Governor Eric Holcomb has awarded the state’s highest honor to an Indianapolis businessman, community leader and mentor. During a ceremony Friday at the Indiana State Museum, Reginald O. Jones Sr. received the 2020 Sachem Award, which is given “to recognize a lifetime of excellence and moral virtue that has brought credit and honor to Indiana.”
Jones is the owner and operator of several McDonald’s franchises throughout central Indiana, originally acquiring the restaurants at 38th and Illinois streets on the north side of Indianapolis and 16th and Meridian streets just north of downtown in 1996.
Jones is noted for his efforts to help others, particularly young people, find their path to success through education scholarships to his employees. He also created an incentive program at Indianapolis Public Schools which gave students the opportunity to earn free bicycles, ultimately giving away more than 10,000 bikes over a 20-year period.
“Reggie’s life is defined by his mission-minded mentorship and his unstoppable desire to help people maximize their potential,” Holcomb said. “He’s achieved great success by demonstrating that with limitless determination, a thirst for learning and with someone who believes in you, there’s no dream that’s impossible.”
During his career, Jones has received multiple honors from McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD). He has earned two Ray Kroc Awards, which is given to the top 1% of McDonald’s restaurant managers worldwide, a Ronald Award for outstanding contributions to customers and the community, and a Ronald McDonald House Charities Award of Excellence.
Jones is also the recipient of a Certificate of Appreciate for Community and Business Endurance from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Sagamore of the Wabash from former Governor Mitch Daniels.
“It’s remarkable to think of Reggie’s impact and his influence whether bring ingenuity and encouragement to entrepreneurs, or providing help and hope to the homeless through Wheeler Mission, or the work he’s done instilling character and values into Indiana’s youth, in helping them to grow to be responsible,” Vice President and former Indiana Governor Mike Pence said in a news release. “Reggie has made a profound difference.”
The Sachem Award was revived in 2005 by Daniels and has since been awarded 15 times. The award for Jones is the fourth Sachem to be presented by Holcomb, who has also given the honor to Eva Mozes Kor, Sammy L. Davis and Dr. George Rapp.