Author: Sally Glick
Published: Friday, 14 Feb 2020
In 2017, I was honored by Junior Achievement as one of the Laureates being inducted into the New Jersey Business Hall of Fame. I was blown away by the invitation. Although I have enjoyed a long and fulfilling career in various marketing and business development roles in the accounting profession, it didn’t seem to be anything worthy of such distinction.
My journey began with me working alongside my father, helping him to build a thriving solo accounting practice in my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. It was under his guidance that I learned an important lesson that has served me well in both my personal and professional life. You see, my father was a consummate networker, building meaningful relationships and valuing every connection he made throughout his life. From his community service to his business clients to friends and neighbors, my father lived by the Golden Rule. Watching him in action has served me well. I am grateful that I could apply this same attitude here and that it has resulted in my earning a good in my “new” home state.
When I relocated in 2002 to New Jersey, I could never have envisioned that I would be a part of the state’s most prestigious groups – its Business Hall of Fame Laureates. And although I have received other honors and recognitions that I have treasured, nothing quite equals the stature of the Hall of Fame. Just perusing the list of previous inductees as well as those who were selected in subsequent years is enough to make me shake my head again – as I did the day I received the call that I had been chosen for the 2017 class.
I was sure they had called the wrong person. After all, to stand on the same stage with colleagues who enjoy true celebrity status like Linda Bowden and Robert Marino was remarkable in itself. But what I came to understand was that I earned my spot as well. I am humble – but proud as well.
There were several memorable components to the honor.
The first was the call announcing I was selected as a 2017 Laureate!
Next came the invitation to visit the Junior Achievement headquarters, both at an evening Open House and again during the day to observe the students in action. It was critical to be on site in order to fully appreciate the scope and impact of JA on New Jersey’s youth. Every Laureate and every guest at the dinner must understand that those of us who are elected into the Business Hall of Fame have a unique responsibility to help enhance JA’s brand recognition and we play a role in strengthening its reputation in the community.
The third highpoint was meeting the young students who were going to introduce me. (By the way, I am not sure how many adults have spoken in front of an audience of several hundred of the state’s most distinguished business and civic leaders without their legs quaking and hands shaking!) But these two young ladies, one in high school and one in grammar school, interviewed me and then calmly and articulately told me story as they presented me to the audience. Nothing could have been more impressive than observing their composure, hearing their thoughtful and carefully chosen words and watching their sincere and genuine interest in the sharing this moment with me.
From that first phone contact to my accepting the award during my final moments in the spotlight, no experience could ever be quite as powerful. But the best actually came long after the event ended – because every day when I head into my office, I glance over at the beautiful sculpture designed for the Business Hall of Famers, and I remind myself – I am a Laureate and I have an important job to do helping New Jersey’s future work force be the best it can be. Thank you to JA for giving me this privilege and for trusting me to speak on your behalf.
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