A Publication of WTVP

A little background: Junior Achievement USA has a long, rich history of honoring community and business leaders at the national and local levels. As a matter of fact, the U.S. Business Hall of Fame is part of a permanent exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Louis B. Neumiller, founder of JA of Central Illinois and former chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc., is an esteemed member of the U.S. Business Hall of Fame.

Fast forward: We have a thriving community primarily because we have strong community, civic and business leaders that make it so. That is why JA will once again honor three area business leaders with Laureate Awards at its upcoming “Night of Achievement” event at the Marriott Pere Marquette Hotel.

You may be wondering what a Laureate Award is. It is given to individuals worthy of great honor and distinction within Junior Achievement areas all across the United States. Laureate induction into the Central Illinois Business Hall of Fame is a lifetime achievement for individuals who have made a significant positive impact on central Illinois through the private-sector economy. Throughout their professional lives, inductees have consistently demonstrated:

Laureates serve as role models for other businesses and the next generation of business leaders—many of which are currently Junior Achievement students. We are pleased to announce the 2013-2014 Laureate Award inductees:

Royal J. Coulter, president and CEO of Coulter Companies, Inc. leads a diverse, consolidated group of operating companies with $85 million in annual revenue, 500-plus employees and a territory spanning much of the Midwest. Royal is the third generation to manage this family-owned business founded by his grandfather, John Coulter, as a one-truck garbage service in 1928.

During his 34 years at the helm, Coulter Companies has grown from a solid waste company of 40 employees to a highly diverse environmental services company of 500 employees. It is the parent of 17 different companies that provide hazardous waste, solid waste, wastewater, recycling, analysis, engineering, consulting, remediation and construction services to a broad array of clients. Its most recognized subsidiaries are Peoria Disposal Company (PDC) and Area Disposal Service, Inc., which together account for four landfills, three transfer stations and 10 transportation terminals supporting a fleet of more than 275 trucks.

Dr. Sara Rusch is regional dean of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. In addition to serving as professor of clinical medicine, she was appointed regional dean by the University of Illinois Board Of Trustees in 2008. She has led multiple efforts to improve UICOMP—building small-group learning spaces, advancing simulation training, and expanding research and residency education.

Under her leadership, UICOMP created a new psychiatry residency program in collaboration with Methodist Medical Center; saw the opening of a $13-million expansion of the Cancer Research Center; and broke ground on a state-of-the-art simulation and education center on the campus of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center. In addition, UICOMP established the new Center for Outcomes Research last year, which is putting into place processes to monitor and improve the quality of healthcare that could lead the way to creating national models.

Girish Seshagiri is chief executive officer of Advanced Information Services Inc. (AIS) and a globally-recognized thought leader in software assurance, quality management, process improvement and modern methods of managing knowledge work. AIS began operations in 1986 with a vision for growth while creating high-wage, high-technology jobs in central Illinois, with quality the number-one goal. AIS is one of just 23 organizations in the United States certified at Maturity Level 5 of the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute’s Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) project, and its senior management team averages more than 18 years of experience. AIS is a valued supplier to Fortune 50 corporations and defense and civilian agencies of the U.S. government, with software centers of excellence located in Peoria; McLean, Virginia; and Charleston, South Carolina. iBi

Congratulate these three esteemed business leaders on their induction into the Central Illinois Business Hall of Fame on Tuesday, February 4th, at the Marriott Hotel Pere Marquette. For more information, visit