Junior Achievement of Kansas announces class of 2021 Business Hall of Fame

Published: Nov. 10, 2020 at 4:52 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Five Topeka business leaders will be inducted into the Junior Achievement of Kansas Business Hall of Fame next year.

Junior Achievement of Kansas said the laureates were chosen for demonstrating its three pillars: financial literacy, workforce readiness, and their entrepreneurship.

The five include two from Midwest Health Inc. Their founder and principal Butch Eaton, and the group’s president and CEO, Jim Klausman.

Eaton is proud to support the Jayhawk Area Council Boy Scouts as well as the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Topeka Inc., The Junior League of Topeka, The Arthritis Foundation, The American Heart Association, The Alzheimer’s Association, Topeka Civic Theatre & Academy, Easter Seals Capper Foundation, The Shawnee County Parks and Recreation Foundation, and the Ronald McDonald House.

Klausman has been CEO since 1977 and has been a licensed adult care administrator since 1974. He has served as administrator of several of the company’s facilities. He currently is responsible all company operations.

Mike Kiley is the CEO of Security Benefit and has helped generate more than $38 billion in sales and hundreds of jobs.

Former chair of the Washburn University Board of Regents and School of Law Board of Governors, Christel Marquardt is being recognized for her achievements.

She was named one of the Top Ten Business Women in America by the by American Business Women’s Association. In 1986, she became the first woman President of the Kansas Bar Association. She also received the KBA’s highest award – the Phil Lewis Medal of Distinction. She now has an award named after her to recognize exceptional KBA members -- Christel Marquardt Trailblazer Award.

Marquardt passed away in March 2020 and was represented by her son, Andrew, on the call.

The owner of Chavez Inc., Dan Chavez. The 53-year-old family business provides water and fire restoration and environmental cleaning services.

Chavez said, “I think it’s exciting to be placed among such an amazing group of Topeka business leaders.”

He has been with the company for 42 years and said he was stunned hearing the news about his recognition.

“It took me a minute but I realized although I may be the one accepting this honor, our success goes far beyond just me.”

He is gracious to be a part of the hall of fame class and continues to work alongside his son and daughter.

“The success and growth over the last 53 years is a testament to my family members and all of our employees that have dedicated themselves to this company,” he said. “We are a service business that is very proud of its Topeka roots. I whole-heartily believe in the Junior Achievement mission to help and enrich young people and Topeka’s future entrepreneurs.”

Junior Achievement of Kansas announced the five on a zoom call Tuesday morning and will be inducted at the Stormont Vail Events Center in June in-person.

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