CHARLOTTE, NC, September 26, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas (JACC), the Carolinas' premier organization providing financial literacy, workforce readiness and entrepreneurship education to the state's youth, is teaming up with the North Carolina Chamber to announce three new Laureates to be named to the North Carolina Business Hall of Fame. This year's event, held on November 19 at the Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, will honor Alan E. Gant Jr., president and CEO of Glen Raven, Inc.; E. Norris Tolson, president and CEO of the N.C. Biotechnology Center; and Stephen P. Zelnak Jr., chairman of the board of Martin Marietta Materials and chairman and majority owner of ZP Enterprises. Recently having located several of its operations in North Carolina, MetLife is the Presidential Presenting Sponsor of the event, which will feature a keynote address by Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest. ---
Gant is known as a leader in the textile industry. In 1971, he joined the company founded by his grandfather in 1880. He took over as CEO in 1999, leading Glen Raven, Inc. into the 21st century with market-driven solutions for its global customers. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was honored with a degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Elon University. Gant served as a member of President Bush's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations, as a member of the board of directors of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, as past chairman and board member of the National Council of Textile Organizations and with TextilePAC. He lives in Burlington with his wife Denise and their two children.
With a distinguished career of leadership in industry and public service, Tolson has lead the N.C. Biotechnology Center as president and CEO since 2007. An Edgecomb County native, he earned a degree in crop science and agribusiness from North Carolina State University and served two years in the U.S. Army Counter Intelligence Corps. Tolson held various domestic and international research, marketing and sales responsibilities with E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company,serving for nearly 30 years in the company's agricultural products and electronics divisions. A former representative in the North Carolina House of Representatives, Tolson also served as Secretary of Commerce, Transportation Secretary and Secretary of Revenue under Governors Hunt and Easley. In 2009, NC State University awarded Tolson the Watauga Medal, the highest non-academic award bestowed by the university. He lives with his wife Betsy. They have three children and five grandchildren.
Zelnak currently serves as chairman of the board of Martin Marietta Materials, a producer of aggregates for the construction industry. He served as the company's chief executive officer from 1993 through 2009, and has been Chairman of the Board of Directors since 1997. Mr. Zelnak joined Martin Marietta Corporation in 1981 as the President of Martin Marietta's Materials Group and Aggregates Division. Zelnak also serves as chairman and majority owner of ZP Enterprises, a private investment firm engaged in the purchase of small manufacturing companies, and is a director of Beazer Homes, USA, Inc, a leading national homebuilder. A graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology, he has master's degrees in Administrative Science and Business Administration from The University of Alabama system. Zelnak has served as Chairman of the North Carolina Chamber and is the past Chairman of the North Carolina Community College Foundation.
Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas teams up with the North Carolina Chamber each year to celebrate the accomplishments of the state's most outstanding business and government leaders. Laureates are selected by a panel of business and community leaders for their significant contributions to building and defining the North Carolina business landscape. Past honorees include William, Thomas and John Belk, Peggy Kirk Bell, George H.V. Cecil, Boyd L. George, Governor James B. Hunt Jr., Leon Levine, Hugh McColl, J. Gregory Poole Jr., Jerry Richardson, Charlie and Ed Shelton, Temple Sloan, Bruton Smith, Allen Tate and Joan Zimmerman.
"We are honored to work with the North Carolina Chamber to recognize our Laureates this year whose legacy, history and service to our communities embody the mission of Junior Achievement," said Sarah Cherne, president and CEO of JACC. "The 2013 Laureates are examples of what North Carolinians in business can achieve."
"The North Carolina Chamber is proud to join with Junior Achievement to identify outstanding members of the state's business community whose contributions to North Carolina's business community will leave a lasting impression on our state," said Lew Ebert, president and CEO of the North Carolina Chamber. "This year's Laureates are business heroes for the next generation to look up to and have made outstanding contributions in defining and reshaping the North Carolina business landscape. On behalf of the statewide business community, I would like to thank the 2013 inductees for the example they have set for our young entrepreneurs in a time when focus, dedication and fortitude is required."
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Junior Achievement (JA) is the world's largest organization dedicated to providing young people in grades K through 12 with the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for the future, and make smart academic and economic choices. Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas (JACC), headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., operates offices in Asheville, N.C., and Rock Hill, S.C., and serves more than 33,000 students annually through its hands-on and experiential educational programs. Delivered by corporate and community volunteers, JA programs provide relevant, engaging experiences that educate and empower students in the areas of financial literacy, workforce readiness and entrepreneurship. For more information, visit http://www.jacarolinas.org/.
ABOUT THE NORTH CAROLINA CHAMBER:
The North Carolina Chamber is a nonpartisan business advocacy organization that works in the legislative, regulatory and political arenas to proactively drive positive change to ensure that North Carolina is a leading place in the world to do business. Strengthening the state's ability to attract, retain and grow jobs is the Chamber's highest priority. Central to that effort are four "Pillars of a Secure Future" for North Carolina, which include Education and Talent Supply, Business Climate, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Infrastructure and Growth Leadership. For more information, visit http://www.ncchamber.net.
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