Participants of Leadership Hendricks County — past and present — gathered this week for a reunion and to honor Suzanne Whicker who has retired from her post as executive director of the organization.
Leadership Hendricks County is a program that gives community members a chance to become better leaders by learning about different facets of life in Hendricks County. Participants spend a year learning about everything from farming to government, and education to business.
Whicker, one of the program’s first participants, served as executive director of LHC for 18 years. She announced her intention to retire in 2012.
She was honored during the organization’s “reunion,” held each year to give graduates a chance to network and raise funds to keep the program going.
Gary Emsweller helped to implement the program when it first started here.
“We have an award we give called the Distinguished Service Award,” Emsweller said. “Now, we don’t give this award every year. We’ve given it to four people over the years. The first to receive it was Suzanne. Then we gave one to Deedee Daniel. The third award was given to David Whicker — we thought we would keep it in the family — and the fourth person to receive the award was Kent McPhail. I am pleased to announce that from this day forward it will be called the Suzanne Whicker Distinguished Service Award.”
State Sen. Peter Miller awarded the Distinguished Hoosier Award to Whicker for her service to the community. That award was formerly called the Sagamore of the Wabash.
“Now this has been in the works for awhile, so it’s signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels,” Miller said. “I consider it a personal honor to give this to you from the state.”
Whicker thanked her family and all those who came to the event to celebrate her retirement.