Karl Flemke


President's Medal for Excellence (1991)
B.I.E. Day Dinner Junior Achievement, Inc.
Location: Bloomington
Presenter: Thomas Ehrlich


Karl Flemke was born in Wethersfield, CT, son of Karl and Catherine Flemke. He graduated from Wethersfield High School and the University of Pittsburgh. He joined Junior Achievement (JA) in 1958 as executive director in New Bedford, MA.

In 1962, he transferred to JA in Pittsburgh as chief staff officer. Under Flemke's direction, the area became one of the five largest program operations in the country, with student enrollment increasing by 142 percent. An eight-story building in the heart of Pittsburgh's business district was purchased and renovated, becoming the nation's largest Junior Achievement building. When it opened in 1969, more than 3,000 students met weekly as members of the JA Company Program. In 1970, Flemke received his first of two Charles R. Hook Awards, presented each year to the field staff person considered to be the most outstanding in the country. In 1973, Flemke became president of the JA office in Los Angeles, making it the largest JA area in the country. His leadership and innovation once again earned him the Charles R. Hook Award in 1975.

In 1980, Flemke accepted the national executive vice president position where he began plans for the future of Junior Achievement. Appointed president and CEO of Junior Achievement, Inc. in May 1982, Flemke's goals embodied a broad vision. One of Flemke's most satisfying accomplishments was the relocation of the National Headquarters from Stamford, CT, to Colorado Springs, CO. Because of his leadership, JA programs expanded from 15 to more than 70 countries by the early 1990s. This was highlighted by the startup of JA programs in Russia and China.

In 1991, Karl was honored as a recipient of the President's Medal for Excellence during the B.I.E. Day Dinner Junior Achievement, Inc. on August 14, at Indiana University Bloomington

He died in 1994.