About Us

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In 2001, The Jesse Helms Center opened the Charles A. Cannon 

Free Enterprise 

Hall of Fame to honor the men and women dedicated to America’s free enterprise system. 

what is a free enterprise hero?

A free enterprise hero is a person who has created a successful business through a creative use of his or her talents and resources, and whose life is marked by good character and virtue. A free enterprise hero is also an innovator, leader and well respected member of his or her community, business and civic organizations. Most importantly, a free enterprise hero will use his or her success to give back to people and philanthropic organizations.

All free enterprise heroes will possess and exhibit many of these virtues in his or her lifetime:

  • Perseverance – the ability to continue on with an endeavor despite opposition
  • Honesty – a refusal to lie, cheat, steal, or deceive in any way
  • Generosity – a willingness to give of your time, talents or resources to others
  • Vision – the power to imagine and anticipate what could be
  • Passion – an intense lively or eager commitment to a cause
  • Courage – a mental and moral strength to face difficulty
  • Insight – the ability to understand a situation or problem
  • Adaptability – the power to adjust according to changing circumstances
  • Altruism – an unselfish concern for the well-being of others

The Charles A. Cannon Free Enterprise Hall of Fame Exhibit

Senator Helms believed strongly in the free enterprise system, and the exhibit showcases entrepreneurial leaders, the values they shared and the great things they did for state of North Carolina and the entire country. In 2016, we updated the Hall of Fame by adding a new introduction video that explains what makes the free enterprise system so important and directs visitors through the exhibit. Also, there are four new touchscreen displays, one for each founding Hall of Fame member kiosk and an additional member’s hall. Each touchscreen display creates an interactive experience where visitors learn about the personal and business life of each founding member.

Introduction: The American Dream

Interactive Exhibit

Click on image to learn more about our Founding Hall of Fame Members: