Political Notebook


Solso 1st winner of Daniels prize

The first biennial Mitch Daniels Leadership Prize will be awarded in October to Tim Solso, retired chairman and CEO of Cummins, Inc.

A jury consisting of eight respected men and women in Indiana selected Solso for exemplifying bold leadership that dramatically advanced Indiana.

The Daniels Prize honors one Indiana leader and awards $50,000 to a person or organization that is doing work that can markedly advance the state. The Daniels Prize is designed to encourage and recognize leadership that refuses to accept the status quo as good enough, constantly aims higher and courageously executes change that results in lifting the arc of progress in Indiana.

Solso served as Chairman and CEO of Cummins for a dozen years from early 2000 to December 2011. Under Solso's leadership, Cummins experienced record growth; became a Fortune 250 company that designs, produces and sells diesel engines, power generation equipment and related components worldwide; and became a global product provider to more than 190 countries and territories.

"I am honored to receive the inaugural Mitch Daniels Leadership Award. In accepting this, I would like to recognize the strong leadership at Cummins, both past and present, that created business and community outreach success," Solso said. "I also want to congratulate Mitch Daniels for this well-deserved recognition. During his term as Indiana governor, Mitch and his administration played a key role in helping Cummins through a critical period in its recent history. His efforts helped cement a public/private partnership that is creating hundreds of jobs in southern Indiana and new business opportunities for Cummins around the world."

Retired Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court Randall Shepard is chairman of the Daniels' Prize Jury. Serving with Shepard on the jury are former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton; Reverend John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President of Notre Dame; Clark Kellogg, former player for the Indiana Pacers; former Indiana Governor Joe Kernan; Martha Lamkin, civic leader and former CEO of Lumina Foundation; former U.S. Senator Richard Lugar; and Pat Miller, civic leader and founder of Vera Bradley.

"Refining our search and discussing who among those have chosen to blaze new paths for the provident and sustainable benefit for others led us directly to Tim Solso," said former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar. "Recognizing leadership that has taken Indiana to new heights is important for all to see. Our state will have a bright future if we all embrace Tim Solso's example."

At the awards ceremony in October, Solso will receive the Mitch Daniels Leadership Prize, a bronze sculpture commissioned by the Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation and created by John McCormick, a graduate student at the Herron School of Art and Design of Indiana University at IUPUI.

Solso will receive and retain the sculpture but will receive no monetary award. Rather, as the winner of the Prize, he will select the recipient of a $50,000 cash award. The recipient will be an individual or organization that Solso believes emulates his and Governor Daniels' leadership mindset.

The prize will be given in the fall of each odd-numbered year. The foundation was created at the end of 2012, with Harry Gonso tapped as the principal agent. Gonso was Daniels' senior counsel and chief of staff when the governor first took office.

To contact Niki Kelly email her at nkelly@jg.net or follow her on Twitter @nkellyatJG.