Mutz Receives Whistler Award

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A former two-term lieutenant governor has received an award for contributions to public/private improvement in Indianapolis. John Mutz, who served under Governor Robert Orr in the 1980s and is currently chairman of the Indianapolis Charter Schools Board, was honored Thursday during a ceremony with the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee's Charles L. Whistler Award. November 14, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC) and Mayor Greg Ballard presented John M. Mutz with the 29th annual Charles L. Whistler Award during a breakfast and ceremony today, Nov. 14, at the Ivy Tech Corporate College and Culinary Center.

The annual award recognizes individuals who, outside the regular duties of their chosen professions, have brought together the public and private sectors for civic improvement in Indianapolis. Mutz served as Indiana’s lieutenant governor for two terms, following 13 years in the Indiana General Assembly, but he is only the second former elected official to win the award. The Charles L. Whistler Committee selected Mutz because of his work in private sector and volunteer roles, such as chairman of Lumina Foundation for Education from 2002 until 2010, and as current chairman of the Indianapolis Charter Schools Board.

Long active in school reform, Mutz has been a director of the 21st Century Charter School Program, the first charter school designated in the state of Indiana, and served as co-chairman of All Children Matter Indiana, a leader in the advocacy of choice in education. His current community service directorships also include the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, the Indiana Stadium and Convention Building Authority, the Indiana and Indianapolis chambers of commerce, the Indianapolis Zoological Society, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Indiana Symphony Society and other civic boards. He previously served on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Central Indiana.

"GIPC was proud and honored for John Mutz to receive the Whistler Award this morning," said Murray Clark, chairman of GIPC and the 2013 Charles L. Whistler Award Committee. "John fits perfectly the example and legacy of Chuck Whistler. He has been an inspirational leader for so many in this community for decades. On a personal note, I have admired and attempted to emulate his leadership style and effectiveness from the first time I observed him in action. He is a tremendous addition to GIPC's list of remarkable men and women who have previously received this extraordinary award and helped establish a culture of private-public collaboration so vital to the exemplary success of our great city."

In presenting the Charles L. Whistler Award, Ballard praised Mutz for continued contributions to Indianapolis, even after a lifetime of achievement in government, philanthropy and private business. "You are the epitome of leadership," he told Mutz.

"The purpose of the Charles L. Whistler Award is to thank someone who serves the community by leveraging benefits from the public-private partnership," Ballard said. "John Mutz takes this model one step further by creating opportunities to benefit the next generation of Indianapolis business and civic leaders."

Mutz is a consultant and private investor with experience in politics, philanthropy and business. Prior serving as president of PSI (Indiana's largest electric utility, now known as Duke Energy) in 1993, Mutz was president of Lilly Endowment (1989-1993). There, he led the philanthropic work of one of the 10 largest private foundations in America. Mutz has also been a successful entrepreneur and manager. He developed 31 Burger Chef restaurants and helped form an equipment lessor, Circle Leasing Corp., which was ultimately sold to Xerox Credit Corp. He has also served on boards of numerous public and private companies.

Mutz is a board member of Achieving the Dream, a national organization supporting the improvement and expansion of the community colleges.He formerly served as a trustee of Hudson Institute, and as national chairman for Ways to Work, a program to help former welfare recipients stay off welfare. Prior to his career, Mutz earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in advertising and business management from Northwestern University. He and wife Carolyn (Hawthorne) are parents of two grown children, Diana and Mark, and have five grandchildren. Mutz has also been a columnist for the Indianapolis Business Journal, for which he currently blogs; and he is the author of Fundraising for Dummies, now in its third printing.

In its 29th year, the Charles L. Whistler Award continues to honor the legacy of Whistler, a lawyer and community leader in the grand tradition, who gave his time and extraordinary abilities to the Indianapolis community without asking for power or position in return. At the time of his death in 1981, he was a senior partner at Baker & Daniels and chairman of both the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee's Urban Growth and Revitalization Task Force and the White River State Park Citizen’s Advisory Committee. Award recipients' names are added to a limestone and granite monument located in the Charles L. Whistler Memorial Plaza at the City Market in downtown Indianapolis.

Past Whistler Award Recipients:

1983: Thomas H. Lake

1984: Thomas W. Binford & David R. Frick

1985: Frank P. Lloyd

1986: Phillip R. Duke & Thomas W. Moses

1987: Mattie M. Coney

1988: Donald W. Tanselle

1989: Ramon L. Humke & Henry C. Ryder

1990: Richard O. Morris

1991: Eldon Campbell

1992: Michael A. Carroll

1993: William W. Mays & James T. Morris

1994: Fred C. Tucker, Jr.

1995: Robert H. Reynolds

1996: Thomas M. Miller & Sam H. Jones

1997: Dr. Gene Sease

1998: Jack Shaw & Dan & Lori Efroymson

1999: Andrew Paine & Yvonne Shaheen

2000: Rev. T. Garrott Benjamin & Michael Maurer

2001: Jerry Semler & Fay Williams

2003: Alex Carroll & Rev. Charles Williams

2004: Dr. Beurt Servaas & Gerald Bepko

2005: Joseph D. Barnette, Jr. & G. Frederick Glass

2007: P.E. MacAllister & Marge Tarplee

2008: Patrick J. Early

2009: John T. Neighbours & Sallie W. Rowland

2010: Michael G. Browning

2011: Samuel L. Odle

2012: David Shane

2013: John M. Mutz

Source: The Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee