Don Wolf, retired CEO and president emeritus of Do it Best Corp., was named recipient of the Sachem Award by Gov. Mike Pence on Sunday at the companys October market shareholders meeting.
Indianas highest honor, the Sachem – which comes from the Algonquin term given to leaders who exhibit wisdom, judgment and grace and whose character underscores the importance of moral example – is given annually to Hoosiers who have shown those qualities.
Pence will present Wolf with the Sachem at an official ceremony in December, according to a news release from Pences office.
Don Wolfs work in the community is unparalleled, and his life is distinctly Hoosier, Pence said in the statement. I often say Hoosiers are the best people on earth, and Don Wolf is the best of us. He lives the traits that Hoosiers hold dear: hard work, a belief in individual responsibility, generosity, and kindness. His character, selflessness, generous nature, and unwavering commitment to serving his neighbor epitomize what the Sachem Award represents – achievement while demonstrating exemplary personal virtue. It is my distinct pleasure and privilege to honor Don with the 2013 Sachem Award for his contributions to Hoosiers in northeast Indiana and the state as a whole.
Wolf served as chief executive officer of then-Hardware Wholesalers, Inc., which is now Do it Best Corp., where he worked in a variety of positions from 1947 until retiring in 1993. Wolf also was president of the National Wholesale Hardware Association from 1984 until 1985.
He is a present or past director of several boards, including the Indiana State Chamber of Commerce, Fort Wayne National Bank, Group Dekko International, CLARCOR Corporation, the Foellinger Foundation, the Lutheran Foundation, the Wilson Foundation and several social service agencies.
He is founder of The Study Connection program at Fort Wayne Community Schools, which provides about 1,000 volunteer tutors to help students with homework. Wolf is also the co-founder and first president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Fort Wayne and has served as president of both the organizations Indiana and national board of directors. He was the 1994 recipient of the Charles G. Berwind Award, the top award for service presented by Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
Wolf is the recipient of numerous other awards, including the Pathfinder Award by Indiana Youthlinks, the 1990 Journal Gazette Citizen of the Year award, and the 1993 Indiana Business Leader of the Year award by the Indiana State Chamber of Commerce.
Previous recipients of the Sachem Award include college basketball coaching legend John Wooden; the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, president emeritus of the University of Notre Dame and world statesman; philanthropist Jane Blaffer Owen; and gospel music singing and songwriting pioneers Bill and Gloria Gaither.