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New WNY Business Hall of Fame inducts Delaware North Chairman Jeremy Jacobs

In a unique circumstance that speaks volumes about his impact, Delaware North Chairman Jeremy Jacobs was inducted into another hall of fame Monday evening in addition to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The inaugural class of 15 historic figures — including Mr. Jacobs — were inducted into the new Western New York Business Hall of Fame during a ceremony at the Buffalo History Museum. With Mr. Jacobs and his family in Toronto for his receipt of the hockey honor, Delaware North General Counsel William Hochul, accompanied by his wife, New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, accepted the honor on his behalf.

The museum will host the Western New York Business Hall of Fame as a permanent exhibit, which was unveiled at Monday’s ceremony.

Buffalo Business First, which spearheaded the creation of the new hall of fame, noted Mr. Jacobs was selected for his success in building upon the concessions business begun in 1915 in Buffalo by his father and uncles. After taking over as chairman and CEO of the company upon his father’s death in 1968, Mr. Jacobs built Delaware North into the more than $3 billion global hospitality and food service enterprise it is today.

Joining Mr. Jacobs as living members of the hall are Robert Rich Jr., chairman of Rich Products, and Robert Wilmers, chairman and CEO of M&T Bank. Other inductees include Ralph Wilson Jr., founder of the Buffalo Bills; Willis Carrier, inventor of air conditioning; John Albright, a coal, steel and hydroelectric company owner and patron of what is now the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; Joseph Dart, developer of the first steam-powered grain elevator; and Louise Blanchard Bethune, the first American woman to be a professional architect.

PHOTO CAPTION: Delaware North Co-CEOs Jerry Jacobs Jr. (left) and Lou Jacobs admire the trophy presented to their father, Delaware North Chairman Jeremy Jacobs, in recognition of his induction into the Western New York Business Hall of Fame.