Elkhart County’s Business Legacy Hall of Fame & Gala

Since its inception, Elkhart County has been known for its entrepreneurs, innovation and business leadership. Building on this, Junior Achievement & Lemonade Day serving Elkhart County is excited to announce our annual Business Legacy (Hall of Fame) Gala.

5th Annual Business Legacy Hall of Fame Induction Gala


Award Name & Categories

The recognition of these individuals are meant to preserve the history of Elkhart while celebrating our current business leaders for their leadership in our community. The recipients will be inducted into our “Business Hall of Fame” which will be a plaque with their story that will be displayed in a public setting.

The Havilah Beardsley Recognition

This award is presented to a “young entrepreneur” that has shown innovation and leadership in regards to creating a new business. The criterion for this award is for any young professional that has started a business and is the age of 35 years old or under. At the age of 35 Havilah Beardsley created the first mill in Elkhart and later purchased the land, which is now downtown Elkhart. He is the father of Elkhart and has proven that young entrepreneurs can make a significant impact and legacy.

The C.G Conn Recognition

This award celebrates a business or individual that has made a significant contribution to manufacturing. Charles Gerard Conn was as an Army Captain and POW during the Civil War. He later the inventor of the rubber-rimmed mouthpiece in 1875 and then founded CG Conn band instrument company which helped put Elkhart on the map as the band instrument capital of the world.

Business Legacy Hall Of Fame Award Winners

2016 Award Winners

2016 Award Winners

2019 Award Winners

2019 Award Winners

2017 Award Winners

2017 Award Winners

2017 Award Winners

2018 Award Winners

Traveling Hall of Fame Exhibit

Each year, the 10 inductees to the Business Legacy Hall of Fame and their stories are displayed on a traveling exhibit that is developed and curated by Ruthmere. It travels to free public venues across the county. Since the first traveling hall of fame exhibit began in March of 2017, over 17,000 people have seen it and it has been displayed at 9 different venues to date.

Special Thanks to Ruthmere

Brought to you by our Presenting Sponsors


Presenting Sponsor



Lifetime Achievement Award Sponsor

Woman Owned/ In Business Award Sponsor

Minority Owned/In Business Award Sponsor

Manufacturing Award Sponsor

Retail, Logistics and Distribution Award Sponsor

Young Entrepreneur Award Sponsor

Community Impact Award Sponsorship

Education Award Sponsor

Healthcare Award Sponsor

Technology Award Sponsor

Traveling Hall of Fame

Volunteer/Teacher of the Year Sponsor

Unsung Hero

Unsung Hero

Unsung Hero

Unsung Hero