The Downtown Kiwanis Club of Birmingham recently announced the 2019 inductees to the Birmingham Business Hall of Fame.
Inductees this year are Jesse Lewis Sr., Agency 54; John McMahon, Ligon Industries; Kate Nielsen, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham; and J.B. and Charles Schilleci, Supreme Beverage Company.
The Birmingham Business Hall of Fame Committee each year selects business leaders who have exemplified strong leadership and made extraordinary contributions to the Greater Birmingham area, according to a Kiwanis statement.
Lewis was chosen because he has been a pioneer in marketing and advertising, particularly in the African-American community as the founder of Agency 54 and The Birmingham Times, according to the statement. He also has excelled as an entrepreneur, educator, political consultant and mentor.
McMahon, chairman of Ligon Industries, has been involved in more than 35 acquisitions, ranging from publicly held companies to small privately held companies. He is a director of Protective Life, ProAssurance, National Bank of Commerce, Cooper/T. Smith Corp. and UAB Health Systems; and a trustee of the University of Alabama and Birmingham-Southern College. He was instrumental in the creation of the Birmingham Airport Authority and in the organization of UAB Health System,
according to the Kiwanis statement.
During her 14 years as president of the Community Foundation, Nielsen spearheaded countless projects and initiatives, including granting seed money to create Railroad Park and Red Mountain Park and make improvements to Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve. Under her leadership, the Community Foundation grew from having $38 million in assets to about $169 million in assets.
Supreme Beverage Company experienced a period of unprecedented growth during the leadership of the Schilleci brothers. Described as total opposites, the brothers used their different styles and strengths to the advantage of the company, which was founded in 1946 by their father, according to the Kiwanis statement. The company now is being led by a third generation of Schillecis.
This year’s induction ceremony is open to the public and will be held Aug. 22 at 5:30 p.m. at The Harbert Center. For information about purchasing tickets to the dinner, please contact the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham at 251-0032 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find more details at KCOB.org.