Prestigious Sagamore presented to Bruce Leetz

Posted by: Kelly Sweeney  | Thursday, June 27, 2013 8:00 am

STATEHOUSE – State Representative Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso), along with other elected officials, had the privilege of recently presenting Indiana Beverage CEO Bruce Leetz with the Sagamore of the Wabash Award on behalf of Governor Mike Pence. The Sagamore is the highest honor that the governor can bestow and is only presented to distinguished Hoosiers who have made incredible contributions to the state. This month celebrates Leetz’s 50th year in business, creating countless jobs in Northwest Indiana.

“This month not only marks Bruce Leetz’s commitment to job creation in Northwest Indiana, but more importantly it celebrates 50 years of quality service and commitment to our community,” said Rep. Soliday. “Bruce and his family have participated in almost every project in Valparaiso, served selflessly on countless boards and committees and he has always being there to help out without ever seeking personal acclaim.”

Leetz began working at Valpo Beverages in 1963 and was later appointed president in 1970. As the company expanded, increasing its distribution from Porter County to seven total counties, Valpo Beverages changed its name to North Coast Distributing and appointed Leetz as CEO. Under Leetz, the company continued to expand, employing more Hoosiers, and in 2012, merged with Indiana Beer to become Indiana Beverage.

Dating back to the mid-1940s, the Sagamore Award was created by Governor Ralph Gates. The term “sagamore,” used by the Northeastern United States Native American Tribes, refers to a great man that the tribal chief would look to for wisdom and advice. The award is the highest honor that the governor can bestow and is presented to Hoosiers who have rendered distinguished service to the state, contributing greatly to Indiana’s rich heritage.

“This honor is so well deserved. We are pleased to see Bruce properly recognized for his contribution to the industry and to our community,” said Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas.

Visit for more information about Leetz or to learn more about Rep. Soliday.