The Worcester Business Journal's roots with our Business Leader issue go all the way back to our very beginning. Back in 1982, the publication – then known as Business Worcester – launched its very first issue and Business Leader award with First Safety Fund Bank CEO Herb Dunnington on the cover.
For years, we followed the Time magazine formula of recognizing one outstanding individual in the issue. But over time that became limiting, as lots or leaders worthy of the spotlight got nudged out on the final ballot or we're not a tight enough fit with our criteria. So, the award evolved to include additional leadership categories; Small Business/Entrepreneur, Large Business, Nonprofit and Corporate Citizen.
The list of winners over the years reads like a who's who of business leadership in the region. Yes, there were a few flameouts on the list as well, but we've learned that is inevitable in the hurly, burly competitive world of business – only the strong survive, and rapid growth can be exceedingly difficult to manage.
This year, we've once again rethought our oldest and most established awards issue and added a new category: the WBJ Business Leader Hall of Fame. Central Massachusetts business leaders have success stories that have stood the test of time and created the kind of legacy at their organizations that has not only brought success to their company, but has had a deep affect on their community as well. This year's list of honorees is as strong as ever, and the new category of Hall of Fame makes the stories we are able to share all the richer.
Many readers who are in their 40's, 50's and 60's often chide us about missing their chance at making the WBJ's Forty under 40 list, and wonder what future recognition they might hope to aspire to other than a retirement dinner. Well, here it is – enjoy the stories – you'll see what it takes to make it as a WBJ Business Leader. You've got a lifetime to get there.
WBJ Hall of Fame
Corporate Citizen of the Year
Innovator of the Year
Business Leaders of the Year