Chairman, IBJ Media Corp.

IBJ columnist

An Indianapolis native, Maurer graduated from North Central High School and received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from University of Colorado. He returned home for law school, earning a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University, where he was a writer and an editor of the Law Journal. He also successfully completed the CPA examination. Maurer serves as chairman the board at IBJ Corp. and The National Bank of Indianapolis. In 2001, he established “Mickey’s Camp,” a charitable endeavor that has raised more than $1 million for central Indiana charities. In 2006, Maurer was named Indiana’s secretary of commerce by Gov. Mitch Daniels, serving in that position until 2008. Maurer can be seen on Fox 59 in a quarterly program called “Mickey’s Corner,” interviewing Indiana luminaries. In 2008, IU’s School of Law-Bloomington was renamed Indiana University Maurer School of Law. Maurer is a regularly published contributor to The New York Times crossword puzzle. His hobbies also include skiing, biking, mountain climbing, woodworking and underwater photography. His woodworking has won a blue ribbon at the Indiana State Fair. In 1999, he successfully climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa. In 2003 Maurer authored a book of his underwater photography entitled “Water Colors.” His second book, “19 Stars of Indiana,” was published in 2009. Maurer and his wife, Janie, have three children and seven grandchildren.

Articles

Commentary: Israel through the eyes of a visitor

My wife, Janie, and I made some new friends on our recent trip to Israel, including Moira Carlstedt, president of the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership. I happily cede my space this week for her observations of the trip. It is like any hospital room in Indianapolis-except you can see the Lebanese border from the window, and you stand amid damage from a Hezbollah rocket that tore through that window. And then you understand the need for the underground hospital that…

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Commentary: When is the right time to sell?

Like the song says, “You gotta know when to fold ’em.” But how do you know when it is the proper time to sell a business? Age and health issues aside, I suggest the “trigger” moment is when there is a looming fundamental adverse change in the industry. One should not sell needlessly. The government imposes a harsh penalty for those transactions. It’s called a longterm capital gains tax. I would not fault anyone, however, for a premature exit that…

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Commentary: Ice Miller finds gem in ag hire

Indianapolis law firm Ice Miller recently announced the formation of an Agricultural Law Initiative and named Beth Bechdol as its director of agribusiness strategies. The group includes more than a dozen attorneys and industry specialists. The recruitment of Bechdol is a brilliant move that was ultimately possible because of a family tragedy. Bechdol is a farm girl from just outside of Auburn who graduated from Georgetown University in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in foreign service and visions of becoming…

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Commentary: A story we all should heed

Last month, Brightpoint Inc. Chairman and CEO Bob Laikin was honored with Indiana University’s Distinguished Entrepreneurs-In-Residence Award. If the selection committee was looking for an executive with pluck, it chose well. The IU Kelley School of Business hosts the Distinguished Entrepreneurs-In-Residence program to inspire students and help them learn about the challenges of starting or expanding an emerging business. Laikin’s tumultuous and exciting journey left the students as dizzy as a day-long ride on the Kings Island Beast. Laikin founded…

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Commentary: When money just isn’t enough

The other day, I was annoyed when I received a letter concerning my uncle’s untimely death. The letter began: “As you know, our firm represents Illene Maurer as a result of the tragic death of her husband, Mickey Maurer, on Feb. 1, 2006. … Mr. Maurer’s death was as a result of an automobile collision that occurred at 106th Street and Meridian Street. “One of the elements of damage that Illene Maurer is entitled to recover is the loss of…

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Commentary: 2007 columns sparked debate

Each January, I like to reflect on a few of the prior year’s topics. I am always curious about the people I have written about over the course of the year. I hope you are, too. In the May 21 issue, I wrote about the plight of Amy Sorrell. Sorrell was an English and journalism teacher at Woodlan Junior-Senior High School in Allen County near Fort Wayne who also advised the school newspaper, The Tomahawk. The Jan. 19, 2007, issue…

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Commentary: Solitaire hangman at the movies

Ihope you enjoy this puzzle based upon an idea I found in Games magazine. The challenge is to guess the titles of the films made at least in part in Indiana before being “hanged.” The number of words in the title and the release dates appear in parentheses. To begin, choose any letter of the alphabet you think might be in Title I below. Suppose you pick “E”. Go to the letter chart on page 12 and find the number…

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Commentary: Here’s a script Capra would love

