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Junior Achievement of Newfoundland and Labrador announces the 2020 JA Business Hall of Fame inductees.

"Since 1990, Junior Achievement has recognized and honored entrepreneurs who have inspired others through their investment and success in business and community."

St. John’s, NL, Wednesday, December 18th, 2019, Junior Achievement (JA) of Newfoundland and Labrador is pleased to announce the 2020 JA Business Hall of Fame inductees. These business leaders will be recognized at the May 20th, 2020 Gala Dinner and Induction Ceremony at the St. John’s Convention Centre:
Cathy Bennett, entrepreneur, board director and consultant
Aubrey and Reginald Budgell, entrepreneurs
Jamie King, Brendan Brothers and Raymond Pretty, co- founders of Verafin


Since 1990, Junior Achievement has recognized and honored entrepreneurs who have inspired others through their investment and success in business and community. In addition to celebrating business excellence, the Business Hall of Fame event is JA’s signature fundraiser, supporting work that focuses on financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship for youth.

Background Information – JA Newfoundland and Labrador Business Hall of Fame Inductees

Cathy Bennett – As a former CEO, seasoned entrepreneur, current board director and consultant, Cathy's focus is growth. With over 30 years of business leadership, her own company, Bennett Group of Companies, grew from a small group of service businesses to operations in commercial and industrial construction, industrial manufacturing, human resource support, service, retail, industrial supply and real estate investments and operations.

Cathy has served on several publicly-traded and crown corporation boards and serves/has served on numerous privately-held corporate boards. Her own company and board work has encompassed various operations throughout Atlantic Canada, nationally and globally. She is currently a director with Vigilant Management, Dynamic Air Shelters and the Business Development Bank of Canada. Cathy has been extensively involved in the charitable and volunteer sectors and is currently co-chair/founder of ConnectioNL, a community-based volunteer organization facilitating mentorship for new and growing businesses.

She has also been a Member of the Newfoundland & Labrador House of Assembly serving in Cabinet as Minister of Finance, President of Treasury Board, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, the Human Resource Secretariat, the Public Service Commission and the Office of the Chief Information Officer

Aubrey and Reginald Budgell – These brothers from Triton have been entrepreneurs most of their lives with some significant joint ventures throughout the province and other separate ventures. In 1989, Aubrey and Reg started Budgell’s Equipment & Rentals Ltd., a small construction company that grew to become a multimillion-dollar business with large crews and substantial equipment and facilities. Their construction company has done significant work in Labrador. In 2018, the last year that Aubrey managed the company, it had 80 employees which was huge for the local area. Reg retired from this venture in the early 2000’s.

While the construction company started in the 80’s, Reg began his entrepreneurial pursuits with a restaurant in Triton in the 1970’s. He later converted that into a small sports shop, which expanded into marine products and various recreational dealerships including Bombardier and Honda. In the 1980’s, the business began operating as Budgell’s Sport & Marine. In 2006, Aubrey created a prospecting and mining company, B & A Minerals. It operates in Labrador and, to date, has struck six deals with large mining companies. Aubrey and his partners were recipients of the Prospector and Explorer Award in 2011 from the Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and Petroleum NL Chapter. Aubrey’s other ventures include Triple A Gift Shop, Triton Home Hardware, Budgell Real Estate and Mid-Island Marine & Fabrication Ltd.

In addition to being drivers of the economy in the Triton area, the Budgell’s are community- minded. Their mindset in community giving and support extends into Labrador and many other small communities.

Jamie King, Brendan Brothers and Raymond Pretty – Verafin was born in 2003, when Jamie, Raymond and Brendan decided to take the technology they used to build robots for the mining industry and apply it in a new way to help fight financial crime. They used their research abilities to not only examine the ever-growing problem of fraud and money laundering, but to think about what they would want on hand if they worked for a bank or credit union. Then they built it. Today Verafin is one of the North American leaders in fraud detection and anti-money laundering software. You will find their software in nearly 3000 banks and credit unions across North America.

The culture of Verafin functions on a foundation of caring, teamwork and innovation. They are passionate about what they do and are committed to creating a positive environment where employees can do their best work. They have been recognized as one of Canada’s top 100 employers, and were named the best place to work in Atlantic Canada in 2015 and 2016. Verafin’s internal charity, Veracares, provides fundraising and volunteer support for local organizations. Veracares has raised over $800,000 since 2013 and provided hundreds of volunteer hours. Their work in the community has earned them a Board of Trade award for community impact.

These individuals are being recognized for their excellence in business leadership, outstanding professional achievements and enduring contributions to society. They are all role models for youth, the next generation of leaders. For more information on Junior Achievement and the JA Business Hall of Fame, contact Sandra Patterson, president & CEO, at spatterson@janl.org or 753-9533 or visit: www.janlbusinesshalloffame.org

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