Hamilton County Leadership Academy names 2023 awardees


Hamilton County Leadership Academy has announced Dan Stevens and David Heighway as its 2023 award winners.

According to the HCLA, the awards recognize alumni and community partners for commitment and service to the organization and for their impact on Hamilton County. Both men will be honored during the HCLA Leadership Summit, set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 20 at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in Noblesville.

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Stevens (Photo by Matthew Kent)

Stevens will receive the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award. It recognizes an alumnus who has made a difference in the organization’s network and the county through leadership efforts and community service.

“They have utilized the knowledge gained from the program to leave a mark in the community where they reside and work,” according to the HCLA.

Stevens joined the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department in 1974, where he worked as a dispatcher, corrections officer, process server, patrol deputy, division commander and chief deputy, and then eight years as the elected county sheriff. He became director of administration for the Office of County Commissioners in 2009 and retired at the end of March.

“(Stevens) has received numerous community recognitions for his work, including the 2016 Community Service Award from Noblesville Sunrisers Kiwanis Club, 2020 Outstanding Administrator Award from the Indiana Association of County Commissioners, and in 2023 received the Hamilton County Commissioners Continental Award for Service,” according to the HCLA. “He will continue to serve Hamilton County in his retirement as an appointment by the county commissioners on the Riverview Hospital Board of Trustees, president of the Hamilton County Redevelopment Commission, vice president of the Hamilton County Theater Guild, and on the board of directors for the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Chaplaincy.”

David Heighway

Heighway will receive the 2023 HCLA Honorary Alumni Award, which recognizes a Hamilton County leader for their partnership with the organization.

“Honorees are not alumnus of the program but have a deep belief in the mission and vision of HCLA and the impact graduates can make in the community,” according to the HCLA.

Heighway is the county historian, and recently authored the book, “Hidden History of Hamilton County.” He works at Hamilton East Public Library and serves on the Noblesville Historic Preservation Commission and is on the board for the Hamilton County Historical Society.

According to its website, HCLA was established in 1991 to develop a pool of knowledgeable community leaders to apply their skills to government, business and civic activities, and positively shape the future of Hamilton County. HCLA selects a cohort of leaders each year to complete a comprehensive, 10-month curriculum exploring local issues.After completing the program, graduates are prepared to assume active roles in addressing critical issues facing Hamilton County. Learn more at hcla.net.