Paul Kurtz, owner of Hemisphere Roasters in Mechanicsburg, smells the freshly roasted coffee beans as they cool after coming out of the roaster in his warehouse location in 2014. Bill Lackey/Staff

Junior Achievement to honor business leaders

JA of the Mad River Region will honor Bill Scarff, owner of Scarff’s Nursery in New Carlisle, as its 2017 Laureate. Scarff has played an active role in New Carlisle’s business community for years, said Louise Lambert, president of the local organization.

The Junior Achievement chapter serves Clark, Champaign, Madison and Logan Counties, offering programs in area schools focused on teaching financial literacy and workforce development skills to students in the region.

The Laureate award honors business leaders in the area who have made an impact in the business community and serve as a role model for area children, Lambert said. A panel of former laureates selects the honorees based on their achievements in business and community involvement. Scarff has grown and expanded his family-owned business that has roots in New Carlisle stretching back to the 1800s.

The business has been in the family for five generations.

Charles L. Fox will be named the posthumous laureate this year, Lambert said. Fox, a former principal at Springfield South High School, established a scholarship fund at the Springfield Rotary Club that still offers scholarships to local students annually.

“Even after his passing he is still helping students achieve their dreams,” Lambert said.

The organization will also honor Paul and Grace Kurtz, who own Hemisphere Roasters near Mechanicsburg. Paul Kurtz became involved in the coffee business while traveling overseas for a missionary organization. Many of the coffee farmers he met were impoverished and he began working with coffee industry executives in the U.S. to try to find ways to help coffee farmers earn a better living off their product.

The organization will host the event at 6:15 p.m. Thursday, May 18 at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Springfield.

“It’s to honor community leaders and people in business who are role models for our next generation,” Lambert said.

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