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Indiana Conference on Citizenship 2015

How do citizens make Indiana and the world a better place?

Woven into the fabric of Indiana, Sagamore Institute proudly shares its name with the state’s highest honor, the Sagamore of the Wabash. Like the award given by Indiana’s governor to honor exemplary citizen contributions to the state, Sagamore Institute advances citizen-centered solutions to make Indiana more prosperous and a better society. To bolster a new generation of ideas for Indiana’s future, Sagamore Institute hosted the first-ever gathering of the Sagamore of the Wabash honorees at the 2015 Indiana Conference on Citizenship to seek their counsel and call them into action.

Celebrating American Ideas Award

The conference kicked off with the presentation of Sagamore Institute’s Celebrating American Ideas award by Jim Morris to the AMPATH-KENYA program’s work against AIDS. The award specifically honored three men: Marty Moore, Daniel Ochieng, and Bob Einterz. In 2000, Ochieng was a fifth-year medical student at Moi University and close to death from his own battle with AIDS. At the time, the Indiana University-Moi University partnership itself was dying in the wake of the overwhelming problem of the HIV-AIDS epidemic.

It was believed that facing the problem was too big for this partnership– too expensive and doomed to fail. Ochieng regained his health (becoming Patient #1 of what would be the AMPATH-Kenya program), and went on to partner with Bob Einterz as a cultural liason and community educator about prevention of HIV-AIDS after IU continued its work in Kenya with Moi University. In 2000, Einterz was the Indianapolis-based Director of the Indiana-Moi partnership pre-AMPATH. In 2001, despite the odds, Einterz and colleague Joe Mamlin created the Academic Model for Prevention and Treatment of HIV-AIDS, or AMPATH, to continue to treat HIV-AIDS patients in a small room of Moi University while they strove to gain financial support for this effort. Marty Moore heard about Indiana University’s potential partnership with a third-world medical school through his student, Einterz’s younger sister. Inspired by the project, he provided the seed money for the intial research of IU’s continued care of AIDS patients in Kenya. In 2007, AMPATH-Kenya reached its 50,000th HIV-positive patient. The financial, professional, personal, and academic initiative of these three global citizens demonstrated the power individuals have to spark change.

Dave Lindsay on Corporate Citizenship

Corporate citizen Dave Lindsay talked about his mission as CEO of Defender Direct, a home security company. Lindsey believes that a company is only stronger when it encourages and provides service opportunities for its staff. With that in mind, he created the Super Service Challenge, the big vision of which is turning a giving company into a company of givers. A platform for friendly competition within companies, it encourages and rewards staff for donations of time and skillsets to those in need. 

 In 2012, Lindsey stepped down as CEO to become the company’s Chief Missions Officer. Companies With A Mission (CWAM) was founded to inspire a greater purpose in business that changes the way work is viewed and encourages a heart of service to the world. The purpose is to inspire this movement by providing opportunities that add significance to the work we do each day.

Former Gov. Mike Pence Remarks

At the conference luncheon, Governor Mike Pence celebrated the Sagamores of the Wabash and their citizen service, called them to action, and challenged them to inspire the next generation with their citizenship stories. Pence awarded Dave Lindsey with the Sagamore of the Wabash award for his excellence in corporate citizenship. The conference was the largest convening of those whose lives of services merit the Sagamore of the Wabash award, given by Indiana Governors to honor Hoosiers. The Sagamores of the Wabash have remarkable experience and skillets, and as such are a wealth of civic wisdom. 

Citizen Action Forum

The finale of the conference was the Citizen Action Forum. Lt. Governor Sue Ellsperman delivered remarks on the Indiana Bicentennnial “Big Ideas” Visioning Project. Bob Einterz, Ellen Schellhase, and Daniel Ochieng talked about the Kenya program. Dave Lindsey participated in a Q&A on Global Volunteerism and an Indy Hunger Network panel was held featuring Dave Miner, Jennifer Vigran  and Stephen Smith.