Newswise — Eric Johnson ’72, P’08, Chief Executive Officer and President of Baldwin Richardson Food Co., known for his commitment to giving back to organizations that educate and expand opportunities for those facing economic disadvantages, will be inducted into The Babson College Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame on April 13, 2016.
The Hall of Fame celebrates Babson alumni who have distinguished themselves in entrepreneurial endeavors across all types of enterprises, and recognizes each for their accomplishments in creating economic and social value.
Four alumni entrepreneurs - Alex Debelov ’10, Alex Moazed '10, Jamie Siminoff '99, and Savitha Sridharan M'14 - will also be recognized as ‘Rising Stars’ for their success in founding businesses within the past ten years, making an impact in the marketplace, and generating media attention.
In addition, Babson will announce the winners of its 2016 B.E.T.A. (Babson Entrepreneurial Thought and Action®) Challenge. Each year, challenge winners receive a grand prize of $20,000 in cash, plus ‘services in-kind’ from corporate sponsors, in recognition of major milestones their businesses have achieved by taking action.
Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame Inductee—Eric Johnson ’72, P’08
Eric G. Johnson is the president and Chief Executive Officer of Baldwin Richardson Foods, one of the largest African-American owned businesses in the food industry, headquartered in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois with manufacturing facilities located in Macedon and Williamson, New York.
Following in his father’s footsteps, in 1989 Mr. Johnson became the Chief Executive Officer of Johnson Products Company, the nation’s first African-American-owned publicly traded company.
A second generation entrepreneur, Mr. Johnson purchased the Baldwin Ice Cream Company in 1992, a small ice cream brand with a longstanding history in Chicago,Illinois dating back to 1921. Over the next several years, he expanded the distribution and sales of the company. Baldwin Richardson Foods was created in 1997 with the acquisition of Richardson Foods from the Quaker Oats Company.
Mr. Johnson received his Bachelor of Arts and Science degree from Babson College in 1972 and attended the University of Chicago, Graduate School of Business as a Master’s Degree Candidate. He was awarded the Ronald McDonald House Charities’ Crystal Heart Award in 2011, the McDonald’s National Black Owner Operator Association (NBMOA) Lee Dunham Visionary Award in 2012, and McDonald’s System First Award in 2014.
He serves as a member of the board of directors of SUPERVALU and Lincoln National Corporation, where he chairs the Finance committee. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for Babson College and the Urban League of Rochester. He has created several Babson scholarships dedicated to minority candidates who can benefit from Babson’s entrepreneurship curriculum, and build upon its mission to educate entrepreneurial leaders who create economic and social value—everywhere. Mr. Johnson is the father of four children, one of whom is Babson College alumnus John E. Johnson ’08.
Babson’s 2016 Rising Stars
Alex Debelov '10, Co-Founder and CEO of Virool
Virool is the easiest way for video marketers to get their video seen by the right viewers around the world. The company started out with a convenient video marketing solution for individuals and small businesses, and now works with some of the biggest brands and their agencies to distribute amazing video content to millions of people across the open web. Virool promotes the very best in #advertainment, and makes video contagious by driving social engagement that will ignite a conversation.
Alex Moazed '10, Founder, President, and CEO of Applico
Applico is the world’s first Platform Innovation™ Company helping entrepreneurs and CEOs build disruptive technology companies. With offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Boston, Applico has scaled to become one of the largest and most successful app developers in the world and has been ranked the No. 1 mobile app design and development company three years in a row. Applico has developed mobile apps for companies ranging from Fortune 100 enterprises like Disney and Google to disruptive startups like LevelUp and Glamsquad.
Jamie Siminoff '99, Chief Inventor and CEO of Ring
Ring blends convenience, home monitoring, and security into sleek, simple-to-use-devices. Traditional security systems activate once a break-in has occurred, the Ring™ Video Doorbell is designed to help prevent a break-in from taking place at all. With Ring, customers can answer the door from anywhere. The company is committed to lowering crime in communities, empowering neighborhoods, and revolutionizing the way communities are kept safe by uniting information with technology. By developing impactful technology, Ring aims to create safer, smarter, simpler lives.
Savitha Sridharan M’14, Founder and CEO of Orora Global
Orora Global is a global social enterprise providing affordable, reliable, and accessible renewable energy to rural and urban communities around the world. The company offers state-of-the-art technology that provides individual families and businesses with off-grid energy solutions, including lighting, air circulation, and cellphone charging. It hires and trains local people (mostly women) from rural communities to become micro-entrepreneurs, empowering them with economic opportunity and access to clean and reliable electricity.
About Babson College
Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader for Entrepreneurship of All Kinds®. The top-ranked college for entrepreneurship education, Babson is a dynamic living and learning laboratory where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society. We prepare the entrepreneurial leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to make a difference in the world, and have an impact on organizations of all sizes and types. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value. Visit www.babson.edu.