Indianapolis-based Conexus Indiana is honoring Robert Koch, chairman of Evansville-based Koch Enterprises, with the Andre B. Lacy Vanguard Award. The annual award honors “Hoosier leaders who champion the advanced manufacturing and logistics industries, model civic and philanthropic leadership, and demonstrate visionary perspective that challenges the status quo.”

The state’s advanced manufacturing initiative says Koch, a fourth-generation business owner, is a community and education advocate, passionate about improving education in Indiana.

“Conexus Indiana is thrilled to bestow this honor on Bob Koch, a stalwart in Indiana’s advanced manufacturing community for the last 58 years,” said Mark Howell, president of Conexus Indiana. “Not only has Bob expanded his own company into one of the largest privately owned companies in the state, he also has dedicated his life to ensuring members of his community have access to quality education, services and opportunities.”

Koch joined the family-owned business in 1962. He became the company’s president in 1980 and chairman in 2012. The organization says Koch has helped increase the company’s annual sales from $75 million to more than $1 billion.

“Over the years I have been fortunate to receive a number of awards but this one is really special to me and will be treasured the rest of my life,” Koch said. “Indeed, Andre was a good friend and good source of help and inspiration for me.”

Koch is founding member and president of the Signature School in Evansville. Additionally, Conexus says he has served on a variety of boards dedicated to higher education, Independent Colleges of Indiana and Southern Indiana Higher Education and is currently a Life Trustee at University of Evansville.

Koch joins other Andre B. Lacy Vanguard Award winners including F. Joseph Loughrey, former president of Cummins Inc., and a founding member of Conexus Indiana, and Cathy Langham, president of Langham Logistics Inc.

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