The O’Bannon Sunshine Award is presented to an individual, group or organization that has demonstrated outstanding efforts to protect and enhance the concepts of open government in Indiana.
While not limited to public officials, HSPA hopes to recognize worthy elected officials or public employees through this award.
The award is named after the late Indiana governor who was an advocate of open records and meetings.
Nominees may be:
• Citizens who work to ensure the Open Door Law or Access to Public Records Act are followed in their community.
• Local or state officials who remained true to the philosophy of openness.
• An individual or neighborhood organization, city or town council, or state agency may be nominated.
• The actions warranting recognition may have occurred in the current year, or the nomination may recognize years of work that exemplify open government and public participation in the process.
• Send the nominee’s name and contact information along with a letter explaining why the nominee should receive a Sunshine or Distinguished Service award, to Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include any supporting documentation or evidence supporting the nomination.
Frank O’Bannon Sunshine Award recipients
2005: Fulton County Sheriff Roy Calvert and David Boudia of Fremont, Indiana. Boudia served as president of the Steuben Lake Regional Waste District board of trustees.
2006: Ferdinand town clerk-treasurer, Bev Schulthise.
2007: Mindy Waldron, administrator of the Fort Wayne-Allen Health Department, and Lawrenceburg Clerk-Treasurer Jackie Stutz.
2008: State Sen. Beverly Gard, R-Greenfield, and State Rep. Russ Stilwell, D-Boonville, authors of legislation closing the serial meetings loophole in the Open Door Law.
2009: Indiana Coalition for Open Government.
2010: State Rep. Cleo Duncan, R-Greensburg.
2011: Deanna Durrett of Montgomery County League of Women Voters and Bluffton Mayor Ted Ellis.
2012: Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard.
2013: Greg Zoeller, Indiana Attorney General, and Jane Neulieb, Long Beach, Indiana, Town Council.
2014: Switzerland County Sheriff Roy Leap and Hope Town Council member Tim Shoaf.
2015: Griffith Police Chief Greg Mance and Gail Pebworth of the League of Women Voters of Indiana.