Outgoing Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) Chief Executive Officer John Lechleiter and his wife, Sarah, have been announced as the winners of the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee’s 2016 Charles L. Whistler Award. The award honors those who work outside of their chosen professions for civic improvement in Indianapolis.

GIPC Board Chair Jeff Gaither says the Lechleiters "embody the true spirit of the Whistler Award." Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett says the two have "dedicated their energy, time and personal resources to make Indianapolis the place it is today," citing their most recent gift of $5 million to the United Way of Central Indiana to support early childhood education and Centers for Working Families.

Late last month, John Lechleiter announced plans to retire from Lilly at the end of the year. Senior Vice President Dave Ricks will succeed Lechleiter as CEO January 1 and become board chair June 1.

Previous Whistler Award winners include:

1983: Thomas H. Lake
1984: Thomas W. Binford & David R. Frick
1985: Frank P. Lloyd
1986: Phillip R. Duke & Thomas W. Moses1987: Mattie M. Coney
1988: Donald W. Tanselle
1989: Ramon L. Humke & Henry C. Ryder
1990: Richard O. Morris
1991: Eldon Campbell
1992: Michael A. Carroll
1993: William W. Mays & James T. Morris
1994: Fred C. Tucker, Jr.
1995: Robert H. Reynolds
1996: Thomas M. Miller & Sam H. Jones
1997: Dr. Gene Sease
1998: Jack Shaw & Dan & Lori Efroymson
1999: Andrew Paine & Yvonne Shaheen
2000: Rev. T. Garrott Benjamin & Michael Maurer
2001: Jerry Semler & Fay Williams
2003: Alex Carroll & Rev. Charles Williams
2004: Dr. Beurt Servaas & Gerald Bepko
2005: Joseph D. Barnette, Jr. & G. Frederick Glass
2007: P.E. MacAllister & Marge Tarplee
2008: Patrick J. Early
2009: John T. Neighbours & Sallie W. Rowland
2010: Michael G. Browning
2011: Samuel L. Odle
2012: David Shane
2013: John M. Mutz
2014: Martha Lamkin
2015: Thomas A. King

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