Press Release from the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee

INDIANAPOLIS – The Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC) and Mayor Joe Hogsett are pleased to announce that David Johnson, community leader, volunteer, and current CEO of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership (CICP), will receive the 2022 Charles L. Whistler Award. The annual award, given by the Mayor of Indianapolis since 1983, recognizes individuals who, outside the regular duties of their chosen professions, have brought together the public and private sectors for civic improvement in Indianapolis.

David Johnson is a humble visionary who embodies the true essence of the Charles L. Whistler Award. Long before he took the helm as CEO of CICP in 2012, Johnson worked as a community volunteer to help launch BioCrossroads, Indiana’s initiative to grow, advance, and invest in the life sciences. Under Johnson’s leadership at BioCrossroads, Johnson raised nearly $650 million for the state’s life sciences opportunities.

“David has been a key leader in putting Indianapolis on the map when it comes to economic development and corporate-civic collaborations,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Truly devoted to Indianapolis, David is a determined leader working behind the scenes – and many times off the clock – to make a positive and lasting impact on the city and state.”

“David’s early focus and volunteer work was invaluable in building the life sciences sector in Indianapolis,” said GIPC Board Chairperson Heather Wilson. “We owe him a debt of gratitude for this incredibly important work. We would not be where we are today without his vision and collaborative efforts.”

Prior to his work with BioCrossroads, and while working as a finance attorney in 1999, Johnson was instrumental in bringing the NCAA headquarters to Indianapolis, solidifying the city as the amateur sports capital of the world. Since then, he has served on numerous boards, including Indiana Biosciences Research Institute, Indiana Health Information Exchange, and 16 Tech. In addition, he was co-chair for the Regional Center 2020 Plan Commission for the City of Indianapolis.

Most recently, when Indianapolis and the world were hit by a global pandemic, Johnson took initiative and stepped in to coordinate and convene top leaders from the public and private sectors to work together to share information and devise solutions to the public health crisis. The calls he moderated during the height of the pandemic were crucial to our region’s and state’s COVID response efforts.

Mayor Hogsett presented two awards at last year’s ceremony, due to the pandemic-related cancellation of the Whistler Award celebration in 2020. Milt Thompson was honored as the 2020 recipient, and Murray Clark was given the award for 2021.

This year, Mayor Hogsett will present the award at a breakfast ceremony on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, at the Ivy Tech Community College Culinary & Conference Center. This year’s Title Sponsor is Faegre Drinker. For information on tickets, tables, and sponsorships, visit https://gipc.memberclicks.net/whistleraward.

About the Charles L. Whistler Award:

Charles L. Whistler understood working for the future. To ensure Whistler’s legacy lives on, GIPC instituted the Charles L. Whistler Award – the most prestigious award given annually to a community volunteer. The Charles L. Whistler Award continues to honor the legacy of Whistler, a lawyer and community leader in the grand tradition, who gave his time and extraordinary abilities to the Indianapolis community without asking for power or position in return.

David Johnson’s name will be added to a limestone and granite monument containing past award recipients’ names and located in the Charles L. Whistler Memorial Plaza at the City Market in downtown Indianapolis.

Past Whistler Award Recipients:

1983: Thomas H. Lake

1984: Thomas W. Binford & David R. Frick

1985: Frank P. Lloyd

1986: Phillip R. Duke & Thomas W. Moses

1987: Mattie M. Coney

1988: Donald W. Tanselle

1989: Ramon L. Humke & Henry C. Ryder

1990: Richard O. Morris

1991: Eldon Campbell

1992: Michael A. Carroll

1993: William W. Mays & James T. Morris

1994: Fred C. Tucker, Jr.

1995: Robert H. Reynolds

1996: Thomas M. Miller & Sam H. Jones

1997: Dr. Gene Sease

1998: Jack Shaw & Dan & Lori Efroymson

1999: Andrew Paine & Yvonne Shaheen

2000: Rev. T. Garrott Benjamin & Michael Maurer

2001: Jerry Semler & Fay Williams

2003: Alex Carroll & Rev. Charles Williams

2004: Dr. Beurt Servaas & Gerald Bepko

2005: Joseph D. Barnette, Jr. & G. Frederick Glass

2007: P.E. MacAllister & Marge Tarplee

2008: Patrick J. Early

2009: John T. Neighbours & Sallie W. Rowland

2010: Michael G. Browning

2011: Samuel L. Odle

2012: David Shane

2013: John M. Mutz

2014: Martha Lamkin

2015: Thomas A. King

2016: Sarah & John Lechleiter

2017: Andre B. Lacy

2018: Marianne Glick

2019: Bill Shrewsberry

2020/2021: Milt Thompson/J. Murray Clark

More about Charles L. Whistler:

As an Indianapolis Star editorial noted shortly after his death in 1981, “Charles L. Whistler was a visionary, talented and energetic prime mover who had a leading role in shaping the Indianapolis of today and its modern political structure. He loved the capital city and the Hoosier state, town and county, urban scenes with beauty and character, and the great outdoors. He had the persuasive ability often associated with the authors of constitutions and used it to win strong support and positive contributions from others, often representing diverse interests, for the array of projects and programs that he helped conceive and bring to fruition. He wrote much of the legislation consolidating city and county governments under UniGov. He also had a leading role in the modernization and beautification of downtown Indianapolis and the creation of the City Center on Monument Circle, the adaptive reuse of the Indiana Theater, the downtown retailing mall concept, and the planning of the White River State Park.”

About GIPC:

Founded in 1965, the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee (GIPC) exists to provide a non-partisan forum in which leaders of the public and private sectors of Indianapolis can work as partners to study, discuss, and address issues of concern and areas of opportunity which affect the progress of the city.