Real estate titan Jon Hanson may not be quite as well known to the general public as Meryl Streep or Steven Van Zandt, but they will have something in common May 6: induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
The real estate executive is one of four business personalities chosen in the “enterprise” category of the Class of 2017. The hall will induct 16 total people at this year’s induction ceremony at Convention Hall in Asbury Park.
In addition to the founder and chairman of the Hampshire Cos., the choices in the enterprise category include:
- Joe Buckelew, chairman of the insurance and benefits firm Conner Strong & Buckelew;
- Steve Forbes, the publishing executive and former presidential candidate;
- Buddy Valastro, the celebrity chef known as the “Cake Boss.”
Gov. Phil Murphy made the announcement of this year’s class.
“Induction into the New Jersey Hall of Fame is the highest civilian honor that our state can bestow on someone,” he said in a prepared statement. “It’s a celebration of New Jersey that inspires the next generation of New Jersey leaders. Our inductees remind us how so many of our citizens have transformed the world, and how proud we should be of that fact as New Jerseyans.”
The other members of the Class of 2017 are:
- Arts & letters: author Harlan Coben and author and journalist Anna Quindlen;
- Performing arts: actress Meryl Streep, musician and actor Steven Van Zandt, the band The Four Seasons (Frankie Valli, Bob Gaudio, Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi and Joe Long), singer Gloria Gaynor and singer-songwriter Debbie Harry of Blondie;
- Public service: astronauts Mark Kelly and Scott Kelly, nurse Clara Maass and politician Millicent Fenwick;
- Sports: former Major League Baseball player Al Leiter and runner Mary Decker.
The Unsung Hero honoree will be announced in April, and three recipients of the annual Arête Scholarship will be recognized at the ceremony, as well.
All living inductees are expected to attend the ceremony, with friends and family representing those who have passed away.
“Our May 6 induction ceremony is the NJHOF’s 10th anniversary celebration, and former inductees will help us to induct this year’s class,” Steve Edwards, president of the NJHOF Foundation board, said in a statement. “It will be an inspiring ceremony, with lots of surprises.”