.  The 2023 Laureates at the 33rd annual event include John F. Bergstrom of Bergstrom Automotive, Gale Klappa, WEC Energy Group, Todd and Shari Nelson, of Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, and Paul E. Purcell of Baird. Mr. Baird will be honored posthumously.   

Established in 1990, the Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame honors individuals whose business innovations, effective management, and civic involvement have made a difference in their companies and communities throughout the state. The laureates are also recognized for the high standards they set as role models for Wisconsin’s young people and as innovative business leaders who have positively shaped Wisconsin’s business climate.

In addition to the four Hall of Fame Honorees, several other awards will be presented at the event.  The Distinguished Executive Award will be given to Matt Rinka, of RINKA Architects.  Leana Nakielski of American Family Insurance will be named Peak Performer.  Krish Sharma, Power of Pawns, will be introduced as the 2023 JA Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Past inductees to the Wisconsin Business Hall of Fameinclude: Ulice Payne, Jr., Addison-Clifton, LLC; Rollie Stephenson, Faith Technologies; Dave Skogen, Festival Foods; Don Zietlow, Kwik Trip, Inc.; Craig Culver, Culver’s; Diane Hendricks, ABC Supply; Russell M. Darrow, Jr., Russ Darrow Group, Inc.; William Specht, Cousins Submarines, Inc.; Frederick Stratton, Jr., Briggs & Stratton; Frederick C. Miller, Miller Brewing Company; Catherine Cleary, First Wisconsin Trust; Robert E. Harlan, the Green Bay Packers; Pleasant Rowland, American Girl; Don Schneider, Schneider Trucking; Richard Teerlink, Harley-Davidson, Inc.; Jack Link, Link Snacks; and Bud Selig, Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club, among others.

“We are honored to add another group of innovative and successful businesspeople to our Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame,” said Michael Frohna, President of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin.  “They are a shining example to young people around the state of the success that is possible with entrepreneurial ideas, ethical business practices, and hard work.”

The Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame will take place on Thursday, June 1, 2023, from 5:15 PM to 9:00 PM at the Pfister Hotel, 424 E Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI  53202.  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is the Presenting Sponsor.  The Associate Sponsor is FIS.  EY is the Young Entrepreneur Award Sponsor. 

Anyone interested in purchasing tickets should contact Jennifer Gryniewicz at  All proceeds support Junior Achievement of Wisconsin programs that teach students how to achieve their dreams, unleash their entrepreneurial minds, and achieve a satisfying and self-sustaining career. 

About Junior Achievement

The mission of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed by recruiting and training community volunteers to teach K-12 students about financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and career readiness. JA learning experiences give students the skillset and mindset to build thriving communities. Over the

past 5 years, the nine area offices of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin have used a dedicated core of more than 8,000 volunteer mentors to serve an average of 141,000 students per year.