By Jessica Hoover
For 28 years, the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series has offered leadership training for Hoosier women of different skill sets and backgrounds to become political leaders. So far, 489 women have graduated from the Lugar Series and have become party leaders, public board and commission members, political operatives and elected officials.
This year’s class has 20 women from across the state. The representative from Fishers is Gagandeep Singh, the manager of a family owned local convenience store.
“I’m a successful entrepreneur and small business owner, a wife to my husband, a mother to my children and a mentor to other mothers in my church community,” Singh said. “My other achievements include my involvement with government and community along with my husband leading our political action committee for the past two years. While doing so, I have been presented with a wide variety of opportunities to interact with community organizations and government officials at the state and local levels.”
This year, Singh and her husband focused the efforts of their PAC on helping children in schools better understand different cultures, particularly cultures where people wear turbans. By doing so, they want to reduce bullying in schools.
“(I have a) passion for people, particularly the less fortunate or disadvantaged members of our society, which is rooted in my faith’s dedication,” Singh said. “As a mother of children, I honestly believe I’m equipped with a natural tendency to care for children and be a provider for the community. I’m very fortunate to be in a position in the private sector, where my resources can assist the disadvantaged in the community.”
The Lugar Series is an eight-month program that meets once a month. Participants learn how to become a public servant and run a campaign, network with state and local leaders and listen to speakers about issues facing society. To conclude the series, the class will travel to Washington, D.C. to meet national-level officials.
“Overall, I’m honored and grateful to the Lugar Series for my acceptance into this course,” Singh said. “So far, my political career has been handling the entire behind-the-scenes managerial details for our PAC. Now, I am looking forward to seeing how I can benefit from it to develop leadership qualities.”