Indy Chamber awards George Indianapolis Motor Speedway Chief Executive Officer Tony George was named the Indiana Chamber of Commerce's 2008 Business Leader of the Year for his continued efforts to elevate the state's most famous sporting facility to new heights and for his impact on the community.
George received the honor Nov. 6 at the Chamber's 19th Annual Awards Dinner before more than 1,200 business, civic and political leaders at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.
"I'm honored to receive this award, which is especially meaningful since it comes from fellow Indiana business leaders," George said. "Maintaining family management and stewardship of the Speedway is very important to me, and I'm grateful to be surrounded by talented people who work hard every day to help us grow our business."
Since George became IMS president in January 1990, the facility has added three new events alongside the fabled Indianapolis 500 - the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard NASCAR race, the United States Grand Prix Formula One race and the Red Bull Indianapolis GP MotoGP race. IMS also has undergone massive physical transformation with the addition of a new Pagoda Control Tower and an infield road course, and the development and implementation of the revolutionary SAFER Barrier.
In his role as Indy Racing League founder and CEO, George also led the reunification of open-wheel racing into one series in 2008, the IndyCar Series.
"Tony's commitment and vision at the Speedway continue to bring positive attention to the state as a whole as well as pump hundreds of millions of dollars in the local economy," Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar said. "He intuitively guided the track's operations to become not only a place for the much-loved Indy 500, but a place for diverse events that bring the national spotlight to Indiana."
George and his family-owned Hulman & Company also runs the Terre Haute, Ind.-based Clabber Girl baking powder enterprise.
The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has been the state's largest broad-based business advocacy organization for more than 85 years. More than 4,800 member companies employ 800,000 Hoosier workers.