Local Businesses Shine Among the Best and the Brightest

Awards and accolades are often left to those who grace a stage or the silver screen. However, there are countless individuals who deserve praise – especially those uplifting our local communities and creating opportunity for fellow Hoosiers. Junior Achievement of Central Indiana, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering young people to thrive in a robust, global economy, recognizes the need to commend these members of our community.

For the past nineteen years, various professionals throughout a range of industries have been nominated for Indy’s Best and Brightest. Nomination and selection is no easy feat; those chosen are evaluated on various criteria, including professional accolades, local contributions, morality, and leadership qualities. In a statement, Jennifer Burk, the CEO of Junior Achievement of Central Indiana, mentioned, “These innovative, passionate leaders are changing central Indiana for the better, and serve as inspiration for thousands of young people participating in Junior Achievement.”

Indiana Owned and Indiana Gifts Co-Founder, Mel McMahon Stone, Receives Accolades

If the qualifying criteria for an award include professional proficiency and embodying the virtues of civic dedication, unflappable character, and leadership moxie, then it should be no surprise that the Mel McMahon Stone, the promotions and branding phenomenon behind Indiana Owned and Indiana Gifts made the list of finalists. Mel spends her time advocating for the importance of uplifting local communities through support of small businesses. In many ways, Mel’s nomination is not only promotion of Indiana Owned and Indiana Gifts, but also the many small, local business she elevates through her work.

Two Indiana Owned Members Selected for Indy’s Best and Brightest

Within the list of those nominated, two Indiana Owned members stand out. While they represent different sectors, each candidate is an excellent example of vibrant, local professionals making waves in their local communities.

As CEO and Co-Founder of both Indy Maven and Maven SpaceLeslie Bailey has enriched the lives of Central Indiana women with opportunities to engage, learn, and collaborate. In her role as Director at EmployIndy, Beth Bowling oversees the success of program initiatives in various schools throughout Marion County.

Junior Achievement is a national nonprofit committed to encouraging the education of financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness among young people. Regional chapters rely on the efforts of volunteers to deliver their curriculum to school-age children (primary school through post-secondary education). Through its various initiatives, Junior Achievement of Central Indiana aims to create the next generation of entrepreneurs and professionals. Learn how you can become involved!