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FORT MYERS, Fla. (Feb. 3, 2020) – Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida is pleased to announce that Sarah Owen, president and CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, and William T. Prather, owner and executive producer of Broadway Palm, will be inducted into the 2020 Business Hall of Fame, Lee County.
The prestigious award recognizes Owen and Prather as outstanding entrepreneurs who serve as role models for youth through their professional accomplishments and commitment to the community.
As the president and CEO of the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Owen leads a passionate and diverse team dedicated to cultivating regional change for the common good. Through her leadership, the Foundation has become laser-focused on regional issues affecting the quality of life in Southwest Florida, gathered hundreds of community leaders and stakeholders around these issues, and has grown the Foundation’s assets to become one of the largest funding organizations in the region.
A graduate of Florida Southern College and the University of South Florida, Owen holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in education as well as certifications in environmental engineering from University of Florida’s TREEO Center. Her journey into the nonprofit sector followed a career in investor relations, public relations and corporate communications working for publicly traded companies on the New York Stock Exchange as well as private companies throughout the Southeastern United States.
Owen shares her leadership at the national, state and regional level. She serves as immediate past chair of the Community Foundations of Florida, is Florida delegate for the National Vision 20/20 Initiative and serves on the Healthy Lee Executive and Steering committees. In 2016, The News-Press also named Owen as its Person of the Year.
Owen is married to David Owen and they are proud parents of three adult children Britt, Court and Sam.
Prather is the owner and executive producer of Broadway Palm, a well-known Fort Myers dinner theater celebrating its 27th season of entertaining more than 180,000 guests annually with fun and memorable live productions.
Born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Prather graduated from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University before making his way to Southwest Florida in 1993. In addition to operating Broadway Palm, Prather is also the owner and executive producer of Prather Productions, which operates the Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre in Lancaster, Penn., as well as Prather Touring and Apex Touring, national touring companies that bring productions around the country and across the world.
Prather’s impressive community involvement illustrates his strong commitment to Southwest Florida and dedication to causes that increase public awareness about the arts and tourism in the region. Prather is a member of the Fort Myers Rotary Club, a senior advisor for the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, an advisory board member for Florida Gulf Coast University’s Resort & Hospitality Management Program and previously served as past president and board member of the Alliance for the Arts.
Prather is a proud father to his son, TJ, and a loving fiancé to his future wife, Maureen Green.
The laureates will be honored during a dinner and awards ceremony on Thursday, April 16 with a cocktail reception at 5 p.m. and dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa in Bonita Springs.
For more information on the event, or to learn about sponsorship opportunities and purchasing tickets, please visit www.JASWFL.org.
About Junior Achievement:
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. Junior Achievement programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches more than 4.8 million students per year in more than 107 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.2 million students served by operations over 100 other countries worldwide. Locally, Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida partnered with more than 270 classroom business volunteers during the 2018-2019 school year to provide nearly 70,200 hours of instruction to nearly 12,500 students in 520 classes throughout Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties. For more information on Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida, visit www.JASWFL.org, call 239-225-2590 or email info@jaswfl.org.
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