As the Hamilton County Leadership Academy approaches its 25th anniversary, Current is highlighting local leaders who have helped build and sustain the program, which focuses on strengthening our community by developing informed leaders. In June, another class of engaged citizens will join the 600-plus graduates already working to make a difference.
Chris Owens, HCLA Class of 2014
Lives and works: Noblesville
Family: Wife Maggie; son Wyatt, 4; daughter Caroline, 2
Career: Executive director, Noblesville Main Street. Owens previously was executive director of the Indiana Park & Recreation Association, and he nearly tripled the size of the Indianapolis Colts’ radio network during an eight-year stint with the team.
Community involvement: Keep Noblesville Beautiful board; Noblesville Arts Council; Noblesville Façade Grant Committee; SERVE Noblesville; Noblesville Main Street board; Indiana University Executive Development Program board; White River Christian Church member.
Nice to know: Owens and his wife have been restoring their historic Conner Street home since 2012. When he can, he enjoys watching the Food Network and Cooking Channel.
What impact has HCLA made on the community? “By educating and empowering people from all walks and backgrounds, it raises the bar for leaders to connect resources and better serve our community.”
Biggest HCLA takeaway: “Need still exists for food and resources in the most affluent county in our state as well as one of the leading counties in our nation.”
How has HCLA changed your perspective on community leadership? “It gave me a greater appreciation for the infrastructure of local and county government that go to support the quality of life we all enjoy and often take for granted.”
Most vivid HCLA memory: “Mistaking pears for potatoes at the Hamilton County Jail, covering them in ketchup and finding a disgustingly sweet surprise.”
Best-kept Hamilton County secret: “The steak sandwich at Syd’s; mmm, ribeye.”
For more from Owens and other HCLA leaders, visit HCLA.net.