A New York Times best-selling author and CNN contributor will headline the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s 29th Annual Awards Dinner in November. J.D. Vance’s book "Hillbilly Elegy" focuses on the challenges of growing up surrounded by poverty, substance abuse and industry decline.
Vance says he believes his story, depicting his own life growing up in Appalachia, has resonated with readers who believed "there weren’t a whole lot of stories out there about people like them." The book was released in 2016.
Vance is a partner in AOL founder Steve Case’s venture capital company, Revolution LLC. He is also the founder of the nonprofit Our Ohio Renewal, which focuses on that state’s opioid crisis and providing high-quality employment and educational opportunities.
The awards dinner, set for November 13 at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis, is expected to draw more than 1,500 people. At the event, the chamber will present the Business Leader of the Year, Government Leader of the Year, Dynamic Leader of the Year ad Community of the Year awards. Those winners are set to be announced in September.