Gov. Mike Pence named Don Wolf the 2013 recipient of the Sachem Award on Sunday night at the Do It Best October Market shareholders meeting. Pence will present Wolf with the Sachem at an official ceremony in December.
"Don Wolf's work in the community is unparalleled, and his life is distinctly Hoosier," Pence said in a news release. "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.”
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. Active nationally in his distribution field, Wolf was president of the National Wholesale Hardware Association from 1984 until 1985.
Wolf 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 in Fort Wayne Community Schools, which provides approximately 1,000 volunteer tutors to assist students with homework. Wolf is also the co-founder and first president of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Fort Wayne, the largest mid-market agency in the country, and has served as president of both the organization's 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, and the 1993 Indiana Business Leader of the Year award by the Indiana State Chamber of Commerce.
Indiana's highest honor, the Sachem, whose name 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 these qualities. Previous recipients include college basketball coaching legend John Wooden; the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., 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.