The Business Hall of Fame honors Calloway, Hardwick, Carpenter, Koch

EVANSVILLE, Ind. – A long-standing presence in the local insurance industry, a public service executive and two deceased individuals who have made their mark in the real estate and industrial sectors are the new winners of the Evansville Regional Business Hall of Fame .

Active 2021 winners Harold Calloway and Susan Hardwick and historic 2021 winners Willard Carpenter and Walter Koch were announced this week by Junior Achievement of Southwestern Indiana and Old National Bank.

Induction ceremonies will take place over breakfast at 8:00 a.m. on December 2 at the Old National Events Plaza.

Individuals are nominated for their outstanding civic and business contributions to Southwest Indiana, as well as for their business excellence, vision, innovation, inspirational leadership, bold thinking, and community service.

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“One thing that I noticed during the selection process is the number of pioneers and extremely influential people, recent and past, who have emerged from Evansville,” said Daniela Vidal, Chancellor of Ivy Tech Evansville. “In many cases, most people are unaware of the magnitude of its impact, which is why the JA Evansville Regional Business Hall of Fame is important.

“It really helps highlight and deliver these amazing stories that make us really proud and inspire our future leaders to do what’s possible,” said Vidal.

Harold Calloway

Calloway was born in Philadelphia, Mississippi, and raised on a family farm during the height of the civil rights movement.

“When the school bus (white kids) broke down they got a new one and we didn’t get one,” Calloway told Courier & Press in 2005. “They had a gym to play in. basketball; we played outside, even in winter. They had indoor toilets and we had outdoor toilets. But what are you going to do? You keep going until it gets better. not discouraged. “

Things got better for Calloway, who moved to Evansville with his wife Frankye after attending the University of Tennessee and after serving in the military in Vietnam.

He worked as the director of financial aid for the University of Southern Indiana (he was the first black administrator of the USI), then as a state agricultural officer in Evansville for 34 years before taking his retirement in 2019.

Calloway also held various positions in local government, including a brief stint on Evansville City Council where he completed an unexpired term. He is a former member of the Evansville Water and Sewer Utility Board and chairman of the transition team to former Mayor Russ Lloyd Jr. following Lloyd’s election in 1999.

He is a member of the USI board of directors.

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After becoming a State Farm agent, Calloway said he feared a black man could sell insurance to whites. But he went on to become one of the best agents in the state and the best black agent in the state for several years.

“Part of my mission was to let people know that people don’t care about color, if you put your stuff together, if you hold it the way you should, and if you use the product with the Your recommended business will be safe. you are in the end, ”he said.

“The good thing I found in this business is that we have a good city,” Calloway said of Evansville.

Susan hardwick

Hardwick is executive vice president and chief financial officer of American Water, the largest publicly traded water and wastewater company in the United States.

She joined the company in 2019 after a long career at Vectren Corp. before the takeover by CenterPoint Energy.

At Vectren, Hardwick was part of the management team responsible for developing and executing business and financial strategy for both regulated utilities and market-based subsidiaries.

She led the development and implementation of the company’s regulatory and investor relations strategy and was responsible for numerous financing transactions, including more than $ 2 billion in total in long-term debt financing. term.

And Hardwick led the execution of the deal with CenterPoint Energy to sell Vectren for $ 8.5 billion.

Hardwick has held leadership positions in various community organizations including St. Mary’s Medical Center, Fifth Third Bank (Southern Indiana), Evansville Museum, Evansville Celebration of Diversity Distinguished Lecture Series, Gilda’s Club of Evansville and Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series, among many others.

Appointed by the governor, Hardwick also served two terms as Indiana State Arts Commissioner. She received the 2009 Athena Award from the Southwest Indiana Chamber of Commerce, the 2016 Sara B. Davies Leadership Award from Evansville Leadership, and the 2016 Torchbearer Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indiana Commission on Women .

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Hardwick grew up wanting to be an accountant, but about five years after graduating from Indiana University and working for a large accounting firm in Indianapolis, she began to see how few women were in leadership positions. .

She was determined to rise through the ranks, and she did.

“I think there is too much emphasis on goal setting,” Hardwick told Courier & Press in 2014. “Whatever I do, I’ll do my best.”

Willard Zimmermann

Carpenter, a local real estate Titan, received little formal training but was gifted with a natural intelligence, especially when it came to money.

He made most of his fortune through real estate and partnerships with others on non-real estate projects. Real estate was Carpenter’s lifelong passion, and when he died the Evansville Courier called him “the born king of real estate speculators.”

Carpenter first arrived in Evansville as a dry goods merchant with Carpenter Bros. and has been involved in several real estate and commercial companies.

He was best known for his construction and real estate business, Willard Carpenter and Son, Builders and Real Estate.

Carpenter was also a member of the Evansville City Council, Vanderburgh County Commissioner and representative for the State of Indiana.

In 1846 he was elected to the board of directors of the Evansville branch of the State Bank of Indiana (later Old National Bank). He donated money and goods to charity. A donation of land from Mr Carpenter prompted the construction of the Vanderburgh County Christian House, which served as a refuge for women and children until 1985, particularly as a refuge for single mothers during their pregnancy.

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But its civil crown would be the establishment of a public library. The Willard Library opened to the public on March 28, 1885 and is now the oldest public library building in the state.

Although Carpenter wouldn’t live to see his dream, he left instructions on what his library should look like, and that matched his staunch abolitionist views – it should be open to everyone “regardless of age, race. , class or gender ”.

Walter koch

Born in Evansville in 1904, Koch worked part-time as an office worker at International Steel while attending Central High School. After graduating, he stayed with the company and worked his way up to become CEO.

Particularly through his efforts, International Steel has risen to seventh place among the country’s steel producers. In 1922, Koch met with the late Mayor William Dress about a plan to invest millions of dollars in a shipyard to build ocean-going vessels in Evansville.

The US Navy Bureau of Ships had already approved the project and the contractors were ready to accept Evansville as a location. Due to Koch’s tenacity, the shipyard became the largest wartime employer in Evansville with nearly 20,000 jobs around the clock.

Koch has served in the community of Evansville and beyond serving on boards of directors such as Evansville Air Board, Community Fund Campaign, Rotary Club of Evansville, Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company, Early American Life Insurance Company, Indiana Toll Bridge Commission and National Association of Manufacturers.

Koch won the Rotary Civic Award for Community Service in 1947. He persuaded an Indianapolis philanthropist to donate nearly $ 500,000 to Evansville University to fund a building campaign and helped persuade Herman Krannert to donate to UE, for which Krannert’s name is in the university’s fine arts building.

Koch served on the EU’s board of directors for many years, and perhaps his greatest achievement has been serving as a leader called to bring the war industry to Evansville. It became the biggest economic boom in the region’s history at the time, pushing the city out of the Great Depression with 20,000 new jobs.

Products manufactured include the redesigned LST, ships that made a significant contribution to the Allied victory on D-Day.

Evansville has the only remaining LST docked at the downtown riverside.


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