Jane Wilks, the woman whose name was almost synonymous with Leadership Fort Wayne for 20 years, received the Sagamore of the Wabash on Monday.
The award is given by the governor to those who have shown exceptional service to their communities and the state and contributed to Hoosier heritage.
Wilks retired from her position with Leadership Fort Wayne in 2008 but remains active in the community.
She is executive secretary for the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne, a board member for Erin's House for Grieving Children and past board member of numerous nonprofit organizations, including Junior League of Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, United Way of Allen County and Northeast Indiana Public Radio.
Wilks also developed and led Chapman Scholars at the former IPFW, a program that provides leadership training and promotes civic engagement among a select group of students.
Debbie Meyer, executive director of Erin's House, submitted the nomination to Gov. Eric Holcomb's office.
“Jane has had a life-long love for northeast Indiana and has given back to this community more than several lifetimes – it is her time to be recognized for her heart and hard work in the state of Indiana,” Meyer wrote.