Evansville's Business Hall of Fame has announced its 2014 honorees. They include the presidents of a health system and communications company as well as the founder of a plastics company.

November 11, 2013

News Release

Evansville, Ind. — Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana and Evansville Business Journal (EBJ) announced the 2014 Evansville's Business Hall of Fame laureates at a news conference Monday, November 11, at the University of Southern Indiana. The 2014 laureates are John Engelbrecht, Linda White, and the late Thomas Morton, Jr.

Engelbrecht, chairman of South Central Communications Corporation; White, president and CEO of Deaconess Health System; and Morton, late founder and CEO of Hoosier Cardinal Corporation Fiberfil, will be inducted into Evansville's Business Hall of Fame at a breakfast at 7 a.m. on March 13, 2014, at The Centre in Evansville.

The announcement was made by USI President Linda L. M. Bennett, who served as chair of this year's Laureate Selection Committee. “These are true leaders,” said Bennett. “In addition to being successful in business, they are strong advocates for our community and excellent role models for young men and women. It is an honor to have been part of the process that selected three such deserving individuals for this distinction.”

Individuals are nominated for their outstanding civic and business contributions to the southwestern Indiana area and recognized for their business excellence, vision, innovations, inspiring leadership, courageous thinking and actions, and local community service. A crystal eagle symbolizing the spirit of free enterprise is presented to each laureate. Mahogany Panels with a citation and color photographs of laureates also are displayed at the Evansville Regional Airport.

John D. Engelbrecht, Chairman, South Central Communications Corporation

A local entrepreneur and businessman, Engelbrecht took over South Central Communications (SSC) at a young age due to his father’s premature death. Through his vision and leadership, SCC grew from a small Evansville-based company into a thriving business with a large geographic footprint and diverse business holdings. In his 30 years at the helm, he has expanded SCC to include 10 radio stations (South Central Media), a nationwide audio visual services provider (South Central A/V), and a digital marketing company specializing in websites and Internet marketing (South Central Digital).

Linda E. White, President and CEO, Deaconess Health System

White has been associated with Deaconess for more than 30 years. She has been Deaconess’ director of nursing, vice president of Patient Care Services, chief operating officer, president of Deaconess Hospital, and now serves as the president and CEO of Deaconess Health System. During her tenure, Deaconess has grown to include The Women’s Hospital, Deaconess Gateway Hospital, The Heart Hospital, and Deaconess Clinic, with more than 20 ambulatory patient care sites. As the area’s largest employer, White and the Deaconess team have established a patient centered culture that permeates throughout the organization serving the Tri-state community.

Thomas J. Morton, Jr. (1900 – 1993), Founder and CEO, Hoosier Cardinal Corporation, Fiberfil

Morton is widely regarded as the father of the modern plastics industry and is largely responsible for establishing Evansville's renowned “Plastic Valley” as the national center for plastics manufacturing. He founded Hoosier Cardinal Corporation, a stamping company that jump-started modern plastics in Evansville in 1937. He later purchased a Warsaw, Indiana company, Fiberfil, and moved it to Evansville, eventually leading to the creation of DSM Engineering Plastics. Today, there are more than 50 plastics manufacturing businesses with more than 60,000 Tri-state employees that can be traced back directly to Morton’s innovative vision and entrepreneurial spirit.

The Evansville Regional Business Hall of Fame was established jointly by the Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana Board of Directors and the Evansville Business Journal (EBJ) in March, 2006, to honor local champions of free enterprise.

Source: University of Southern Indiana

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