Jim McCormick: Class Personified

There are rightfully many tributes being offered about longtime Vincennes business and community leader C. James McCormick, who passed away earlier this week at age 92. We’ll share two related to the Indiana Chamber – where Jim, as he was known to all, may just have the longest tenure of any board member in the organization’s 95-year history – and our BizVoice® magazine.

In 2006 Jim’s son, C.J. “Mac” McCormick III was going to be honored as the Chamber’s Business Leader of the Year when he tragically passed away in a plane crash 13 days before the Annual Awards Dinner. In an obviously difficult time for all, Jim agreed and wanted to accept the award on behalf of his son.

His words of wisdom that night (see photo) served as both a tribute to his son and a lesson to all to live life to its fullest as Mac did. In a Chamber career that spans more than 19 years, the class of the McCormick family – led by its patriarch Jim – stands out as one of the most memorable moments.

Jim was always eager to talk about his lifelong home of Knox County and Vincennes. Among his most recent acts of public service was as a member of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission. In an interview for the January-February 2016 BizVoice® bicentennial issue, Jim said:

“Vincennes has so many firsts. It would take a whole page to list them all. Vincennes needs to put its best foot forward and champion those firsts (during 2016).” Speaking of his beloved Vincennes University, where he was still active on the board of trustees, he added, “We’ve made giant strides in technology and teaching young people how to be ready for the marketplace in the computer and robot age. A few years ago, that wasn’t an issue or something we talked about. I guess I’m a little biased, but I think VU stands tall in offering those opportunities.”

Jim, thank you for everything you did for your community, our state and everyone you came into contact with during your 92-plus years. Yours indeed was a long life well-lived.

Bicentennial Internship Immerses Student in State’s Future Visioning

andreAndré Zhang Sonera is serving as a Bicentennial Visioning Liaison with the Office of Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann. The Visioning Project is a Bicentennial legacy project focusing on Indiana’s future. The project brought together thought leaders throughout the state to identify “big ideas” for Indiana’s future, which will be compiled into a book that’s expected to be completed this summer.

Indiana INTERNnet: What have you been responsible for during your internship with the Indiana Bicentennial Visioning Project?

André Zhang Sonera: “As a Bicentennial Scholar, my role on this project is coordinating the logistics of each (visioning) session. My job requires me to look at the big picture and make sure that all the knots are in place and ready to go for the event. From coordinating the venue to making sure that everything is running smoothly and efficiently for our experts – logistics are an essential component to the success of our sessions.”

IIN: Describe how this internship is helping you grow as a young professional toward your career goals.

AZS: “This internship has provided me the unique experience to gain in-depth knowledge about our state. It is not every day that you have the opportunity to meet and learn from the brightest Hoosier minds as they share their passion and vision for a better Indiana.

“This experience has also helped me develop insight into how the government works at the state level, nurturing my passion for public service and sparking an interest for a career in government.”

IIN: What have you learned so far about Indiana? Has anything surprised you?

AZS: “Each session is focused on important topics that shape the future of our state. Thanks to the research and data presented by Dr. Breanca Merritt from the IU Public Policy Institute at the beginning of the (first) session, I now have a better understanding of the current and future state of Indiana regarding a variety of important topics.

“But my favorite part is hearing the innovative ideas of our experts as they gather together to envision the future of Indiana. At the end of each session, I have a sense of belonging and pride of being an ‘honorary’ Hoosier.

“I definitely would encourage other students (K-12 and college) to get involved with their towns and counties and partake in this unique experience. It is not every day that we get to celebrate our state’s Bicentennial, and it is an incredible opportunity to contribute a legacy for future generations.”

See the in the January/February 2016 edition of BizVoice magazine.

Hoosiers Invited to Submit Photos for Bicentennial Book

book coverThere are many exciting plans in place to celebrate our beloved state’s 200th birthday. Among them is an upcoming book from the Bicentennial Commission, Indiana at 200: A Celebration of the Hoosier State. You can even place your pre-order now, in fact. The publisher, M.T. Publishing Company in Evansville, says to expect the book to be ready around Statehood Day on Dec. 11 of this year.

The state has also issued a call for photos to include in the book. See more information from the release below (but do note the deadline is May 15).

Governor Mike Pence is inviting amateur and professional photographers across Indiana to submit their favorite images of the state for possible inclusion in a coffee table book commemorating Indiana’s 200 years of statehood. The deadline to submit photos is May 15, 2015.

“As Hoosiers, we all know Indiana is a special place,” Governor Pence said. “We see the unique qualities of her cities and towns, her farms and forests. Most of all, we see the distinctive virtues of her people. This effort presents a unique opportunity for Hoosiers to take part in our state’s storied history and share their favorite photos around our state.”

Photos must be taken in Indiana and should reflect one or more of these categories: natural environment and landscape; buildings and architecture; cities and towns; farms and fields; the Hoosier people; schools and libraries; transportation; business and commerce; medicine and health; religion and philanthropy; government; media and communication; arts, culture and entertainment; and sports.

Images must be uploaded in .jpg/.jpeg format with quality resolution (300 dpi).

Use of photos will not be compensated, but photographers will receive a photo credit in the book. Photos will be reviewed and selected based on content, quality and space availability.

For more guidelines and information – and to upload photos – go to: http://mtpublishing.com/index.php/default/indiana200photos.

“Indiana at 200: A Celebration of the Hoosier State” will contain approximately 240 pages and will be published by M.T. Publishing Company, Inc., which is under contract with the Indiana Bicentennial Commission. In addition to photos, each of the book’s 14 chapters contains essays and vignettes from Hoosiers around the state.

“This commemorative book is a signature project for the Bicentennial Commission and a legacy for the State of Indiana,” said Perry Hammock, the commission’s executive director. “Four of our commission members—James Madison, Judge Sarah Evans Barker, Tony George and Mickey Maurer—have worked diligently to bring this project into being. We are proud to work with Indiana authors and an Indiana publisher.”

Connersville Celebrates 200 Years

I recently spent some time in Connersville for its bicentennial celebration. While driving around the town during the 10 days of the celebration beginning on June 28, I could see the excitement and pride that the small town has. I enjoyed seeing signs at businesses displaying, “Happy 200, Connersville” and other accolades.

The part of the celebration that was most intriguing to me was reunion day. I took the short trip to Connersville with my mom, grandpa and sister to catch up with family members and for my grandpa to see some old classmates at Roberts Park, where the day’s event was being held.

When we got to Roberts Park, there were 20 or more tents set up for the schools, classes and organizations in the Fayette County area. I couldn’t believe how many people were there, and they all seemed to be excited to see each other and catch up.

I originally went with my family for a family reunion, but before too long my grandpa had ventured off to see former classmates and long lost friends from the past. Watching him catch up with old friends brought a smile to my face.

We enjoyed some laughs about things in the “old days” and met some of my grandpa’s old friends. It was a great experience that left my mom and I wanting to know when Rushville’s (my hometown) bicentennial would be, so that we could share in a similar experience.

Happy 200th birthday Connersville, and congratulations on hosting a successful celebration! I know that it was an event that will be remembered for years to come. And all Hoosiers can rejoice together in 2016, when the state celebrates its bicentennial.