Deputy Mayor Angela Smith-Jones, Carolene Mays-Medley

(Left to right): Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Angela Smith-Jones presented the Madam C.J. Walker Outstanding Woman of the Year Award to Carolene Mays-Medley. Mays-Medley, former publisher and president of the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper and Indiana Minority Business Magazine, is executive director of White River State Park Development Commission. (Photo/Diana Penn)

The Center for Leadership Development (CLD) honored minority achievers at its 39th annual Minority Achievers Awards and Scholarship Gala on March 21 at the Indiana Convention Center. Rita Wise, the Recorder’s strategic media consultant, received a certificate of Distinguished Achievement. CLD also raised $5.2 million for scholarships to support 71 students. CLD has awarded over $28 million in scholarships since it began doing so in 2004.

The top honors for minority achievers:

Accomplished Achievement Award — Lacy Johnson, partner at Indianapolis firm Ice Miller

As a partner at Ice Miller, Johnson focuses on public affairs services. Johnson also serves as a co-chair to the Public Affairs and Gaming Group. He has put his resources into supporting Indianapolis by increasing minority participation in business and the community. Johnson has received many other awards, including Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana Super Lawyer, Golden Laurel Award and The Best Lawyers in America (Gaming Law). Johnson has a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University and a doctorate from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

Madam C.J. Walker Outstanding Woman of the Year Award — Carolene Mays-Medley, executive director of the White River State Park Development Commission

Mays-Medley’s position with the White River State Park Development Commission includes overseeing the country’s only urban cultural state park, which makes up 250 acres across Indianapolis. Mays-Medley was previously the vice chairman and commissioner of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. She was also a state representative, serving for three terms, host of “Recorder on Air Report” and “Community Link” and publisher and president of the Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper and Indiana Minority Business Magazine. In 2016 Mays-Medley was honored as a Sagamore of the Wabash. Mays-Medley has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Indiana State University and is a candidate for a Master’s of Jurisprudence from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law.

S. Henry Bundles Jr. Award for Service to the Center for Leadership Development — Steve Jones, director of the Malcolm X Institute of Black Studies and dean for professional development at Wabash College

Named in honor of CLD’s founder, this award recognizes those who have given their time and talent to help make sure CLD continues to exist and grow. Jones is a 1981 alumnus of CLD and uses his position at Wabash College to advocate for the youth of Indianapolis.

Distinguished Alumni Award — James Johnson II, production supervisor at Lowes Companies 

Johnson, a 1998 CLD alumnus and 2001 graduate of Arsenal Technical High School, has facilitated more than 348 hours since 2014 for numerous CLD projects: Self-Discovery, Project Mr., Business Orientation Project, Junior Self-Discovery and Imani Book Club. A member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Johnson served four years in the Indiana National Guard before graduating from Ball State in 2008.

CLD also gave out 12 additional awards for minority achievers:

Achievement in Arts and Entertainment — Derrick Carter, The Art in Carter

Achievement in Business and Industry — Maria Wiley, Indianapolis Airport Authority

Achievement in Communications/PR/Advertising — Tamara Winfrey Harris, Central Indiana Community Foundation

Achievement in Education, K-12 — Roy Dobbs, Pike Preparatory Academy

Achievement in Education, Postsecondary — Dr. Marsha McGriff, Indiana University

Achievement in Entrepreneurship — Nikki Blaine, Nikki Blaine Couture

Achievement in Financial Services — Andrea McGordon, The National Bank of Indianapolis

Achievement in Professions — Dr. Monet Bowling, Hendricks Regional Hospital

Achievement in Public and Community Service — Crystal Babb, FedEx Services

Achievement in Science and Technical Disciplines — Cicely Hart, Duke Energy

“Up and Coming” Achiever — LaDarrius Calvin, Starfish Initiative

Director’s Award — Wayne Burris, Roche Diagnostics Corporation

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