Apr 09, 2015 - 4:45pm

Horatio Alger Awards: The American Dream in Full Bloom

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The Chamber's Tom Donohue receives the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Award in 2013.

As the cherry blossoms begin to burst out, another important Washington, D.C., tradition is taking place: For three days every April, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans celebrates the American Dream -- and works to make it a reality for future generations.

Twelve 2015 Horatio Alger Award recipients will be inducted into the Association during the group’s 68th annual induction ceremonies Thursday through Saturday. The event also recognizes the more than 100 Horatio Alger National Scholars – allowing today’s role models and tomorrow’s leaders a chance to mingle and exchange stories of hardships and triumphs.

Founded in 1947, the Association recognizes leaders who, despite having faced adversities, have demonstrated determination and morality on the road to success. And the group is committed to promoting the free enterprise system and supporting the pursuit of higher education.

U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue, who received the honor back in 2013, shared at the time on how he was “humbled to receive this award and join the ranks of its many accomplished recipients.”

“This recognition is particularly meaningful for me because the principles championed by the Horatio Alger Association and demonstrated by its members -- hard work, honesty, perseverance -- have helped guide me both personally and professionally. The organization does so much to help young people pursue the American Dream, and it is a great honor to be associated with such a worthy endeavor."

The group says that this year’s 12 recipients “personify the American Dream and have philanthropically committed to sustain it. From Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos, the Association’s youngest member to date, to David Novak, Yum! Brands’ charismatic chairman, to legendary advertising executive Jordan Zimmerman of Zimmerman Advertising, these esteemed leaders reflect the best of what America has to offer.”

Here’s the full list of this year’s honorees, “all of whom have demonstrated a strong work ethic, honesty and determination on their road to personal and professional success.”

  • Charles C. Anderson Sr., chairman emeritus, Anderson Companies
  • Leon G. Cooperman, founder, chairman and CEO, Omega Advisors Inc.
  • James F. Dicke, II, chairman-CEO, Crown Equipment Corporation
  • Serge Godin, founder and executive chairman of the board, CGI
  • Edmund A. Hajim, president, Diker Management, LLC
  • Bruce T. Halle, founder and chairman of the board, Discount Tire
  • Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO, Theranos
  • Gilbert Edward LeVasseur Jr., chairman and CEO, LeVasseur Capital Partners, LLC
  • James J. Maguire Sr., founder and chairman emeritus, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, and president, Maguire Foundation
  • David C. Novak, chairman and CEO, Yum! Brands Inc.
  • Frank L. VanderSloot, CEO, Melaleuca Inc.
  • Jordan Zimmerman, founder and chairman, Zimmerman Advertising

Congratulations to this year’s honorees and scholarship winners – and here’s to one of D.C.’s lasting traditions.

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