Junior Achievement gala honours student business leaders in ASD-W

Article Posted: Friday, March 15, 2019

Junior Achievement’s 32nd annual gala on March 13 gathered some 400 supporters and sponsors together to honour the many award winners for the greater Fredericton region.

Junior Achievement (JA) is the largest youth business organization in Canada with provincial chapters from coast to coast. New Brunswick has one of the most active chapters in the country with 15,000 students enrolled across the province.

Connie Woodside, president and chief executive officer for JA New Brunswick, said the annual gala was “a celebration of success” for the local students involved as well as the many community partners who support their efforts.

“We are helping students tap into their talent for business and reach their true potential,” Woodside said. “There are a lot of rock stars here. Someone could leave here tonight with a job offer or an opportunity at the post-secondary level.”

JA works in partnership with educators, volunteers and businesses to educate students about financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Leading corporations and local organizations in the community provide financial support and also provide mentors and volunteers to deliver the JA program to the students, giving them the knowledge and confidence they need to succeed in school, business and life.

“We are inspiring up and coming young entrepreneurs,” explained Chris MacDonald, vice-chair of the JA New Brunswick Board and a former JA graduate. “These youth go on to be leaders in the public and private sectors and they will one day lead our province into a strong and prosperous future.”

Guest speaker Ben Johnson, a wealth advisor for RBC Dominion Securities, told the crowd he got involved in the JA program 22 years ago while in Grade 10, noting the organization can “make an impact and shape lives more than you can imagine.”

He encouraged the students in the audience to look to their future, plan for tomorrow, set goals, and stay focused.

“Don’t leave life to chance, have a vision,” Johnson said. “Look at the future in the rearview mirror – what you will do, where you will go and who you will be. It will give you clarity. As Joe Louis said, ‘you only live once, but if you work it just right, once is enough.’”

This year, Junior Achievement housed two companies at Leo Hayes High School which gave students the opportunity to create a business and run it themselves. These budding entrepreneurs formed companies, raised capital, elected officers, produced and marketed products and operated their firms through to liquidation. A team of volunteer advisors from the local business community guided their operations.

Green & Clean produced and sold homemade lip balm, puddy soap and sugar scrub in a jar, while Relaxnation, produced and sold “Affirma-Jar,” containing a stress ball, some chocolate, hot chocolate, herbal tea and an inspirational quote. Both companies were deemed a success, winning numerous JA awards along with their chief executive officers,Vanshika Khaitan, a Grade 11 student at Fredericton High, and Mikayla Hand, a Grade 12 student at Leo Hayes High School. Both student business leaders spoke at the gala.

Over the past 10 years, the JA annual gala has raised $200,000 from the local business community to support the JA movement in the greater Fredericton region. Awards were presented at the 2019 event as follows:  



Highest Profitability

Green & Clean

Best Business Plan

Green & Clean (Benas)

Best Shareholders Report


Best Management Team

Green & Clean (Alyssa Brown)

Team Player Awards

Anamar Heredia Skinner/Henry Mason

Progressive Company of the Year

Green & Clean (Benas)

Most Improved Company

Relaxnation (Mikayla Hand)

Innovative Leadership Award

Samantha Septon

Innovative Company Award

Relaxnation (Bailey Nickerson)

Business Development Award

Bailey Nickerson

Emerging Leader Award

Bailey Nickerson

Young Humantiarian Award

Rachel Johnston

Entrepreneur Spirit Award

Azlyn Mitton

Entrepreneur Spirit Award

Adam Schwartz

Quality Service Award

Danielle MacNutt

Mentorship Award

Joel Trebble

Achiever Integrity Award

Arvin Seyedi

Best New Startup

Relaxnation (Mikayla Hand)

Quality Assurance Award

Isaac Morrison

Most Tech Savvy Company

Green & Clean (Camelle Currie)

NB Proud Entrepreneur of the Year

Vanshika Khaitan

Community Impact Award

Eric Morrison

Student Most Likely to start a company

Savannah McLean

Outstanding Achiever Spirit Award

Samantha McLean

JA Inspiration Award

Ananaya Sharma

Highest Overall Program Sales

Henry Mason

Most Entrepreneurial Company

Green & Clean (Alyssa Brown)

JA Women in Business Award

Mikayla Hand

Environmental Awareness Award

Green & Clean (Vanshika Khaitan)

Above & Beyond Achiever Award

Adam Morrison

Award of Merit

Shane Maunder

Junior Executive Award

Avery Collrin

Business Integrity Award

Green & Clean (Samantha Septon)

FHS Achiever of the Year Award

Charlie Hanscomb

Entrepreneurial Endeavour Award

Sarah Tozer

Digital Technologies Award

Camelle Currie

Distinguished Student Award

Meg Probert

Achiever of the Year

Mikayla Hand

Male Rookie of the Year

Henry Mason

Female Rookie of the Year

Azlyn Mitton

JA Ambassador Award

Samantha Otis

Customer Service Excellence Award

Tori Wetmore

Innovation & Technology Award

Green & Clean (Alyssa Brown)

Salesperson of the Year

Wia Sangalang

Entrepreneurial Excellence Award

Anamar Heredia Skinner

Data Efficiency Award

Taylor Danforth

Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Taylor Danforth

Innovative Marketing Award

Sarah Tozer

Excellence in Social Media

Camelle Currie

Chief Production Officer of the Year

Bailey Nickerson

Chief Digital Officer of the Year

Camelle Currie

Chief People Officer of the Year

Taylor Danforth

Chief Marketing Officer of the Year

Alyssa Brown

Chief Financial Officer of the Year

Benas Groza

Chief Executive Officer of the Year

Vanshika Khaitan

Premier's Leadership Award

Vanshika Khaitan

Young Women's Leadership Award

Samantha Septon

Company of the Year

Green & Clean

 ​Shown in the photos below are (1) ASD-W Acting Superintendent Catherine Blaney with Bailey Nickerson, a Grade 9 student at Leo Hayes High School who won the JA Emerging Leader Award; and (2) Fredericton High School Vice-Principal Nathan Langille with Charlie Hanscomb, a Grade 11 student, who won the award for FHS Achiever of the Year.

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