Home: News : Lemont repeats as Junior Achievement “Company of the Year” winner; two earn “Officer of the Year” honors

Lemont repeats as Junior Achievement “Company of the Year” winner; two earn “Officer of the Year” honors


Lemont won Junior Achievement "Company of the Year" honors for the seventh time in 11 years. Its officers included (L-R) Max Celis, Matt Krueger, Tobias Hagen, Joe Tomecki and Natalie Palarz.

Lemont High School’s Junior Achievement entry – “Little Mountain Kitchen Creations” – was cited with “Company of the Year” accolades at the 2019 Chicagoland Junior Achievement competition, which recently was held at Robert Morris University’s downtown Chicago campus. Additionally, senior Matt Krueger and junior Max Celis each earned top honors within their respective officer divisions.

“Little Mountain Kitchen Creations” enjoyed a terrific year thanks to its unique product line. The Little Mountain Kitchen Creations catalog featured a cutting board, a coaster set, and a bottle opener. Each could be customized with engravings of either the Lemont High School logo, the Village of Lemont logo, or a monogram of up to three letters.

This marks the seventh time in 11 years Lemont’s entry has picked up Junior Achievement “Company of the Year” honors. Last year’s company – “LHS Publishing, Inc.” – won thanks to the success of its Lemont-centric cookbook, “What’s Cooking in Lemont?”

The officer team – which included Krueger, Celis, and seniors Joe Tomecki (President), Tobias Hagen (Supply Chain) and Natalie Palarz (Marketing) – represented “Little Mountain Kitchen Creations” at the Chicagoland area competition. The group presented its product and business plan, which included details ranging from production to advertising. The students answered questions from Chief Executive Officers and entrepreneurs from the Chicagoland and northwest Indiana area about the company and its product.

Each of the officers participated in a separate interview process to be considered for “Officer of the Year” accolades. Krueger was cited as the Finance Officer of the Year for the second time in as many years, while Celis earned Customer Service Officer of the Year honors. Tomecki was the runner-up in his grouping.

Each year, Lemont’s Junior Achievement organization builds a business from scratch. Students form a board to create the product, sell stock in the company and market the product, all with a goal of reaping a dividend for its shareholders.

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students from kindergarten through 12th grade about entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. Junior Achievement programs help prepare students for the real world by showing them how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create more jobs that make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to the workplace. Volunteers from the community deliver the Junior Achievement curriculum while sharing experiences with students.

Lemont’s Junior Achievement faculty advisor is Business teacher John Aspel.

Junior Achievement of Chicago website

For more information, contact Lemont High School Director of School and Community Relations Tony Hamilton at (630) 243-3280.
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