Former senator to be recognized with service award

GREENFIELD — Former local state Sen. Beverly Gard will be honored in April with a prestigious award from the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series.

On April 9, Gard will receive the Nancy A. Maloley Outstanding Public Service Award, which was created to honor Republican women who exemplified excellence while serving in a public office.

Gard wrapped up a 24-year career in the Indiana Senate in 2012 but has stayed busy and involved in state public policy and local boards, including the NineStar Connect board, since her retirement. Gard chaired the Alcohol Code Revision Commission last summer, which eventually paved the way toward Sunday sales, and also chairs the Environmental Rules Board and the Lobby Registration Commission, among others.

“I’ve stayed very busy, but that’s the way I like it,” Gard said.

But it was also her work while in the Senate for 24 years that helped her win the Maloley Award. During her time in the Senate, Gard authored countless bills, many of them focused on the environment, health, utilities and local government.

Gard said she was speechless when she got the call saying she had been picked for the honor.

“I was honored and humbled,” Gard said. “It never occurred to me that I would be even nominated or considered for something like this.”

Her successor, Sen. Mike Crider, R-Greenfield, said he wasn’t surprised to hear Gard was selected, considering the amount of work she continues to do.

“She continues to look for ways to help in any way she can,” Crider said. “This award, I think, recognizes her tremendous leadership that she continues to utilize.”

Crider said this is an award that is not given out lightly and sees it as a capstone to Gard’s already illustrious career.

He’s proud of her, he said, calling Gard “a tremendous mentor.”

The Lugar Series is designed to promote and help Republican women in elected or appointed political offices. Gard will be honored at the group’s annual luncheon in Indianapolis.

“Sen. Gard’s commitment to public service is what the Lugar Series program is all about,” said Anne Hathaway, Lugar Series executive director. “We are so proud to have her as an inspiration to women leaders in Indiana.”

Previous winners include U.S. Congresswoman Susan Brooks, U.S. Federal Justice Sarah Evans Barker and former Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman.