Indiana State Senator Vaneta Becker

Senator Vaneta Becker is an amazing lady who was born to serve those in need. Many people have watched this State Senator create legislation that takes on poverty and discrimination.  She is not your typical self-assured and flamboyant know-it-all politician.  Senator Becker is a laid-back and likable political leader known to take on legislative challenges by researching the subject and turning the information into a common-sense approach to debating information that forces needed change.on the Chamber floor

Senator Becker earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Indiana and has served as Senator to Indiana since 2005.  She works on issues with the legislation, budget constraints and parameters, economic development, and education demands. One of Senator Becker’s passions is ensuring Interstate 69 within the budget restraints and on schedule.  This will make an easier commute to our state’s capital for all citizens.

Big on philanthropy, Senator Becker is one of the founding members of the Albion Fellows Bacon Center. She was also on the board with ARK Crisis Children’s Center, which works in Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) for thirty years. Furthermore, she has helped pass Hoosier Healthwise legislation. Hoosier Healthwise helps provide health care for children from low-income families, creating a healthy living and learning environment for all youth.

As a key member of the legislature for the University of Southern Indiana, Senator Becker was able to contribute toward higher education and school growth. She has also served on the Indiana Commission for Women and was co-chair of the Office of Advisory Board to Women’s Health. In the Evansville community, she is active with Leadership Evansville Alumni and the United Methodist Church.

Senator Becker has worked to improve the quality of life in her community.  As a woman with an amazing passion for social services, bettering the quality of life, and contributing to the State Legislature, she is indeed an outstanding public servant.

Attorney Charles L. Berger

Charles L. Berger has a repetition of taking on issues that help protect the disenfranchised and downtrodden. Charlie is an extremely private and soft-spoken person. However, when he’s in the courtroom defending his client’s rights, he becomes an extremely aggressive and effective Doctor of Jurisprudence. We consider Charles L. Berger not only a “Crusader For The Public Good,” but also a “Public Watch Dog” that demands our appointed and elected officials become “Good Steward of The Public Trust.”

Mr. Berger graduated from the University of Evansville in 1969 with a major in history and a minor in political science. He also lettered in football and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi, an honorary fraternity. He graduated from Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis, Indiana, in 1972 and received a Jurisprudence Doctor with honors. Mr. Berger as admitted to the bar in 1972, Indiana, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana and U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit; 1975, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; 1977, U.S. Supreme Court; 1981, U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky; 1984, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit.  Director, Indiana Lawyers’ Commission, 1973-1977.

Mr. Berger’s professional accomplishments include the following: Evansville, Indiana State (Chairman, Trial Lawyers Section, 1982-1983) and American Bar Association; Indiana Trial Lawyers Association (Director, 1977 – ); Treasurer, 1982-1983); American Board of Trial Advocates; The Association of Trial Lawyers of American (State Committeeman 1975-1979); Bar Association of the Seventh Federal Circuit; Fellow, Indiana Bar Foundation; Board of Directors, Indiana Equal Justice Fund; Member of the Indiana Supreme Court Rules Committee (2005 – 2015); Member of the Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission: Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications (2016 – Present). Mr. Berger was awarded the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA) Trial Lawyer of the Year in November 2014 for his work on behalf of individuals who were denied rights under the Indiana Constitution.

Charlie Berger is listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” and “Who’s Who in American Law.” Has chaired several panels at Continuing Legal Education Forums and participated in making presentations at Continuing Legal Education Forums.  In 2005 was the recipient of the James Bethel Gresham Award for Freedom from the Evansville Bar Association.  Member of Adjunct Faculty at the University of Southern Indiana in Criminal Law and Constitutional Law.

Co-Chairpersons of “Feed Evansville” Are Alex Burton and Lisa Vaughan

When Covid-19 impacted Evansville, Indiana, in mid-March, Community Activist Lisa Vaughan and Evansville City Councilman Alex Burton started a grassroots effort to ensure the Tri-State had food access Covid-19 government shutdown. The effort was so successful it led to the Mayor of Evansville deeming the Feed Evansville Group the official government Food Security task force of the area and named Lisa and Alex the co-chairs. These efforts also shined a light on Food Security as an issue within the area. The mayor officially announced that work would need to be ongoing after the pandemic is over.

Feed Evansville organized a communication hub and tracked what every organization was doing (both businesses and non-profit). The task force created and shared a weekly food access flyer so community members would know where to receive services and published grocery & restaurant hours through social media, TV, radio, and emailed organizations to spread the word. All services have been provided through fundraising and in-kind donations.

City Councilman Alex Burton was born and raised in Evansville, IN. He graduated from Indiana State University with a degree in Communications. As an undergraduate, he had the opportunity to intern with Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel, which led him to attain his Master’s in Public Administration from Western Kentucky. During this time, he interned for two members of U. S. Congress.

Alex returned to Evansville to serve his community. He currently serves as an effective member of the Evansville City Council and has sought to make positive traction in workforce development, housing, food insecurity, and public education.

Community Volunteer Lisa Vaughn moved to Evansville in 2016.  She has studied Music Education and Pastoral Counseling.  Lis is a 14-year active member and Past President of the Junior League of Evansville, and is the current Placement Chair, and has chaired several JLE committees.  Lisa has been involved in various activities and has offered countless hours of volunteer service in the community.

Lisa says, “I have experienced situations throughout my life where I witnessed a lack of support to others in need.  Joining the Junior League of Evansville in 2007 provided me with skills and training to be a civic leader so I could advocate, execute, and market an event.  It taught me to network and collaborate, as well as taught me about being committed to community impact.”

