BA Recipients

Business Achievement Award Recipients - 2019

The Business Achievement Award honors individuals for significant achievement in business through the traditional corporate route. The achievement may be demonstrated over a career or by a singular achievement that has advanced the field of business and contributed to a community and to humankind.Business_Achievement_Award_2018.png

Help us congratulate this year's recipients:


John T. Chambers

Founder and CEO, JC2 Ventures
Nominated by West Virginia University


John Chambers is the founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures, a firm focused on helping global startups build and scale their businesses. JC2 also promotes the broader development of startup nations and a startup world.

At JC2, Chambers invests in companies across categories and geographies that are leading market transitions, including Bloom Energy, OpenGov, Pindrop, Rubrik, Sprinklr, and many others. He also serves on the board of directors for some of these companies.

Prior to founding JC2 Ventures, Chambers spent more than 25 years with Cisco, serving as CEO, chairman and executive chairman. In 2018, Chambers published his book, Connecting the Dots: Lessons for Leadership in a Startup World; it shares the management, leadership and business principles that brought him and his teams unmatched success over the course of his career.

Chambers also serves as chairman of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF). In 2018, he was appointed Global Ambassador of the French Tech by Emmanuel Macron, the president of France.

Chambers was named “Best Boss in America” by 20/20, and has been featured in Harvard Business Review’s “Best-Performing CEOs in the World,” Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People,” and BusinessWeek’s “Top 25 Executives Worldwide.” He’s received several national and international awards, including the Edison Achievement Award for Innovation, France's National Defense Gold Medal and India’s Padma Bhushan Award.

Angie Grissom

President, The Rainmaker Companies
Nominated by Middle Tennessee State University

Angie_Grissom.pngAngie Grissom is president of The Rainmaker Companies, a training, consulting and alliances firm serving accounting and legal industries. Grissom’s role involves high-level strategy, thought leadership, consulting, program and curriculum development, and employee direction. She has coached managing partners and firm leaders across the globe on strategies for increased growth, innovation, accountability and improved culture.

Since Grissom became president of the organization, it has expanded its offerings to provide clients with innovative approaches to issues like growth; leadership and culture; national women and inclusion initiatives; virtual training and consulting; and more.

Grissom is consistently recognized as an influential person in the accounting industry. She’s been recognized three times as a top thought leader in accounting, seven times as one of the top 100 most influential people in accounting, twice as one of the most powerful women in accounting, and twice as a top 40 under 40.

Prior to joining Rainmaker, Grissom worked in organizational management, sales, and human resources. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in Marketing from Middle Tennessee State
University, and has completed master’s-level work with an MBA emphasis as well.

Scott Salmirs

Corporate President and CEO, ABM Industries
Nominated by State University of New York at Oneonta

Scott_Salmirs.pngScott Salmirs is president and CEO of ABM Industries, one of the largest facility services providers listed on the New York Stock Exchange. He is the seventh person to hold this position in the company’s 110-year history.

Under Salmirs’ guidance, ABM has flourished; the $6.4 billion Fortune 500 company has more than 140,000 employees across the world and a focus on long-term growth. Since the transformation, ABM has received many accolades; last year, Forbes named it one of the best employers for new graduates.

Before joining ABM, Salmirs held leadership positions managing building portfolios at Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, and CBRE. After getting his bachelor’s degree in business economics at the State University of New York College (SUNY) at Oneonta in 1984, Salmirs went on to get an MBA in finance from the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Salmirs is a member of the business advisory council for the School of Economics and Business at SUNY Oneonta. He also serves on the board for The Outreach Project, an organization that helps adolescents and families dealing with substance abuse addiction. He’s also a founding board member of Donate Eight, a nonprofit focused on increasing organ donation awareness and registration in the state of New York.