Former Alliance CEO receives statewide awards

Jan. 9—Charlie Sparks, former president and CEO of the Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance, was presented an Excellence in Leadership Award by the Indiana Economic Development Association last month.

This award recognizes his impact on economic development in Indiana and is one of several awards that Sparks has received following his recent retirement from the Alliance.

On Nov. 10, he was presented the Sagamore of the Wabash award by Gov. Eric Holcomb. The award is one of the highest civilian honors bestowed by the sitting Indiana governor.

That same day he was presented a Proclamation of Honor by State Rep. Mike Karickhoff, R-Kokomo, on behalf of the Indiana General Assembly to recognize Sparks' career and accomplishments in economic development in Indiana.

On Nov. 17, he was presented a Lifetime Achievement Award by Greater Kokomo Economic Development Alliance Board Chairman Robb Blume on behalf of the Alliance to acknowledge Sparks' accomplishments in economic development in Kokomo and throughout Indiana in his 42-year career.

And, lastly, he was presented a Pillar of the Community award by the Howard County Board of Commissioners on Nov. 21. The award is Howard County's highest honor.

Sparks took the reins of the Alliance in 2014 and continued a record of success in community and economic development that he solidified while serving as vice president of the Indiana Economic Development Corp. In 2018, his longstanding success around the state earned him a spot on an Indiana Economic Development Association list of eight people who have had the greatest impact on economic development in Indiana in the past 50 years.

Though Sparks' retirement began on Oct. 31, he remains under contract to continue the Alliance's economic development efforts.