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Meinders shares entrepreneurial spirit at Junior Achievement event at Oklahoma City University

Herman Meinders keynoted a Junior Achievement luncheon Wednesday at Oklahoma City University's business school, which carries his name.
by Paula Burkes Published: April 21, 2013
/articleid/3791415/1/pictures/2022222">Photo - Entrepreneur Herman Meinders is with Diana Haro, a sophomore taking Junior Achievement classes at U.S. Grant High School. PHOTO PROVIDED
Entrepreneur Herman Meinders is with Diana Haro, a sophomore taking Junior Achievement classes at U.S. Grant High School. PHOTO PROVIDED

Over the next nine years, Meinders said he drove more than 750,000 miles, calling on nearly every florist nationwide, before moving to Leachville, Fla., in 1967 to join Florafax International as vice president of sales.

It was Meinders' demotion to sales rep, unbeknown to him until he read it in a directory, that compelled him to start his own business, he said. He chose to relocate to and base American Floral Services in Oklahoma City because he remembered it as a friendly place whose residents bore a good work ethic, he said.

After Meinders' presentation, Mo Grotjohn, incoming chair of Junior Achievement Oklahoma, told guests he's volunteered with Junior Achievement since he worked in Denver in the early 1980s.

A former student, a lumbering class clown, visited him nine years later, when Grotjohn was a bank president there, to thank him for the inspiration that he could “do anything, be anything he wanted,” he said. The student, a high-school dropout, told Grotjohn he'd held several marginal jobs, but recently passed the graduate equivalency diploma test and was starting community college that evening.

Diana Haro, a sophomore at U.S. Grant High School, shared how she and nine other students in Junior Achievement have launched their own business: the “General Snack Shack,” selling snacks every morning and during the school's three lunch periods.

“In three weeks, our revenues have gone from $150 to $1,400,“ Haro told guests. “We've learned teamwork, and how to keep a company going.”

by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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Volunteers sought

Junior Achievement of Oklahoma, which prepares schoolchildren to succeed in business, is seeking workers of all levels to help with the these JA classes on workplace readiness, financial literacy and entrepreneur skills.

Council Grove Elementary: Two volunteers needed (five lessons)

Millwood Elementary: One volunteer needed (five lessons)

JA in a Day Classes:

Tulakes Elementary: May 8

Hawthorne Elementary: May 9

Prairie Queen Elementary: May 15

To volunteer, contact program manager Lezlie Carter at or 235-3399.


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