Harmon, Montecalvo, Rusckowski inducted into N.J. Business Hall of Fame

Leaders lauded for efforts to give back to next generation in event sponsored by Junior Achievement of N.J.

The honorees: from left, John Harmon, Valerie Montecalvo and Steve Rusckowski. (Junior Achievement of N.J.)

John Harmon, Valerie Montecalvo and Steve Rusckowski joined a prestigious group of Laureate Legacies known for demonstrating business excellence and consistent community involvement throughout their professional lives when they were inducted into the New Jersey Business Hall of Fame earlier this month.

Harmon is the founder and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, Montecalvo is the CEO of Bayshore Recycling and Rusckowski is the chairman and CEO of Quest Diagnostics.

The New Jersey Business Hall of Fame, sponsored by Junior Achievement of New Jersey, honors individuals for their innovative leadership, high standards as role models for New Jersey youth and their impact in positively shaping their business and communities.

The honorees were inducted after being nominated by their peers. Nominate a business leader for the 2022 class here.

The annual event, which was held virtually this year, raises funds to underwrite unsponsored High School Heroes learning experiences statewide to empower today’s leaders as tomorrow’s laureates.

Through the Heroes initiative, high school students are equipped with valuable employability skills, like leadership, public speaking and critical thinking, all necessary to succeed in a global economy. The leadership initiative also introduces elementary school children to role models closer to their age and delivers meaningful community engagement and cross-cultural learning for high schoolers. The New Jersey Business Hall of Fame, through the tremendous support of its sponsors, enables JANJ to continue building the state’s future leaders.

JA Student Ambassadors introduced the 2021 Class of Laureates, each of whom were motivational and shared valuable advice.

  • Harmon: He has contributed extensively to the furtherance of the state workforce pipeline — specifically, the strategic partnerships in the public and private sectors to promote economic diversity and increase opportunities for Black businesses throughout New Jersey. In reflecting on his career journey, Harmon advised younger viewers watching to embrace new things by suggesting, “If you have the opportunity to contribute to something great, give it your all.”
  • Montecalvo: As an alum of JA, Montecalvo credited JA for helping to channel her confidence at a young age and expressed, “It is a proven fact that women learn best when they are supported and encouraged by their peers and society. Junior Achievement gives them what they need to succeed.”
  • Rusckowski: A leader locally and globally, Rusckowski exemplifies extraordinary leadership through his commitment to the betterment of his community, as well as his innovative approach to expanding Quest Diagnostics’ capabilities. In offering guidance to students, he advised, “Let your experience at Junior Achievement provide a foundation for you to build upon in your professional career.”