INDIANAPOLIS — The Board of Directors of The International Center have selected Pacers Sports & Entertainment as recipient of the 2017 International Citizen of the Year Award, which honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the globalization of Indiana.
Pacers Sports & Entertainment, which encompasses the Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, management of Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and the Pacers Foundation, will receive the award from The International Center at a special dinner and program on Sept. 13, 2017 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis. International Center Board members Julie Griffith, vice president for public affairs at Purdue University, and Brian Gildea, economic development manager for Vectren Corporation, will serve as co-chairs for the event.
Since its establishment in 1973, The International Center has worked to promote public, private and civic global objectives in Indiana and build greater community awareness of international issues and opportunities. The International Citizen of the Year event, begun in 1985, is The Center’s signature event as the way to recognize Hoosiers who have fostered a world view in Indiana through business, culture, education, government, medicine, research, media, sports and community service.
“The impact that the Pacers, together with the Indiana Fever and under the extraordinary leadership of the Simon Family, have had on our city and state’s international profile is enormous,” said Marsha Stone, Board Chair for The International Center. “People from all around the world have trained their eyes on and followed the career of some of the world’s most gifted basketball talent, right here in Indiana,” she said.
“But beyond the reputation they enjoy around the world, Pacers Sports & Entertainment’s owners and top management have long embraced the diversity and values that The International Center holds dear, and we are truly honored to have an opportunity to present this award to an organization that serves as ambassadors and role models so admirably.”
“Few organizations possess the ability to create a sense of community within their own city; even fewer can do so on a global scale, yet Pacers Sports & Entertainment has done so for half-a-century with ease. It’s an incredible accomplishment that deserves to be recognized and celebrated,” said Martin Baier, president and CEO of The International Center.
“We are truly honored by this distinction,” said Rick Fuson, president and chief operating officer of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “Every member of the Pacers Sports & Entertainment team—from the players and the front office, to the ushers and box office attendants—played a role in advancing the globalization of Indiana through healthy Hoosier competition. I am proud to be part of an organization with a rich legacy of diversity and global awareness.”
Past list of winners of the International Citizen of the Year Award have included The Honorable Richard G. Lugar, Christel DeHaan, Dr. John C. Lechleiter, Mayor Greg and Winnie Ballard and the Honorable Mitchell E. Daniels, among others. The 2016 International Citizen of the Year was Indiana University President Dr. Michael A. McRobbie.