INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has named Thompson Thrift Chief Executive Officer Paul Thrift chairman of its board of directors. The announcement came the same day as the organization's 29th Annual Awards Dinner in Indianapolis, which honored Purdue University President Mitch Daniels, Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush, KAR Auction Services Chief Executive Officer Jim Hallett and the city of Jasper.

Thrift co-founded the real estate development and construction company in 1986. It now has offices in Terre Haute, Indianapolis, Houston and Phoenix and more than 250 employees. He will serve a one-year term as board chair.

Honorees at this year's awards dinner included Purdue President Mitch Daniels as Business Leader of the Year, Chief Justice Loretta Rush as Government Leader of the Year, KAR Auction Services CEO Jim Hallett as Dynamic Leader of the year and Jasper as Community of the Year. The chamber also honored Fowler-based Demeter LP CEO JoAnn Brouillette and Jeffersonville-based Amatrol CEO Paul Perkins as Volunteers of the Year during a luncheon earlier in the day.

J.D. Vance, New York Times best-selling author of "Hillbilly Elegy," was the featured speaker at Tuesday's dinner. ?