Influential person: Thomas Binford

Business and community leader

Business leader Tom Binford boasted an eclectic resume, but there was one skill for which he was particularly famous—fixing things. In 1976, in spite of having no banking experience, he was named CEO of Indiana National Corp. and helped the bank recover from several unprofitable years. He also arranged the purchase of the Indiana Pacers in 1975 and served as the team’s general manager for a year, helped bring the Colts to Indianapolis, and served as chief steward at the Indianapolis 500 from 1973 to 1996. He also earned a reputation as an honest broker in issues relating to race relations and civil rights.

“That’s just what Tom did,” said former Lt. Gov. John Mutz. “He was there to pick up the pieces when things didn’t work very well. I called him the utility infielder—the guy who you can put in almost anywhere.”

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