From the youngest Junior Achievement ambassadors to seasoned inductees, the Colorado Business Hall of Fame induction celebration annually represents a spectrum of extraordinary people, expertise and ideas. If we could somehow bottle the energy generated from this annual celebration of business enterprise, it would be priceless.

(l to r): Charles O’Donnell, 2023 laureate Mary Pat Link, and sisters Hadley and Reese Gentry

Hosted by Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, on Monday, Feb. 6, honorees and supporters gathered at the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center to celebrate five respected business icons inducted into this year’s Hall of Fame. Laureates are part of a league of outstanding individuals who have made legendary contributions to the free enterprise system.

The 2023 laureates are: Mary Pat Link, founder of Interlink Group and noted nonprofits supporter; Jay Anthony Precourt, oil-and-gas guru and philanthropist; Mark Smith, real estate developer and founder of area youth foundations. Additionally mutual funds manager Bill Berger, founder of Berger Associates and arts supporter, and Frederick Ross, of real estate’s Frederick Ross & Company, were both honored posthumously. Berger’s daughter Katherine was on hand to accept her father’s award. To read complete biographies about this year’s class, as well as past inductees, click here.

The evening began with a VIP reception at Former Saint, tucked away next to the Hyatt’s expansive lobby area, where friends old and new had a chance to chat. Guests then made their way upstairs for the general reception held outside the Centennial Ballroom.

2023 HOF inductee Jay Precourt (center), with son Anthony and daughter Amanda

Denver 7 anchor Brian Sanders served as emcee for the dinner program that included a procession of former inductees and Groove Machine provided musical entertainment. The Denver North Junior ROTC Color Guard. conducted the flag presentation. With Junior Achievement ambassadors in attendance, this year’s inductees took the time to not only express gratitude for the recognition, but also to offer their personal advice for success in business and in life.

Gail Klapper with 2023 HOF inductee Mark Smith and his son Josh Smith

Also speaking onstage: J.J. Ament, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce president; Caleb Hester, senior vice president from presenting sponsor UMB; Junior Achievement President & CEO Robin Wise; and Lori Davis, JA board president. The evening ended with a dessert reception created by Hyatt catering.

Junior Achievement prepares young people to thrive in the 21st century workplace and global economy by inspiring a passion in free enterprise and entrepreneurship, and instilling an understanding of personal financial literacy. On average, Junior Achievement serves 100,000 each year in Colorado and Wyoming. These programs are always free to schools, thanks to thousands of volunteers and the generous support of donors. For more information visit:

This JA ambassador recognizes event sponsors.

The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce is Colorado’s largest business organization and has been a leading voice for the Metro Denver business community for nearly 150 years—bringing a history of finding pragmatic solutions, using data and facts to establish goals and aligning Colorado’s most diverse views to map a path forward. For more information please visit:

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