2021 JA Dallas Business Hall of Fame Laureates Officially Inducted

Junior Achievement Inducts Mark Cuban, Valerie Freeman, and Roland Parrish into Dallas Business Hall of Fame®


DALLAS (March 2, 2021) - Junior Achievement of Dallas (JA Dallas) held its 2021 Dallas Business Hall of Fame®, virtually, on Thursday, February 25, and officially inducted its newest class of Laureates who are some of the most influential business and philanthropic entrepreneurs in the Dallas community. This year’s inductees, Mark Cuban – Entrepreneur, Valerie Freeman - CEO of Imprimis Group and Roland Parrish - President of Parrish Restaurants, Ltd, were honored and now join 75 fellow Laureates including Ross Perot, Nancy A. Nasher, Ambassador Ron Kirk, T. Boone Pickens, Mary Kay Ash, and Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

Lucy Billingsley, Partner of Billingsley Company and 2008 Laureate, was the 2021 Event Chair, and the event was cohosted by 2016 JA Dallas Student of the Year, Lauren Mora from RealPage, Inc. and Noble Madu, JA volunteer, Founder & CEO of MC, and a local entrepreneur. Scott Murray, Co-Founder & CEO of Murray Media and previous Sports Director/Anchor on the local NBC nightly news, joined in as the MC. During the event, Mark Cuban, Valerie Freeman and Roland Parrish gave their acceptance speeches and thanked Junior Achievement for the honor of being named a 2021 Laureate. The 2021 JA Dallas Student of The Year, Yakin Vargas, was named and awarded the $5,000 Sandi Smith Scholarship.

The Junior Achievement Dallas Business Hall of Fame® event was established in 1999 and has become a notable event in the Dallas business community. The historical in-person ceremony attracts 600 plus attendees and was adapted to a virtual event to accommodate COVID-19 safety protocols. The 2021 JA Dallas Business Hall of Fame® will continue the celebration with two more events: JA Inspire Virtual, a career fair on Friday, March 5, with more than 13,000 students enrolled and a Laureate reception on Wednesday, April 21st.

The 2021 JA Dallas Business Hall of Fame® event, continues JA’s mission to empower, promote, and encourage some of North Texas’ most under-resourced students to pursue their career goals. 76% of students who attend JA Dallas’ schools of partnership come from low to moderate income households. Research has shown Junior Achievement’s programs have deep and lasting impact on participating students. In fact, 90% of JA Alumni feel confident in their ability to manage money. Plus, 53% of JA Alumni have started or owned a business.

The call for 2022 Laureate Nominations is now open and the deadline to nominate is Wednesday, March 31. To be considered as a Laureate candidate for the Junior Achievement of Dallas Business Hall of Fame®, an individual must meet the following criteria:

  • Chairman, CEO, President, Founder, Owner, Principal of a Dallas-area corporation
  • Recognized for his or her significant business achievements
  • Known for innovations pertaining to his or her industry
  • Displays characteristics of business excellence and integrity
  • Demonstrates inspiring business and community leadership
  • Is an exemplary business and civic role model with a history of mentoring youth
  • Dedicated to diversity & inclusion and to serving all North Texans in their industry and/or charitable activities

To nominate someone, please complete the nomination form on the Junior Achievement Dallas Business Hall of Fame® website, visit http://www.jadallasbusinesshalloffame.org. To see the full list of past Laureates, click here.

For more information about the Dallas Business Hall of Fame® event, please contact Nikki West, Sr. Manager of Major Events & Giving at nwest@jadallas.org or 469-955-8956.

About Junior Achievement of Dallas (JA Dallas):

Junior Achievement of Dallas (JA Dallas), a nonprofit organization, impacts the lives of students by teaching life skills in budgeting, careers and business start-ups.  JA Dallas’ mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy through volunteer-delivered curriculum. The organization has been in Dallas for more than 65 years and has reached over a million students. JA Dallas is committed to serving students in under-resourced areas to grow diversity, be more inclusive and ensure students have equitable access to JA resources.  Last year, over 4,000 volunteers helped change the lives of Dallas area students through JA programs. Surveys show that students who take JA have a high school graduation rate of 93% compared to 85% for the general population and 67% have an advanced post-secondary degree.

To learn more about JA Dallas, please visit https://juniorachievem.wpengine.com.