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Junior Achievement of Northern Nevada announces 2010 Hall of Fame Laureates



Junior Achievement of Northern Nevada will celebrate its 25th Annual Business Leaders Hall of Fame Gala where it will honor incoming Laureates, Nazir and Mary Ansari from the University of Nevada, Reno and Mary Simmons of NV Energy.  This year’s event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010 at 6:30 p.m. at the Peppermill Resort Casino’s Tuscany Ballroom.  The gala will provide outstanding tools and resources to the many children participating in Junior Achievement programs.  Table sponsors and individual tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling 775-323-8084 or visiting renoja.org.

“For the past 25 years, Junior Achievement of Northern Nevada has had the opportunity to honor outstanding business leaders in our community who help shape the education our students receive,” said Bill Heitman, executive director for Junior Achievement of Northern Nevada.  “These honorees are a great example of local role models who are dedicated to quality education.”

Nazir Ansari, Ph.D., currently serves as Marshall of the University of Nevada and is a strong supporter and benefactor to the University.  His dedication to quality education for all Nevada students has been seen throughout his 28 years as a professor of business, where he taught nearly 6,200 University students.  Ansari is also the president and trustee of the Nazir and Mary Ansari Foundation, a charitable organization seeking to improve lives through support of human services, education, the arts, and culture in northern Nevada.

“We are both honored to receive this award and thank everyone who has recognized our ongoing efforts in making education a priority for Nevada,” said Nazir and Mary Ansari. “Providing our school children with quality education and resources today will better prepare them for their future and we anticipate seeing more students pursue higher education.”

Mary Ansari, wife of Nazir Ansari, is also a great contributor to the University of Nevada.  For over 25 years, Ansari was a member of the University library faculty, where she served in many roles and helped shape what is now the Map Library and the Mines and Engineering libraries.  Ansari’s passion for literature continues through her published books on Nevada county place names.  Continuing her philanthropic path, Ansari is involved in many local organizations, including the Incline Village Community Hospital Foundation, Educational Pathways International, and the Desert Research Institute.

Mary Simmons, vice president of external affairs for NV Energy, is a well-known community supporter who has valued quality education for many years.  Simmons earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Nevada and later became a certified public accountant.

Mary is involved with many local organizations, including the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, Athletic Association of the University of Nevada, Nevada Women’s Fund, and the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, to name a few.

“Receiving this award is a great honor and I applaud all the local business leaders who take part in making our students futures brighter,” said Mary Simmons, vice president of external affairs for NV Energy.  “It is with the support of the local community that our students can access valuable resources that can play a major role in their future.”

To purchase a table or individual tickets for the Business Leaders Hall of Fame Gala and to learn more about Junior Achievement of Northern Nevada, please visit renoja.org.


About Junior Achievement of Northern Nevada

Junior Achievement is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.  Each year, Junior Achievement of Northern Nevada reaches more than 5,000 K-12 students through its classroom programs.  In order to provide materials and other resources for classroom instruction, Junior Achievement of Northern Nevada hosts a gala every year which serves as the primary fundraiser of the organization and an opportunity to honor local business leaders.

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