Influential leaders from throughout the state are reacting to the loss of a highly-regarded name in the Indiana and Indianapolis business and philanthropic communities. Andre Lacy was board chair of LDI Ltd. LLC and a senior adviser to Butler University’s School of Business, which bears his name. Terre Haute-based Hulman and Co. Chief Executive Officer Mark Miles says "it would be difficult to exaggerate his transformative impact on our city and state." Lacy died Thursday in a motorcycle crash in southern Africa. He was 78.
Funeral arrangements will be detailed in the coming days.
Lacy had been chairman of the Indiana State Fair Commission since 2009, where he was considered a driving force in the $63 million renovation of the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum, chairman of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors and past chairman of the Indiana State Chamber of Commerce. He served on many boards and civic organizations including: Indianapolis Public Schools, the Economic Club of Indianapolis, the United Way of Central Indiana, Indianapolis 500 Festival, Hulman & Co., Herff Jones, Patterson Companies Inc., Ethyl Corp., National Bank of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Power & Light Company and the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership. He was co-chair of the Cultural Trail fundraising committee and a co-creator of the state’s logistics and advanced manufacturing initiative, Conexus Indiana. Just last month, he was inducted into the Independent Colleges of Indiana’s Indiana Academy for lifetime achievement and contributions throughout the state. A month earlier, he was recognized as a 2017 Indiana Philanthropy Awards recipient.
His career after graduating from Denison University in Ohio began with U.S. Corrugated Fibre-Box, the founding enterprise of LDI. After U.S. Corrugated was sold, he became executive vice president and chief operations officer of Lacy Diversified Industries, the holdings company that became LDI. In 1983, he was named LDI chief executive officer and was elected board chair in 1991, a title he held even after his retirement in 2006.
LDI Chief Executive Officer J.A. Lacy says "we are saddened to share the news that Andre B. Lacy passed away this morning. Andre was known for his entrepreneurial fire and sense of adventure in business and life. We take comfort knowing that he passed away while pursuing one of his passions in life, and are inspired by the legacy of leadership that he leaves."
Three governors — Roger Branigan, Robert Orr and Mitch Daniels — gave Lacy a Sagamore of the Wabash.
Daniels, who is now President of Purdue University, said in a statement:
Indiana lost one of its greatest citizens and countless of us lost a genuinely great friend. He said yes to every civic task he was asked to undertake, and there was never a time that he didn’t use his tremendous talent for good. A state can never have enough people like Andre Lacy.
Mark Miles said:
Andre’s loss is an incredible shock to everyone. It would be difficult to exaggerate his transformative impact on our city and state, as well as Hulman & Company as a member of our Board of Directors. His success as a business and civic leader was remarkable and impactful beyond measure. But it’s his unfailingly positive personality, extraordinary judgement and wise guidance we’ll miss most. Andre’s positive influence in all aspects of our community will leave a real gap we all must work hard to fill. We extend our condolences to his wonderful family and friends.
Vice President Mike Pence said:
Karen and I were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of a truly great Hoosier, our friend Andre B. Lacy. We offer our deepest condolences and prayers to his family and friends during this difficult time. Andre Lacy dedicated his life to service, and his contributions to the life of this state and nation will benefit Hoosiers for generations to come. Like so many others, I was always inspired by his example of integrity and generosity. Andre Lacy will be greatly missed, but his memory and legacy will never be forgotten.
Indiana Chamber Chief Executive Officer Kevin Brinegar said:
Andre Lacy was one of a kind. His determination, spirit and will to help the business community was on another level – and he showed that same passion in giving back to his community and state. It’s a very sad day for us. Andre was a personal mentor and a dear friend to the Indiana Chamber. During his long service to our organization (beginning in 1984 as a board member) and especially as board chairman in 2008, he always challenged us to keep improving. He emphasized good governance practices and pushed the Indiana Chamber to elevate its public policy efforts to an even higher level. Andre was also instrumental in growing our political action committee through a matching grant program.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said:
My heart is heavy to hear of the passing of Andre Lacy. Countless Indianapolis businesses, organizations, and philanthropic endeavors have benefited from Andre’s leadership, yet his legacy is truly defined by the values and principles that he lived by. Because of his integrity, innovation, and generosity, Andre leaves behind an Indianapolis that will be even better for the next generation. I will be forever grateful to Andre for his incredible career and a life lead in service to others. My prayers are with the entire Lacy family during this trying time.
Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-88) said:
The passing of Andre Lacy is tragic, and I send my deepest heartfelt condolences to his family. Andre was passionate about giving back to his community and state, and his legacy will live on through his many notable philanthropic endeavors.