Ballards Named 'Citizens of The Year'

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The International Center in Indianapolis has named Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and his wife Winnie this year's International Citizens of the Year. The organization says the Ballards have helped Indianapolis become "globally recognized" as a great place to live, work and raise a family.

August 22, 2014

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. -- Mayor Greg Ballard and Mrs. Winnie Ballard will be honored by The International Center as this year's International Citizens of the Year on September 9 at a dinner and special program at the Indiana Roof Ballroom.

Among the Mayor's international accomplishments since taking office in 2007, he has continually made international growth a priority of his administration, including putting a global focus on the Mayor's Cabinet, leading strategic trade missions, encouraging international investment, and expanding the Sister Cities program—which won the Best Overall program in 2013 by the National Sister Cities organization. The Mayor and his office have also played a key role in the creation of the Indiana Latino Expo and a variety of cultural festivals in Indy, many of which are attended by both Mayor and Mrs. Ballard. The Mayor also established and serves on the Indianapolis Refugee Leadership Council to support the efforts of refugee resettlement agencies. In addition to these programs, Mayor Ballard along with Mrs. Ballard, have also fostered and maintained strong partnerships to grow Indy's international presence with community partners such as The Indy Chamber, The Indianapolis Public Library, IUPUI, The Children’s Museum, Visit Indy as well as The International Center.

"The partnership of Mayor and Mrs. Ballard in many ways has helped to shape the Mayor's vision for Indianapolis to be a city that is globally recognized as a great place to live, work and raise a family and to be welcoming and inclusive to all the individuals who come here," said Diane Thomas, President and CEO. "This vision, brought to life by an extensive list of successful and internationally focused programs, is what made Mayor and Mrs. Ballard a unanimous selection by The International Center's Board of Directors as the 2014 International Citizen of the Year honorees."

"The Mayor and Mrs. Ballard embody, through their values and their actions, a spirit of cultural diversity and inclusiveness; of global leadership; and of the mutual benefits of global trade and investment," said Michael Overdorf, board chairman. "We look forward to bringing together friends of The International Center and champions of the Ballards to honor them for their substantial achievements."

The International Citizen of the Year award was established in 1985 to honor individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the globalization of Indiana in business, culture, education, government, medicine, research, media, sports, or community service. The Ballards join an illustrious list of prominent community leaders who have been honored as past International Citizens of the Year for their contributions in one or more of these areas. Former winners include Senator Richard Lugar; Congressman Lee Hamilton; Governors Mitch Daniels and Robert Orr; Mayor William Hudnut; Jim Morris; K.P. Singh; Sidney Taurel; Christel DeHaan, the late Rev. Fr. Boniface Hardin and Dr. Martin Jischke, among others. The 2013 award recipient was Mark Miles, CEO of Hulman & Company.

About the International Center

For more than 40 years, The International Center has served as a guide to the world's cultural landscape, and a catalyst for the state's international growth. Working in collaboration with businesses, organizations, government agencies, educational institutions and individual citizens, The Center expands Indiana's global interest through a variety of programs and services and through convening diverse interests who share common international goals. The International Center is a member of Global Ties U.S.

Source: International Center