Junior Achievement announces additions to P.E.I. Business Hall of Fame

Jim Day jday@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on February 2, 2016

Jean MacLean, left, widow of the late Keith MacLean, Jennifer Lawton, daughter of Elwood Lawton, and Blair MacLauchlan were on hand last week in Charlottetown for the announcement of the 2016 Junior Achievement Prince Edward Island Business Hall of Fame laureates. Blair MacLauchlan, the late Keith MacLean and Elwood Lawton will be honoured at a gala in May.

©THE GUARDIAN/Heather Taweel

Late Keith MacLean, Elwood Lawton, Blair MacLauchlan will be inducted at gala in May

Elwood Lawton’s strong marriage has also proven to be a successful business partnership.

Lawton is quick to give equal credit to his wife, Nancy, for the 68-year-old entrepreneur being named among the 2016 Junior Achievement P.E.I. Business Hall of Fame laureates.

Lawton, Blair MacLauchlan and the late Keith MacLean will officially be added to the impressive list of hall inductees during a gala on May 25 in Charlottetown.

MORE: Quick facts on 2016 laureates

Lawton says his wife has been key to a truly sweet run in the blueberry business.

“She’s my best friend, she’s my best supporter,’’ he says.

“We did it. So it’s as much her as it is me.’’

What they have done together is grow a prosperous operation.

Lawton grew a potato farm from 300 acres to 1,000 acres before selling the business in 1988 and shifting his farming interests to blueberries.

He designed and built P.E.I. Wild Blueberries, a processing plant in Canavoy, that he later sold to an American company.

He still has an 1,800-acre blueberry operation in Mount Stewart. He remains actively involved but looks to ease off significantly over the next few years.

Reached in Florida where the avid golfer tries to get out on the course almost every day, Lawton said he was humbled to get the nod for induction into the prestigious business hall of fame.

“It’s quite an honour for somebody who grew up on rural P.E.I. — a farmer all his life,’’ he says.

“It’s a great honour and it’s an honour for both my wife and myself because what we achieved in life, we achieved together.’’

jday@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianJimDay

Class of 2016

Here is a look at the three Islanders who will be inducted into the Junior Achievement P.E.I. Business Hall of Fame on May 25 at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the JAPEI office at 902-892-6066.

ELWOOD LAWTON

— In 1976, he purchased a farm and expanded it from 300 acres to 1,000 acres.

— Designed and built Prince Edward Wild Blueberries, a processing plant in Canavoy.

— Was intrumental in the development of the large blueberry boxes, which greatly increased the efficiency both on the farm and at the factory.

— Major donation to Holland College Learning for Life Campaign.

— Long-time supporter of Camp Gencheff.

— Opens his private golf course on his property in Tea Hill to raise money for causes like multiple sclerosis and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

BLAIR MACLAUCHLAN

— Started his career with CP Rail Ltd. as an engineer in 1972.

— Has gone on to operate and own/co-own Island Coastal, Green Gables Golf Course, Anderson’s Creek Golf Course, Island Petroleum and Source for Sports.

— Involved in numerous community and charitable organizations, including Holland College, UPEI Athletics, Ducks Unlimited, Atlantic Road Builders and Trinity United Church.

— P.E.I. Roadbuilders honorary lifetime membership.

— Engineers P.E.I. Engineering Award for Excellence.

(THE LATE) KEITH MACLEAN

— Studied drafting at the Provincial Vocational Institute.

— Worked with his father, Malcolm, at MacLean Construction until Malcolm retired in 1975.

— Grew the business from sales of $500,000 in 1975 to annual sales exceeding $6 million by 2006.

— Served on board of directors for the Construction Association of P.E.I., twice elected as president.

— Part owner of Charlottetown Junior Islanders in late 1960s and early 1970s.

— In 2008, he and his wife, Jean, committed a $100,000 gift to the QEH Foundation.