Cindy Simon Skjodt: ABA, NBA merger highlight of recent decades

As an eyewitness to decades of Indianapolis history, I have seen both positive and negative changes. I choose to
focus on the positive and I will continue to dedicate myself to the betterment of this great Midwestern city. As a grateful and proud Hoosier, I consider myself fortunate to have had a front-row seat to numerous transformative changes in Indianapolis.

Whether I travel inside or outside the United States, I always look forward to coming home to Indianapolis. We now have one of the top 10 airports in the country. Our downtown skyline has become impressive. Indianapolis is an ideal place to raise a family.

My father and mother were proud residents and citizens of Indianapolis also. They often encouraged other family members to settle in Indianapolis. My husband, Paul, and I raised our three children here and are proud of the education they received, along with the many opportunities and life experiences they enjoyed.

One of the most exciting times for me was when the ABA merged with the NBA and our Indiana Pacers received the attention they deserved. It is difficult to think about our sports and entertainment history without mentioning Market Square Arena, Conseco Fieldhouse, the RCA Dome and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

It brings a smile when I run across my scrapbooks of memories growing up in Indianapolis. As a young woman, I was honored to sit on the planning committee and be involved in the 1987 Pan American Games that showcased our city. As an adult, I have been proud to serve on more than 38 not-for-profit boards that have promoted, funded and implemented advancement over the last 40 years.

We have seen the extraordinary growth of some of our native industries and witnessed the explosion of technology. Indianapolis has been at the forefront of medical treatment and research. Our city and state have produced some of the finest politicians and community leaders that helped shape and lead Indianapolis to the admired and respected position it so deserves today. Residents beamed with joy when Indy hosted the Super Bowl. Another fond memory for my family was the revitalization of downtown and the success of the Circle Centre mall.

As I get out around the city, I cannot help but notice how Indianapolis and its close suburbs continue to spawn commercial office parks, retail centers, sports venues and sprawling centers for education. In nearly every direction you look, you see progress.

Many people of my age are slow to accept change. I have always been one to participate in the process of making change happen. There have been many monumental junctures in our history that I’ve been pleased to be a part of and proud to celebrate with the entire city.

I would be remiss if I neglected to acknowledge two of the greatest recent trends in Indianapolis: the inclusion of women in decision-making roles and the diversity in positions of power and politics. Yet there is always room for improvement. I have no doubt that Indianapolis will continue its path to goodness
and greatness.•

__________

Skjodt has been active in many civic and cultural organizations. She was a founding director of the Pacers Foundation and now chairs the Samerian Foundation, a private family foundation.

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