JaKathryn Ross, Evander Holyfield, Curly Dossman and Jim Hannan (Photo by Steed Media Service)

JaKathryn Ross, Evander Holyfield, Curley Dossman Jr. and Jim Hannan (Photo by Steed Media Service)

Youth Entrepreneurs® Georgia hosted its first annual fundraiser on Tuesday, May 12, 2015, at Atlanta’s Fabulous Fox Theater. The Dreams to Dividends event “brought together Atlanta area civic philanthropic and business leaders to celebrate the successes of young entrepreneurs and honor the program’s partners and supporters for their commitment to business and entrepreneurship education.”

“This program really teaches kids entrepreneurship…, and we’ve supported it since it started,” says Jim Hannan, president and CEO of Georgia-Pacific. “Georgia-Pacific was a founding supporter. Now it is a 501(c)(3) and it can expand and grow, and take it to the next level. Youth Entrepreneurs® Georgia gives our kids some opportunities and skills necessary to go out and be successful. It’s a tough world out there.”

Based in Atlanta, Youth Entrepreneurs® Georgia is a middle and high school business education program that seeks to develop productive citizens and improve communities by cultivating an entrepreneurial way of thinking.

(Photo by Steed Media Service)

Michael Russell, Munson Steed, Kent Matlock, Jim Hannan and Philip Ellender (Photo by Steed Media Service)

“We are excited to showcase some of our best and brightest students and inspiring entrepreneurs-in-the-making during Dreams to Dividends,” Youth Entrepreneurs® Georgia executive director JaKathryn Ross says in a statement to the press.

Youth Entrepreneurs® Georgia presented awards to several local entrepreneurs, including its Visionary Award to Michael Russell, chief executive officer of H. J. Russell & Company, the construction and real estate conglomerate founded by his late father, Herman J. Russell, who passed away in November 2014. The award recognizes the Russell family’s legacy of principledentrepreneurship and community leadership, demonstrated through decades of exemplary business achievement, philanthropy, industry influence and entrepreneurial success. H. J. Russell & Company has been a part of some of the city’s most notable construction projects, including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the Georgia Dome, Philips Arena and Turner Field. Also, Youth Entrepreneurs® Georgia honored Shane and Stacey Thompson, owners of Shane’s Rib Shack; Coca-Cola’s Venturing & Emerging Brands (VEB) team; and chef Keith Schroeder, a culinary educator and founder of High Road Craft Ice Cream.

“Our supporters, who have embraced our mission to provide business and entrepreneurship education …, their generous and ongoing support will enable us to expand Youth Entrepreneurs Georgia to more schools across the state and impact more young people lives in tangible and meaningful ways,” adds Ross.

Yvette Caslin

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