Archive for Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lawrence business leaders celebrated

Group becomes first class inducted into the Lawrence Business Hall of Fame

Marilyn Dobski, co-owner of Dobski & Associates, and Joe Flannery, president of Weaver’s Inc, were two of the local business leaders honored Monday at the Kansas Union for being part of the first class inducted into the Lawrence Business Hall of Fame. Val Stella, Kansas University distinguished professor of pharmaceutical chemistry, and the late Dolph C. Simons Sr., former publisher of the Lawrence Journal-World, were also inducted.

Marilyn Dobski, co-owner of Dobski & Associates, and Joe Flannery, president of Weaver’s Inc, were two of the local business leaders honored Monday at the Kansas Union for being part of the first class inducted into the Lawrence Business Hall of Fame. Val Stella, Kansas University distinguished professor of pharmaceutical chemistry, and the late Dolph C. Simons Sr., former publisher of the Lawrence Journal-World, were also inducted.

October 5, 2010

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Four inducted into business Hall of Fame

Four local business minds were the inaugural class of the Lawrence Business Hall of Fame. The four members are considered giants in the local business community. Enlarge video

Val Stella, Kansas University distinguished professor of pharmaceutical chemistry was also inducted.

Val Stella, Kansas University distinguished professor of pharmaceutical chemistry was also inducted.

They’re four giants in the Lawrence business community, and now they share another achievement.

Marilyn Dobski, Joe Flannery, Val Stella and the late Dolph C. Simons Sr. became the first class to be inducted into the new Lawrence Business Hall of Fame. The group was honored during a formal celebration Monday night in the Kansas Union at Kansas University.

“When I was told about it I was very, very surprised,” said Dobski, co-owner of Dobski & Associates, which operates several McDonald’s restaurants. “It’s very humbling. I’m very proud of this honor, and almost like our wedding day and the day we had our three boys, it’s a very exciting honor for me.”

Selecting the group was no small feat for Lawrence Junior Achievement leaders, who organized the hall of fame. Members had the unenviable task of choosing three people from a list of 88 nominees. When they couldn’t settle on a trio they added one more spot.

Flannery, president of Weaver’s Inc., attributed his success to the guidance he received from his father, Larry, and former Weaver’s President Art Weaver. Since taking over the department store in 1987, Flannery has helped sustain Weaver’s status as an iconic building in downtown Lawrence, but he refuses to take all the credit.

“All the people that work at Weaver’s now and that have worked at Weaver’s over the years, they share in this award,” he said.

Val Stella was honored for his scientific research as a distinguished professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at KU.

Dolph C. Simons Sr. was publisher of the Lawrence Journal-World from 1944 to 1962 and the newspaper’s editor from 1950 to 1979. Flannery fondly remembered the friendship he once shared with the Lawrence icon.

“Dolph senior I knew because Art Weaver and he were best friends. Dolph was one of the most respected people in the history of Lawrence,” he said.

All the inductees share another common denominator in their success: support from the Lawrence community. Dobski said Lawrence residents have directly contributed to the success of the dozens of McDonald’s restaurants her company owns and operates.

“I enjoy what we do every day and I just love people and I think that’s part of it,” she said. “We’ve been so accepted here and people have been so supportive of us.”

Comments

Ricky_Vaughn 4 years, 5 months ago

"Val Stella was honored for his scientific research as a distinguished professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at KU. "

For the Business Hall of Fame? Did he invent ExtenZe or something? What a great way for a few rich people to pat themselves on the back and be in yet another exclusive social group.

Graczyk 4 years, 5 months ago

You got this wrong. It's not just a social group - it's a shake down by JA. Hall of Fame dinners are usually some of the single largest fundraisers (outside of Bowl-a-thon) that JA does all year. I don't have any experience with the Lawrence JA, but I worked for a JA office in another area of the country. Here's how it goes down - at least at that office.

The selection committee identifies some high profile business leaders in the community. They may or may not already be donors to JA. The president or another development officer meets with the folks and negotiates a nice donation. The laureates also share with JA a list of their friends and business contacts. JA then contacts the laureates' friends and tries to sell them tables to the event at the rate of $1000 per 8 top. (What kind of schmuck wouldn't want to honor their friend, right?)

Of course, the process I described here is usually played out with a bit more subtlety, or at least a nod and a wink, but that's the basic formula. I'm not saying that these people don't deserve to be honored, but JA reaps the real value in this situation. They get a big fundraiser and a pipeline on new inductees (and their friends) for the next year. It's a good model of fundraising, but the award is essentially meaningless to those who don't know or don't care about JA.

Danimal 4 years, 5 months ago

Ricky I thought the exact same thing. A Lawrence Business Hall of Fame, who's going to care about that except for the people in it and their families. Why not a Lawrence Philanthropists Hall of Fame? Not enough candidates for induction?

lazz 4 years, 5 months ago

Lovely piece, and congrats to all the winners ... unfortunately, Mr. Flannery is Joe, not Jon.

momof2ku 4 years, 5 months ago

Too bad the article didn't mention the Lawrence Children's Choir performed for them and did a great job too!

thepianoman 4 years, 5 months ago

I was the pianist for the cocktail hour. It was a great event, and I enjoyed playing on a Steinway and Sons!!! Don't get to do that very often.

If anyone was there and took photos, please let me know. I had a photographer photograph me with a mini-grand piano chocolate dessert. It was the coolest thing!!

Privately message me through the LJWORLD if you know of any photos taken. I would like to see this photo.

Thanks!!

sherbert 4 years, 5 months ago

I think the one thing this town needs right now is more business. Seriously. Plus, these folks who are such successful long time Lawrencians are most certainly some of the most Philanthropic as well. Congratulations and a big Thank You to them!

tolawdjk 4 years, 5 months ago

A new roundabout will be placed at 23rd and Iowa. It will have sort of the "Stanley Cup" feel with each HoF members name spelled out in a towering variable message sign.

It will be glorious.

independent_rebel 4 years, 5 months ago

Nah, place it in one of the roundabouts in east Lawrence. It would freak out the liberal, anti-capitalists that live over there.

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