Retired Vanderburgh County Superior Court Judge Rich D’Amour 

Former Superior Court Judge Rich D’Amour has earned the repetition of being fair, impartial, and objective while adhering to the law’s letter. He is very personable and well respected. Judge D’Amour moved to Evansville in July of 1981 after getting his undergraduate degree from Notre Dame and his law degree from Indiana University.

During the time he has practiced law, he had the pleasure of working with many fine partners. His practice areas were primarily as a deputy prosecutor for 19 years, and he estimates he has tried over 150 criminal jury trials and done several thousand divorces.

Judge D’Amour has served on numerous state judicial committees, including the domestic relations committee, where he helped draft the Indiana Child Support Guidelines, the Parenting Time Guidelines, and the Parenting Time Calendar.  He established the Alternative Dispute Resolution Fund in Vanderburgh County, which helps provide mediation services to low-income litigants. In 2016 he was one of six judges in Indiana chosen to start the new Indiana Commercial Court, a system of courts specifically developed to address business and commercial litigation. These courts are now permanently established in Indiana and are being adopted by other counties throughout the state.

In 2005, seeking a change from the law’s hectic practice, Rich was appointed as Magistrate in the Vanderburgh Superior Court. He served in that position until 2011, when he was fortunate enough to be elected Judge in the Vanderburgh Superior Court, which he held when he retired on April 1, 2021.  After nearly 40 years in the legal profession, Judge D’ Amour moved to Asheville, North Carolina, with his wife, Holly, to begin his next adventure.

Former Vanderburgh County Treasurer And County Clerk Susan Kirk

Former Vanderburgh County Treasurer, Susan Kirk, has been one of Vanderburgh County’s greatest assets and best-kept secrets. She has done her job with fairness and integrity, following the laws and regulations set by the state. People like Susan Kirk run for public office because they really want to serve people and make a difference.

Susan’s political career began in 1968. At that time, she was working as a dental assistant. Remembering that May and November are typically busy times in the County Treasurer’s Office, her father asked her to come work for him part-time.  She was then offered a full-time position as a secretary at The Centre. Later, when Shirley Cox was elected Clerk, she asked Susan to come to work for her in the Election Office.

While she has worked in a political atmosphere for most of her life, Susan doesn’t consider herself a seasoned politician. While most people have viewed her as the Vanderburgh County Clerk, she’s much more than that. Take one step into her office and look around. She is adventurous and family-oriented. Her office is decorated with photos of her son, granddaughter, and 97-year-old mother, who incidentally still lives with her. She also has a certificate from a tandem jump from her lone skydiving adventure. And let’s not forget her Indiana Women’s Golf Association Hole-In-One certificate from a perfectly played hole at Quail Crossing Golf Club.

Susan Kirk retired at the end of 2020, after serving the public in appointed and elected offices for over 50 years.  “I really can’t complain. I’m very thankful for the life I have. I enjoy my job, and I have a wonderful, healthy family with my two brothers, my son, my granddaughter, and my mother,” said Susan softly.

Honorable Mayor Lloyd Winnecke

Lloyd Winnecke was inaugurated on January 1, 2012, as the 34th mayor of Evansville, Indiana. Mayor Winnecke is a graduate of Central High School with a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the University of Evansville.  A native of Evansville with a successful business background in banking communications and news information, Mayor Winnecke held numerous public and private sector management positions before assuming the role of the city’s top executive official.

Before becoming Mayor, Lloyd’s position as Senior Vice President and Marketing Director for Fifth Third Bank taught him the business skills he brought to the city government. Before joining the bank, Lloyd Winnecke spent nearly two decades in the television news industry, working in several markets, including Louisville and Indianapolis. He was News Director at WEHT-TV News 25 in Henderson, Ky., before switching from news to banking.

In the public sector, the mayor was elected to the Vanderburgh County Commission in 2008 and served as President of the County Commissioners. Before that, he served nine years on the Vanderburgh County Council, including three years as County Council President and one year as Council Finance Chairman. As a county official, Lloyd proposed balanced budgets for 11 straight years and held per capita spending to 43% below the state average. He has never lost an election.

In 2012, Lloyd and his wife, Carol, were honored with the Keep Evansville Beautiful Volunteer of the Year Award for launching the monthly litter pick-up initiative, Clean Evansville, and inspiring others to help keep Evansville beautiful. Last year, the Indiana Association of City and Towns recognized the City of Evansville with the 2013 IACT Community Achievement Award and the 2013 IACT Green Community of the Year Award for promoting civic pride, work ethic, and the spirit of volunteerism through various city activities, in particular Clean Evansville. . In 2013, Mayor Winnecke was named an honorary member of the West Side Nut Club for his enthusiastic support of the community and the city’s West Side.

The Mayor has served on the Boards of Evansville Civic Theatre, Gilda’s Club of Evansville, the American Red Cross, the Evansville African American Museum, and the University of Evansville Purple Aces Club. He also serves on the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana and the ITAC (city-county information technology committee). He is a past board member and current volunteer for the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center and a past cabinet member for the local United Way campaign. Other organizational involvements include the Evansville Parks Foundation, Wesselman Nature Center, the University of Evansville Theatre Society, Reitz Home Museum, University of Southern Indiana Arts and Humanities, and Junior Achievement.

The invocation will be given by Mega Preacher of Memorial Baptist Church, Evansville.

The Pledge Of Allegiance will be led by retired Business Manage of IBEW Local 16 Paul Green.

Keynote speaker in the highly respected co-owner of D-Patrick Automotive Group.

The event Master-Of Ceremonies is none other than Brad Ellsworth, Director Of Local Government Affairs for CenterPoint Energy.