ANDERSON, Ind. — Chuck Staley was never a Boy Scout, but he was humbled to be honored by the organization and his community last night.
“I look around and think of all the people they could have picked and I’m honored and humbled they picked me,” Staley said. “It’s a great honor.”
The Sakima District of the Boys Scouts of America and the Madison County Chamber honored Staley as the 2013 Distinguished Citizen of Madison County. He will join more than 26 individuals who have received the county’s honor, many of whom Staley says were his own mentors in life.
Staley, president and CEO of the Flagship Enterprise Center, has assisted 104 companies in starting or expanding their business and creating more than 2,000 jobs in Madison County. Under his leadership, the center has been named a U.S. Department of Commerce Center of Excellence.
“The whole idea is downright revolutionary,” Staley said of the center. “This is a private-public partnership to rebuild a community. There is nothing quite like it in Indiana, or the Midwest.”
A lifelong resident of Anderson, Staley has been recognized many times for his accomplishments. He has also received the Governor’s Distinguished Hoosier Award and the local Chief Anderson Award.
Quinn Ricker and Rebekah Snyder were also honored during Thursday night's dinner with the 2013 Great Expectations Award. Russell Johnson received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.
Bill Hardacre, an Anderson businessman, community activist and philanthropist, attended Staley's recognition dinner and was a former recipient of the Distinguished Citizen honor in the late 1980s. Hardacre said that under Staley’s guidance, the center has become the success it is today.
“He is a top-notch guy,” Hardacre said prior to the award ceremony. “He is a very humble individual and very qualified and deserving.”
Prior to the ceremony, Staley said that if he could leave a legacy in his wake, it would be for people to use their strengths to do God’s work and build a better place for people to live and work.
“I would like to think that in some small way that I have made this community a better place in which to live, work, and raise a family,” he said. “I believe that God has given us all unique skills, gifts, and personalities that he intends for us to use to benefit others.”
During his acceptance speech for the 2013 Distinguished Citizen award, Staley said that his success is due to having strong mentors and partners to help him along the way. He said “none of us stand alone.”
In addition to thanking his wife at the event, Staley said he was indebted to many people, especially James Edwards, president of Anderson University.
Staley said Edwards encouraged him to engage and exercise his abilities along with is faith in a practical way to help rebuild his community.
“Friends, I love what I do, but I also feel called to do what I do,” he said. “And to be open and honest with you, without the Lord’s strength, wisdom, and faithfulness, none of this would be possible.”
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