• Free Enterpriser of the Year



The Kansas City Times



The award I am honored to present tonight is that of FREE ENTERPRISER OF THE YEAR. This year JA Celebration Committee decided—as an extension of a theme—to honor a businessman whose personal achievement offers dramatic illustration of opportunity in this country. Numerous candidates were considered, the reviewing was stringent, and a selection was finally made last week.

The job—or perhaps a better word is "calling"—of Junior Achievement is to give grist and substance to this thing we call free enterprise. Free enterprise, by pure definition, is the commercial application of democracy. It is one of the most important ways democracy asserts itself on a day-to-day basis. To designate a man as FREE ENTERPRISER OF THE YEAR is to say a lot about him—that he has courage, drive, perseverance and an ability to excel in a system—that by its very nature—rewards only the winners...

The man who tonight is about to be given the award of FREE ENTERPRISER OF THE YEAR started out in a small town in Kansas... Garnett. He credits high school athletics with teaching him discipline and the desire to excel. He is deeply religious and a family man with three children. He learned about finances as a bank trainee. When he was 22 years old, he founded his own business, with two brothers-in-law and his father as partners. They called the company All State Credit & Research, Inc. It was a collection agency. It was capitalized with $3,000. After 6 months of operations, each partner had to supply an additional $350 to keep the company going. The company showed a deficit the first year and was $16,000 in the red until 1963, when it began to retrieve credit cards as an adjunct to the credit control business.

The company went public—selling stock in 1969 and the name was changed to Inter-Continental Services Corporation. Last year the company generated revenues of nearly 2 million dollars. ISCS is now the world’s largest credit card retrieval company, with branches in Los Angeles, San Bernadino and Toronto, Canada. It has operations in over 200 cities. And its co-founder and president... the man we are honoring tonight for symbolizing free enterprise... last week turned the ripe old age of 36...

It gives me great pleasure to present this year’s FREE ENTERPRISER OF THE YEAR award to JERRY BAKER, President of Inter-Continental Services Corporation.

              Steve Weber
              Assistant Financial Editor


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