The International Center to Honor Pacers Sports & Entertainment as 2017 International Citizen of the Year

INDIANAPOLIS – March 30, 2017 – The Board of Directors of The International Center have selected Pacers Sports & Entertainment as recipient of the 2017 International Citizen of the Year Award, which honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the globalization of Indiana.

Pacers Sports & Entertainment, which encompasses the Indiana Pacers, Indiana Fever, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, management of Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and the Pacers Foundation, will receive the award from The International Center at a special dinner and program on Sept. 13, 2017 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis. International Center Board members Julie Griffith, vice president for public affairs at Purdue University, and Brian Gildea, economic development manager for Vectren Corporation, will serve as co-chairs for the event.

Since its establishment in 1973, The International Center has worked to promote public, private and civic global objectives in Indiana and build greater community awareness of international issues and opportunities. The International Citizen of the Year event, begun in 1985, is The Center’s signature event as the way to recognize Hoosiers who have fostered a world view in Indiana through business, culture, education, government, medicine, research, media, sports and community service.

“The impact that the Pacers, together with the Indiana Fever and under the extraordinary leadership of the Simon Family, have had on our city and state’s international profile is enormous,” said Marsha Stone, Board Chair for The International Center. “People from all around the world have trained their eyes on and followed the career of some of the world’s most gifted basketball talent, right here in Indiana,” she said.

“But beyond the reputation they enjoy around the world, Pacers Sports & Entertainment’s owners and top management have long embraced the diversity and values that The International Center holds dear, and we are truly honored to have an opportunity to present this award to an organization that serves as ambassadors and role models so admirably.”

“Few organizations possess the ability to create a sense of community within their own city; even fewer can do so on a global scale, yet Pacers Sports & Entertainment has done so for half-a-century with ease. It’s an incredible accomplishment that deserves to be recognized and celebrated,” said Martin Baier, president and CEO of The International Center.

“We are truly honored by this distinction,” said Rick Fuson, president and chief operating officer of Pacers Sports & Entertainment. “Every member of the Pacers Sports & Entertainment team—from the players and the front office, to the ushers and box office attendants—played a role in advancing the globalization of Indiana through healthy Hoosier competition. I am proud to be part of an organization with a rich legacy of diversity and global awareness.”

Past list of winners of the International Citizen of the Year Award have included The Honorable Richard G. Lugar, Christel DeHaan, Dr. John C. Lechleiter, Mayor Greg and Winnie Ballard and the Honorable Mitchell E. Daniels, among others. The 2016 International Citizen of the Year was Indiana University President Dr. Michael A. McRobbie. (Full list of honorees follows at end of release.)

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About Pacers Sports & Entertainment

Pacers Sports & Entertainment is the corporate umbrella encompassing the NBA Indiana Pacers, the WNBA Indiana Fever, the NBA Developmental League Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Pacers Foundation and the St. Vincent Center training facility. PS&E also serves as the operator of Bankers Life Fieldhouse on behalf of the City of Indianapolis and the Capital Improvement Board.

Owned by Herbert Simon and his son, Stephen, PS&E has 2,000 full- and part-time employees and drives more than $250 million annually in economic activity.

Through the Pacers Foundation, corporate giving and more than 40 community relations programs, PS&E also provides support to youth, schools and non-profit organizations throughout Indiana. PS&E also endeavors to be the champion of basketball at all levels in Indiana through its support of IndyParks and Jr. NBA youth basketball programs and sponsorships of the Indiana High School Athletic Association boys and girls state championships and Special Olympics Indiana basketball.

Bankers Life Fieldhouse is the most widely used public building in the state of Indiana, welcoming more than 2 million guests annually for both ticketed and non-ticketed events. In addition to the Pacers and Fever, Bankers Life Fieldhouse also regularly hosts NCAA and Big Ten basketball events as well as the Crossroads Classic featuring Indiana, Purdue, Butler and Notre Dame universities.

About The International Center

For the past 43 years, The International Center has served as a guide to the world’s cultural landscape and a catalyst for the state’s international growth. Working in collaboration with businesses, organizations, government agencies, educational institutions and individual citizens, The Center works to expand Indiana’s global interest through a variety of programs and services and through convening diverse interests who share common international goals. The International Center is a member of Global Ties U.S.


List of International Citizen of the Year Honorees

2016 Dr. Michael A. McRobbie
2015 Dr. John C. Lechleiter
2014 Mayor Greg Ballard and Mrs. Winnie Ballard
2013 Mark Miles
2011 Tim Solso
2010 Gov. Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr.
2008 IU-Kenya Partnership
2007 Dr. Martin C. Jischke
2006 Ambassador Randall L. Tobias
2005 James T. Morris
2004 Christel DeHaan
2003 30th Anniversary Award: The Honorable Richard G. Lugar
2002 Rev. Fr. Boniface Hardin, O.S.B.
2001 Sidney Taurel
2000 Tony George
1999 Jeff Smulyan
1998 Bret Waller
1997 Lawrence H. Einhorn, M.D.
1996 Kai and Tom Binford
1995 KP Singh
1993 Margaret Sheridan
1993 Dr. Geoffrey Bannister
1991 Maestro Raymond Leppard
1990 The Honorable Lee H. Hamilton
1990 Sr. Marie Pierre Buttell
1989 The Honorable William H. Hudnut
1989 George Mikelsons
1987 The Honorable Robert D. Orr
1986 The Honorable Richard G. Lugar
1985 Riad Shaheen