Indianapolis—The Indiana Historical Society (IHS) is proud to announce that longtime Indiana Repertory Theatre executive artistic director Janet Allen, Olympic gold medalist and Indiana Fever star Tamika Catchings, corporate and philanthropic leaders John and Sarah Lechleiter, and Hulman & Company President and CEO Mark Miles will be honored at the annual Indiana Living Legends Gala. The gala will take place Friday, July 28, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center, located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.
Each year, IHS recognizes extraordinary Hoosiers for their local, statewide and national accomplishments in a variety of areas and disciplines. The gala is IHS’s signature fundraising event. It helps IHS fulfill its mission to be Indiana’s Storyteller™ by supporting its statewide programs and services. In addition to the generous corporate sponsorship of OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc. and Lake City Bank, IHS welcomes individuals and companies to support the IHS mission by attending the event.
The black-tie gala will begin with a cocktail reception with the Living Legends at 5:30 p.m., followed by a gourmet dinner at 6:30 p.m. The program, which features Scott Sander of WISH-TV 8 as master of ceremonies, will begin at 7:45 p.m. It will be followed by coffee and desserts.
The Living Legends Gala is $250 per person or $2,500 for a table of 10. Interested attendees may purchase patron-level tickets for $350 per person or $3,500 for a table of 10. All but $75 of each ticket price is a tax-deductible gift in support of IHS educational programs throughout Indiana.
A selection committee of civic and corporate leaders performs the difficult, but rewarding, task of choosing the recipients. Honoree tribute videos are produced by WFYI.
For additional information, or to purchase tickets, please contact the IHS Development Department at (317) 233-5658 or visit www.indianahistory.org.
2017 Indiana Living Legends Bios
Creating world-class professional theatre for Central Indiana audiences of all ages has remained a career-long passion for Janet Allen. She began at the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT) in 1980 as the theatre’s first literary manager-dramaturg. After four years in New York City, she returned to serve 10 years as associate artistic director under mentors Tom Haas and Libby Appel. Allen was named the IRT’s fourth artistic director in 1996. In 2013, she was named the IRT’s executive artistic director and celebrated her 20th season as artistic director in 2016.
During Allen’s tenure, the IRT significantly diversified its services to both adults and children, expanded its new play development programs, and solidified its reputation as a top-flight regional theatre. Her passion for nurturing playwrights has led to a fruitful relationship with James Still, the IRT’s playwright in residence for 19 years, and the creation and production of 15 new works, known as the Indiana Series.
Allen has been recognized with Indianapolis Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” Award, the Network of Women in Business – IBJ’s “Influential Women in Business” Award, Safeco’s Beacon of Light in Our Community Award and a Distinguished Hoosier Award conferred by then-Governor Frank O’Bannon, among others. She studied theatre at Illinois State University, Indiana University and Exeter College, Oxford.
Tamika Catchings is recognized as one of the greatest women ever to play professional basketball. The Indiana Fever star’s list of accomplishments includes a WNBA championship, a WNBA Most Valuable Player Award, 10 WNBA All-Star teams and four Olympic gold medals.
Off the court, Catchings is one of the country’s most highly regarded citizen-athletes. In 2004, she launched Catch the Stars Foundation, Inc., with an initial goal of helping disadvantaged youth achieve their dreams. Today, the Catch the Stars Foundation serves to empower all youth through fitness and mentoring.
Another testament to her work off the court, Catchings received the first ESPN Humanitarian Award. She became the first female recipient of the National Civil Rights Museum Sports Legacy Award. In 2015, Catchings was inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. She now works for Pacers Sports & Entertainment as the director of player programs and franchise development.
In 2016, Catchings released an autobiographical story written by Ken Peterson, Catch A Star: Shining through Adversity to Become a Champion, which tells her story of overcoming hearing loss, separation from family, high expectations and the pain of physical injury. Through the book, Catchings shares how she reached for the stars with faith, hard work and perseverance, and found a way to shine.
John and Sarah Lechleiter
John and Sarah Lechleiter have been deeply engaged for many years in civic activities and other efforts that have strengthened the Indianapolis community.
Currently, Sarah Lechleiter serves on the board of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT). She was a founding member and served as chair for what is now United Way of Central Indiana’s Women United, as well as Women of Tocqueville. She is a sustaining member of the Children’s Museum, the St. Augustine Guild of the Little Sisters of the Poor and the Proctor Club. Sarah graduated in 1976 with a degree in Sociology and Social Welfare from Edgecliff College, which is now part of Xavier University in Cincinnati.
John Lechleiter recently stepped down as chair of the board of directors of Eli Lilly and Company, a position he had held since January 2009. He retired as Lilly’s president and chief executive officer in December 2016, after 37 years with the company. He joined Lilly in 1979 as a senior organic chemist in process research and development. John earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Xavier University in 1975 and master’s and doctoral degrees in organic chemistry from Harvard University. He also received honorary doctorates from Marian University, the University of Indianapolis, the National University of Ireland, Indiana University, Franklin College and Purdue University. Both John and Sarah Lechleiter hold honorary doctorates from Butler University.
Together, John and Sarah Lechleiter chaired the 75th Anniversary Gala for Marian University. They have been deeply involved in the United Way of Central Indiana’s efforts to strengthen early childhood education and support families.
Mark D. Miles is president and chief executive officer of Hulman & Company, comprised of Clabber Girl, Georgetown Realty, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, INDYCAR, IMS Productions and various other business entities.
Prior to joining Hulman, from January 2006 through December 2012, Miles was president and chief executive officer of Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, Inc. (CICP), a non-profit, regional alliance of corporate CEOs and university presidents focused on long-term growth and economic development throughout Central Indiana.
In 2008, Miles led a successful effort to earn Indianapolis the opportunity to host Super Bowl XLVI. He was chair of the board of the 2012 Super Bowl Host Committee, with 18 staff members and thousands of volunteers, which served as an extension of the National Football League to centralize planning and execution of the 2012 Super Bowl event. In conjunction with the 2012 Super Bowl, Miles spearheaded a civic effort known as the Legacy Project to effect positive change throughout the surrounding community.
From August 1990 through 2005, Miles was chief executive officer of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). While there, Miles built the ATP into a world-class professional organization, stabilized a sport that was struggling to compete with other sports and entertainment entities, posted impressive revenue gains, launched innovative marketing initiatives, and expanded its global presence.