Rep. McNamara presented the awards to Ira and Theresa Boots at the University of Southern Indiana (USI) Foundation Board of Trustees meeting. Family members of the Boots were in attendance for the presentation.
“Ira and Theresa’s dedication to our community demonstrates the utmost level of Hoosier values and they each deserve the highest recognition Indiana has to offer,” said Rep. McNamara. “The Sagamore of the Wabash symbolizes the impact Ira and Theresa have had on the Evansville area and our state.”
Ira G. Boots began his career in plastics at an early age, working in his father’s tool company. In 1978, Boots joined Berry Plastics, supervising the tool making and product design departments. He was named Chairman and CEO of Berry Plastics in 2001 and retired in 2010. Under Boots' leadership, Berry Plastics grew rapidly, leading to expansions in 2008 and 2009. In addition to his other honors, Boots received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2009. Boots is also involved in such not-for-profit entities at Deaconess Health System, and Historic New Harmony Foundation. Currently, Ira Boots serves on USI Board of Trustees. He was appointed in 2008 and reappointed in 2012.
Theresa Boots has served the southwestern Indiana community in many different ways. During the 2010-2011 school year, she served as the Mater Dei High School Annual Fund Co-Chairs and helped raise a record amount. Terry Boots has also been a member of the Marian Educational Outreach Board of Directors for over six years. Terry volunteers at Right to Life of Southwest Indiana and helped to establish and to sustain a pregnancy care center where young women can receive medical services, childcare classes and counseling at no charge. In 2008, Terry and her husband Ira were the hosts at the Right to Life of Southwest Indiana banquet which is the largest pro-life banquet in the United States. Theresa Boots has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Right to Life of Southwest Indiana since 2008.
“I was honored to recognize the talent in our community of southwestern Indiana. Ira and Theresa Boots should be congratulated on their achievements,” said Rep. McNamara.