500 Festival President & CEO, Bob Bryant, recognized by Governor’s Office
INDIANAPOLIS (November 29, 2016) – Bob Bryant, president and CEO of the 500 Festival, received the Sagamore of the Wabash award Tuesday evening at the 500 Festival headquarters in downtown Indianapolis. Bryant joined a historical list of distinguished Hoosier icons presented with the award. John Crisp, former 500 Festival Chairman, and Diego Morales, the Governor’s Advisor, delivered the award to Bryant in front of the 500 Festival staff, Board of Directors and the Bryant family Tuesday night.
The prestigious award is given to exemplary Hoosiers in recognition of their service and impact on the state of Indiana. It is one of the highest honors the Governor of Indiana can bestow upon an individual. The award was created in the 1940s during the term of Governor Ralph Gates. Past recipients include astronauts, ambassadors, artists, musicians, politicians and presidents.
“I feel truly honored to be part of this rich Indiana tradition,” Bryant said. “The Sagamore is acknowledgement that you’re making a positive impact in this state, and that’s always been our mission. Our success as an organization is a product of the wonderful people that keep our mission alive. I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to lead such a hard-working group and continue to tell the story of May in Indiana, year after year.”
Bryant is the 500 Festival’s fourth president and CEO. He was appointed June 10, 2013. His career has included notable roles in both sporting events and broadcast prior to his time at the 500 Festival. In the past four years, Bryant has grown and enhanced the 500 Festival’s youth programs and community initiatives, evidenced by a record-high 26,000 4th graders participating in the Education Program in 2017. His continued dedication to enriching lives in the state of Indiana is second to none.
“About four years ago, we began the national search for this organization’s next great leader,” Crisp said. “We were fortunate to meet Bob, and he was challenged with expanding the organization’s community involvement, youth initiatives and nationally-renowned events. In that time, he has gone beyond expectations and pushed this organization to impact many lives with a beautiful and stronger than ever focus on diversity. I’m happy to call him a friend.”
About the 500 Festival
Founded in 1957, the 500 Festival is a not-for-profit organization that produces more than 50 life-enriching events and programs while celebrating the spirit and legacy of the Indianapolis 500 and fostering positive impact on the city of Indianapolis and state of Indiana. One of the largest festivals in the nation, each year more than half a million people attend an event or program produced by the 500 Festival. Since its founding, the 500 Festival has contributed more than $400 million in economic value to Indianapolis. To learn more about the 500 Festival, please visit www.500festival.com, follow us on Twitter @500festival, or on Facebook.