INDIANAPOLIS, IN - Andre B. Lacy, chairman of Lacy Distribution Inc. (LDI) and noted philanthropist and business leader in Indiana, was killed in a motorcycle crash Nov. 30 in Botswana on the African continent. He was 78.
UPDATE: A Celebration of Life for Lacy is scheduled at 3 p.m. this Friday, Dec. 15, at Butler University in Indianapolis. See below for details.
An avid motorcyclist, Lacy spent several months in 2015 riding a motorcycle from Moscow to Hong Kong, and had recently completed a riding excursion in Antarctica.
“I’ve known Andre for over 30 years and have ridden several thousand miles with him on motorcycles. Andre and I were the same age, and I really liked to ride with him here and in Europe,” said Dealernews Chairman Stan Simpson. “From the first time I met him, he was a true gentleman and very serious about our powersports business. His contributions to our industry will live on for many years.”
Lacy’s “untimely death is a huge loss for me and many others. I will miss him a lot,” Simpson added. “The fact that he was doing what he loved and desired to do is somewhat consoling, but his death is still a shock to me.”
Indeed, news of Lacy’s death rocked the Indianapolis community, where he had been a benefactor and business leader for decades. Local news media published statements from United States Vice President Mike Pence, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and a number of business and university leaders. (Read them HERE)
Lacy began his career as an analyst for U.S. Corrugated-Fiber Box Co., a company founded by his grandfather and which later evolved into LDI Ltd. Lacy was named EVP and COO in 1968, and then EVP and COO at Lacy Diversified Industries in 1972.
Lacy Diversified Industries was the holding company that would become known as LDI Ltd. He served as CEO from 1983 to 2007. He also previously served as CEO of Tucker Rocky Distributing/Ed Tucker Distributing.
He was CEO and chairman at Finishmaster Inc. from 1996 to 2006, chairman and chairman Emeritus of Thompson PBE Inc., and chairman of the Indiana State Fair Commission. He also was chairman of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors.
Lacy was active on several corporate boards, including Hulcom & Co./Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis Power & Light Co., Patterson Cos. Inc., The National Bank of Indianapolis Corp., Merchants National Bank & Trust Co. and IPALCO Enterprises.
Lacy also held board-level and leadership positions in a number of nonprofit organizations, including Butler University Business Accelerator Advisory Panel, Indiana University Kelley School of Business Board of Visitors, Community Leaders Allied for Superior Schools, United Way, Economic Club of Indianapolis, Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, Indianapolis Downtown Inc., FBI Citizens Academy Foundation, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, and the Indianapolis 500 Festival Association.
Butler University in 2016 renamed its College of Business the Andre B. Lacy School of Business following a $25 million gift from Lacy and his wife, Julia. Lacy served as a senior adviser to the school, reportedly spending several hours per week on campus as a student mentor and adviser. The Lacy School of Business will open a new building in fall 2019.
Among Lacy's many recognitions, Gov. Roger Branigan and Gov. Robert Orr recognized him as a Sagamore of the Wabash; he was inducted into the Central Indiana Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame in 2010; he was named Indiana Master Entrepreneur of the Year in 1994 by the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program; and he received an honorary Doctorate of Engineering from the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology in 1985.
Lacy earned a BA in Economics from Denison University in 1961.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Julia. He is survived by three sons – John Andre Lacy (Elizabeth), Mark William Lacy (Julie Fisher) and Peter Lello Lacy (Jill) – and several grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life for Lacy will be held at 3 p.m. Dec. 15 at Butler University in Indianapolis. Services will be conducted at Clowes Memorial Hall, followed by a reception in the Reilly Room. Both events are open to the public.
In lieu of flowers, the Lacy family suggests memorial contributions be made to any of the following organizations:
Andre and Julia Lacy Scholarship, c/o Butler University, Office of University Advancement, 4600 Sunset Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46208, or online at butler.edu/gifts
Culver Academies Summer Schools & Camps Program Fund, 1300 Academy Rd., #153, Culver, IN 46511, or online at giving.culver.org/index.php/main
Community Leadership Innovation Fund at Central Indiana Community Foundation, 615 N. Alabama St. #119, Indianapolis, IN 46204, or online at cicf.org/donors/give-now/existing-fund/
Boy Scouts Crossroads of America Council, 7125 Fall Creek Rd. North, Indianapolis, IN 46256, or online at crossroadsbsa.org/160
Image courtesy LDI Ltd.