I am going to chat with Angelo Pizzo, author of the best sports film of all time. Pizzo is the writer and coproducer of feature films “Hoosiers” and “Rudy.” He and I will debut “Mickey’s Corner,” a project patterned after TV’s Bravo Network program “Inside the Actor’s Studio.” The conversation will happen Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Jewish Community Center, 6701 Hoover Road. Why don’t you drop in? Pizzo grew up in Bloomington and stayed home for his…

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Commentary: There’s an upside to this fiasco

Psst. Come closer. Want to double your money? I’ve got a deal for you. No guts? Turn the page now. OK, you didn’t turn the page-Finish Line Inc. stock closed Nov. 26 at $2.94 a share. It’s time to buy. Finish Line is a leader in the outdoor and lifestyle footwear, active wear and accessory field. Basically, the company sells shoes. It has 693 Finish Line stores, mainly in enclosed malls. It also operates nearly 100 Man Alive urban-apparel stores….

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Commentary: Let’s welcome Hilbert back

You gotta love Steve Hilbert. He conceived of an idea and had the strength and focus to achieve an extraordinary result that he sustained over a number of years. … He will undoubtedly return to the grand game of entrepreneurship. If given the opportunity, I would be inclined to invest in his next venture. -July 10, 2000 I penned the above prediction in this column on the anointment of Gary Wendt as CEO and savior of Conseco Inc. After Stephen…

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Commentary: Is receptionist pay vital information?

The office was abuzz when I walked in on a Monday morning in late August 2006. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. staff was upset and it didn’t take long to find out why. The Indianapolis Star had published their names and salaries as part of a lead story launched from the front page of the Sunday edition. “Is it the solemn civic duty of the Star to let the world know what I make?” our receptionist asked, crying. A member…

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Commentary: Exclusion isn’t a Christian value

Here’s an idea. Let’s establish a chamber of commerce for whites only. Yep, just for “us.” Let’s join forces for further empowerment, more success and greater marketplace impact. It is time we came out of the closet and enjoyed the fruits that living white brings our companies, our employees, and our homes and families. Let’s call it the Indiana White Chamber of Commerce. We’ll get together to celebrate being white and to further our association, serve the community, enhance one…

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Commentary: First-time camper ready for more

In August, 118 women, including Cathy Langham, attended Mickey’s Camp for Women. Contributions to central Indiana charities from this camp and from the similar camp for men totaled more than $235,000. I cede my space this week to Cathy to provide a camper’s perspective on the experience. The short story is: I had a great time, and you should do it. (The previous sentence is for people like me who read the first and last sentences of an article, and…

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Commentary: Get the smoke out of our eyes

Andy Jacobs Jr. wrote in an IBJ column that smoking is an expensive and painful way to commit suicide. He’s right. But he didn’t go far enough. Breathing secondhand smoke at one’s place of employment is also an expensive and painful way to go. The world is beginning to read the smoke signals. Many countries have passed laws to protect their work force from secondhand smoke. Today, you cannot smoke even in an Irish pub. In our country, 22 states…

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Commentary: Hedda gives a searing Civic review

I cede my column this week to Hedda Hopper, a Hollywood gossip columnist. Hopper died in 1966, but she agreed to come back again to review the Indianapolis Civic Theater benefit performance. HEDDA HOPPER’S HOLLYWOOD-Just detrained in Hoosierland to catch the Indianapolis Civic Theatre benefit. Charlie Morgan played Ed Sullivan in a sendup titled “A Really Big Shooow.” Sullivan, your career is safe. Morgan, general manager and vice president of Cumulus radio stations in Indy, was stiffer than Charlie McCarthy….

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Commentary: Do we want ex-cons to strike again?

I want you to meet my friend Shawn Hendricks. We are different-like Stevie Wonder says, “Ebony and Ivory.” But it’s more than that. Our life experiences and challenges have been extraordinarily disparate. Our story begins with a remarkable man, Tom Binford, whom I was privileged to know well and whom I admired not only for his business acumen but also for his strong sense of community. I called him Mr. Indianapolis. He called me boss. For seven years, he wrote…

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VIEWPOINT: Asian trade mission: different kind of trip

Sweat and fatigue. These two conditions dominate my memories of the recent trade mission to Taiwan and Japan. The week-long mission led by Gov. Mitch Daniels was the largest ever of Indiana business leaders and state officials to these countries. Many of the more-than-70-member delegation had independent agendas. Those of us who accompanied the governor never had an opportunity to adjust to the Asian clock, which was 14 hours later than Hoosier time (whatever that means). Most days were packed…

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