2019 Lawrence Business Hall of Fame laureates announced

photo by: Kathy Hanks

Junior Achievement of Kansas-Douglas County District announced the Lawrence Business Hall of Fame laureates for 2019. From left are Al Hack III and Julie Hack, representing Al Hack Jr., who was honored posthumously; Dee Bisel, Sandy Praeger and Steve Edmonds.

Four people in the local business community were named as the 2019 Lawrence Business Hall of Fame laureates Wednesday morning during an event at the Lawrence school district office.

The new inductees are Dee Bisel, of Minuteman Press; Steve Edmonds, of Edmonds Duncan Registered Investment Advisors; Sandy Praeger, former Kansas insurance commissioner; and the late Al Hack Jr., of The University Shop and the Lawrence National Bank and Trust Company.

This was the 10th year that Junior Achievement of Kansas-Douglas County District has honored prominent business leaders who have made extraordinary contributions to Lawrence, said Ernesto Hodison, a Junior Achievement board member, as he welcomed the guests.

Junior Achievement prepares young people with economic literacy, working with 6,000 students in the Lawrence area, Hodison said. He stressed the importance of having business leaders in the community to hold up to young people.

“It’s nice to be able to celebrate people who have done wonderful things in the community and earned our respect,” Hodison said.

Praeger, who has served as mayor of Lawrence, a state lawmaker, and as Kansas’ 24th commissioner of insurance, said she was “floored by the honor” of becoming a laureate.

“It’s like icing on the cake,” Praeger said. “All I’ve done has been out of a sense of love for my community.”

Bisel was the first female production manager for Hallmark, overseeing 800 employees before founding Minuteman Press in 1993. She grew the startup into a company that oversees more than 1,000 client accounts. She became the first printer in Kansas to earn the Sustainable Green Printer certification.

A one-time active member of Junior Achievement, Bisel said it was the hardest-working board she ever served with.

Edmonds, who worked in the financial sector, told the group, “Once I made a little money as a stockbroker, I thought I was really good at it.”

He made a career out of three months of training at the Wall Street offices of Paine Webber. More recently, he and his son Jason and Don Duncan founded Edmonds Duncan Registered Investment Advisors.

Over the years, Edmonds and his family have planted and sold Christmas trees on five acres of land given to him by his father.

Nominated posthumously, Al Hack Jr. was a partner in The University Shop, a men’s clothing store, then went on to become president of the Lawrence National Bank and Trust Company and other business ventures.

“He deserved every bit of it,” Hack’s widow, Julie, said of her husband’s honor.

While the laureates were announced Wednesday, they will be inducted on Oct. 8 at a black-tie tribute dinner at the DoubleTree by Hilton. To purchase tickets, contact debbie@kansasja.org


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