A manufacturer, a zoo director, a banker and a hotelier will be inducted into the Nebraska Business Hall of Fame on Feb. 7 beginning at 7 p.m. at the Cornhusker Marriott in Lincoln.
The 2013 class members are:
>> Marc LeBaron of Lincoln Industries in Lincoln. LeBaron led Lincoln Industries to become the nation's top supplier of products requiring high-performance metal finishing. Started by Marc's father — Nebraska Business Hall of Fame member Dale LeBaron — the company today operates 24 hours a day and has more than 500 employees. Lincoln Industries has been nationally recognized for its workplace wellness program. LeBaron also serves on a number of company and nonprofit boards.
>> R. Lee Simmons of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo. Simmons joined the Omaha zoo in 1966 as a resident veterinarian and was named director in 1970. He served until 2009, when he became chairman of the zoo foundation. During his career, he has been responsible for raising more than $160 million for buildings, research and conservation. Simmons built a reputation for finishing projects on time and within budget as he increased the zoo's attendance and membership to be among the best in the nation. He is also known as a leader in the conservation and preservation of wild species.
>> S.N. “Bud” Wolbach of Grand Island. The late Wolbach served as president and chairman of the board of the First National Bank of Grand Island from 1956-1982. During this time, the bank grew from $20 million to nearly $150 million in assets. He also owned, managed and expanded cattle operations in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Wyoming. This venture grew from 5,000 acres to 27,000 acres. Wolbach served on numerous civic boards, and was a major force in securing 200 acres of land for the present location of Stuhr Museum.
>> Paul Younes of Kearney. Younes came to the United States from Israel on a soccer scholarship. After transferring to the University of Nebraska at Kearney, he earned a degree in business administration and helped support himself as a dishwasher at a local hotel restaurant. He became manager of the hotel. Today, Younes Hospitality owns nine hotels throughout Nebraska. In 2009, he was named the “Friend of Kearney” for his charitable and volunteer efforts, as well as his commitment to the lodging and tourism industry.
The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1992 by the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the University of Nebraska College of Business Administration. Candidates are nominated by individuals from the business community, business associations and academia.
For more information about this year's event, call 402-474-4422 in Lincoln.