Former Eli Lilly and Co. Chief Executive Officer John Lechleiter and his wife Sarah have earned another major honor. Governor Eric Holcomb has presented the Lechleiters with the Sagamore of the Wabash, citing their "tremendous generosity and dedication to improving central Indiana communities."

Holcomb honored the Lechleiters Wednesday evening at a special event at the Governor’s Residence, hosted by United Way of Central Indiana.

Last year, the Lechleiters announced a $5 million gift to United Way on Central Indiana, which was matched by the Eli Lilly and Co. Foundation. The $10 million commitment is supporting the expansion on high-quality early education centers in central Indiana as well as the growth of its Center for Working Families network. The donation is the largest individual gift in UWCI’s nearly 100-year history.

John Lechleiter retired as Lilly’s CEO at the end of 2016. He spent 37 years with the company. He also served as Chairman of the Board of United Way Worldwide from 2014 to June 2017.

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