JA of the Bluegrass announces new president

Laurel R. Martin

Lexington, Ky.The Junior Achievement (JA) of the Bluegrass Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Laurel R. Martin has been named President effective October 28, 2020.  She succeeds Lynn Hudgins, who retires as President after 22 years.

As president of JA of the Bluegrass, Martin will oversee a staff of five, who manage the organization’s work readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy programs that reached more than 24,000 K-12 students locally in 2018-2019.

“Laurel’s extensive experience will be invaluable to the organization,” said Brad Lovell, Keeneland VP & Chief Information Officer and JA of the Bluegrass Board Chair. “We are pleased to have her running our operation. The leadership Laurel will provide will help ensure the continued success of JA in our service area.”

Laurel Raimondo Martin, Ph.D., formerly Associate Vice President for Advancement at Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) and Executive Director of the BCTC Foundation, Inc., brings more than ten years of nonprofit experience.

Martin began her career in higher education 27 years ago and has held administrative and faculty positions at both private and public higher education institutions.   Additionally, she served as Executive Director of the Alpha Delta Pi Sorority Executive Office, where she was responsible for a 501(c)(3) organization with a $2 million operating budget that provided support to and services for 1,900 volunteers and 180,000 members.

Martin earned a B.S. from the University of Kentucky, an M.Ed. from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. in Leadership, Organization, and Policy from Vanderbilt University. She passed the CFRE in 2006.

About JA of the Bluegrass

Junior Achievement empowers young people to own their economic success. Our volunteer-delivered, K-12 programs foster work-readiness, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy skills.

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown of schools, JA of the Bluegrass has responded with new, transformative education solutions.  Classroom volunteers continue to be utilized virtually, and we are offering JA BizTown Adventures and JA Finance Park Virtual while our facility is closed.

JA BizTown Adventures is a virtual experience for students (grades 5 and 6), who gain an understanding of running a business through the roles of chief executive officer, chief financial officer, marketing director, sales manager, and consumer through five online, self-guided adventures.

JA Finance Park Virtual builds a foundation upon which students can make intelligent financial decisions that last a lifetime, including decisions related to income, expenses, savings, and credit. The program comprises several teacher-led lessons and a variety of optional online activities. The experience culminates in a budgeting simulation.

In November, students (grades 8-12) from school districts across Kentucky will participate in JA Inspire Virtual, an interactive career exploration event showcasing careers with employers and industry leaders around the state.