Hamilton County Leadership Academy celebrates 30th anniversary by honoring alumni


The Hamilton County Leadership Academy had its own 30-for-30 spin.

HCLA recognized 30 of its most accomplished alumni in honor of the organization’s 30th anniversary. The HCLA Impact Awards were presented during the eighth annual Leadership Summit June 15 at the Embassy Suites in Noblesville.

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Leslie Henderzahs was awarded the Hamilton County Leadership Academy 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award. (Photo submitted by HCLA)

“These distinguished leaders are making an incredible impact on where we live, work and play,” HCLA Executive Director Andrea Marley stated. “For our 30th anniversary, it is an honor to highlight and celebrate the service of these award winners — a challenging list to compose due to the extraordinary alumni in which HCLA proudly invests.”

HCLA gave the award to 30 alumni who have distinguished themselves in Hamilton County through the following criteria: Made an outstanding impact on a community through contributions to a nonprofit organization; extensive community engagement portfolio; substantive participation and leadership on community committees, work; evidence of engaging and impact on others in the volunteer effort; leadership in areas of professional or community development; and leadership in addressing issues, influencing change, or pursuing new ideas from the perspective of education, public policy or philanthropy.

In addition, Leslie Henderzahs, a member of its Class of 1995 and a partner at Church Church Hittle + Antrim, was awarded the HCLA’s 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award. The Noblesville resident recently completed a term as president of the Indiana State Bar Association and has served the community through positions on local nonprofit boards.

“The HCLA has fostered a great many leaders, now approaching 800, who collectively make Hamilton County a model community,” Henderzahs said. “Here, we are fortunate to raise our families, stimulate culture and education, and most importantly, come together and call it home. Each and every graduate of the HCLA has contributed significantly to the enrichment of Hamilton County.  I am honored to be among this group of fine people who strive for excellence and achievement each day. I am so appreciative of those before us who blazed the trail.’’

Hamilton County Commissioner Mark Heirbrandt, a Westfield resident, was recognized as an honorary alumnus of the organization for his continued participation on leadership panels and consistent support and stewardship of the Hamilton County Leadership Academy.

“I was honestly surprised and taken back when I found out that I was receiving this award,” Heirbrandt said. “Commissioner Christine Altman got me involved with HCLA immediately after being elected into office in 2013.  Each year, the leadership of HCLA has asked me to present a seminar about County Government 101. Over the years, I have seen many HCLA participants become leaders in our community. It is truly gratifying, and I am honored to be recognized by this great organization.”

 HCLA Impact Award Honorees are: Susan Jennings, Community Volunteer, Class of 1992; Corby Thompson, Boomerang Development, Class of 1994; Steve Hardin, Faegre Drinker, Class of 1999; Megan Wiles, Riverview Health Foundation, Class of 2000; Michelle Corrao, The O’Connor House, Class of 2003; Paul Hensel, Indiana Members Credit Union, Class of 2006; Lee Buckingham, Hamilton County Prosecutor, Class of 2008; Mark LaBarr, Duke Energy, Class of 2013; Todd Thurston, Hare Chevrolet Truck Center, Class of 2014; Jocelyn Vare, Propeller Marketing, Class of 2016; Anne Poindexter  Altman, Poindexter, & Wyatt, LLC, Class of 1993; Allen Patterson, The Conservation Fund, Class of 1995; Sue Maki, Hamilton County Council, Class of 1999; Elizabeth Tate, ECT Consulting, Class of 2002; Karen Radcliff, Hamilton County Tourism, Class of 2004; Ann O’Hara, Ann M. O’Hara Law, Class of 2006; Brian Heaton, Krieg DeVault Class of 2010; Sarah Reed, City of Noblesville Class of 2013; Chris Jensen, City of Noblesville Class of 2015; Patrick Propst, Faith Community Church, Class of 2018; Beth Gehlhausen, Meals on Wheels of Hamilton County, Class of 1994; Kenton Ward, Hamilton County Surveyor, Class of 1995; Dan Stevens, Hamilton County Administrator, Class of 2000; Julia Church Kozicki, Sigma Kappa Sorority, Class of 2003; Samuel Mishelow,  Meyer Najem, Class of 2005 Carrie Cason, Carrie Cason Communications, Class of 2007; Patricia Gamble-Moore, PNC, Class of 2012; Cindy Benedict, Stones3Resources, Class of 2014; Karen Keinsley, Slattery & Holman, Class of 2015 and Seth Warren, Riverview Health, Class of 2018.