Influential person: Jim Morris

Business and community leader

It’s hard to think of an important Indianapolis event that Jim Morris, currently vice chairman of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, didn’t have a hand in. He helped usher in Unigov during his six years as chief of staff for then-Mayor Richard Lugar, midwifed the creation of IUPUI and helped make Market Square Arena happen.

The Eagle Scout also ran Indianapolis Water Co./IWC Resources for 13 years and served (among many other roles) as president of Lilly Endowment Inc. in the early 1980s. During his tenure there, he earmarked $25 million to help build the Hoosier Dome and attract an NFL team­—but not before he personally paced off the space near the Indiana Convention Center where the structure would sit, to make sure there was enough room.

Morris also helped establish the Indiana Sports Corp. and held leadership positions in organizations ranging from the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce to the Indianapolis Urban League. He’s also a professor of philanthropy and public administration at Indiana University.

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