JA of the Heartland CEO Dougal Nelson wins national award

Dougal Nelson, the president and CEO of Junior Achievement (JA) of the Heartland, has been selected from among five finalists for the national organization’s 2022 Karl Flemke Pioneer Achievement Award.

Jack Kosakowski, president and CEO of Junior Achievement USA, announced the award on Thursday, July 14, at the Junior Achievement National Leadership Conference in Fort Worth, Texas. 

The award is named for Karl Flemke, JA’s national president and CEO from 1982-1994.  Mr. Lemke took great pride in the accomplishments of Junior Achievement’s young professionals, the organization said in a news release. His vision was instrumental in expanding JA’s programs into the elementary schools.

The award recognizes significant achievements and contributions of a first-time Junior Achievement USA area president with not less than two and not more than six years of service in their current position. The Karl Flemke Pioneer Achievement Award was developed and is presented by the JA Pioneers (JASAN).

“This award is truly a reflection of our amazing staff, the JA board of directors, volunteers, and both teachers and administrators who work tirelessly to enrich the lives of our students,” Mr. Nelson said after receiving the award. “It is an honor and a privilege to represent Junior Achievement of the Heartland, and the communities we serve, on a national stage.”

Mr. Nelson, who leads the Moline-based JA of the Heartland, was selected from among five finalists. The other nominees were:

  • Lori McCleese – Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio, Inc. (Akron/Canton).
  • Ryan Osborn – Junior Achievement of Central Iowa, Inc. (Des Moines).
  • Leigh Mansberg – Junior Achievement of Memphis and the Mid-South, Inc. (Memphis, Tennessee).
  • Janie Cook – Junior Achievement of South Texas, Inc. (San Antonio).

According to Tawnya Hambly, vice president of education for JA of the Heartland, “Dougal was chosen as the recipient thanks to his leadership in heightening JA’s presence in our communities, boosting revenue by diversifying our donor base and creating a model workplace culture where teamwork is the focus.”  

Mr. Nelson, who joined JA of the Heartland as vice president of development in November 2016, also held previous leadership roles at Habitat for Humanity Quad Cities, American Red Cross, and Isabel Bloom LLC.  

Junior Achievement of the Heartland, a member of the global JA network, has been serving young people in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas for 66 years. Its programs and volunteers are aimed at equipping youth with the skillset and mindset to create sustainable businesses, find meaningful employment, and build thriving communities. 

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