INDIANAPOLIS, April 8, 2015 – The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Foundation, Inc., d/b/a Hall of Fame Museum, is pleased to announce three new directors in an expansion of its Board of Directors and a new executive director on its leadership team.
“On the verge of the 100th Running of the Indianapolis 500 and the 60th Anniversary of the Hall of Fame Museum, which take place in 2016, the Museum is now poised to take on a comprehensive strategic planning process and review of its operations,” Museum Board President Anton H. George said. “The Museum, which my grandparents founded in 1956, has evolved over the years to possess one of the top collections of racing and passenger vehicles in the world. We are expanding the range of expertise available to the Board of Directors of the Foundation to embrace the opportunities that such an important collection provide.”
The newest additions to the Board of Directors are Robert Dyson, Kirk Hendrix, and Fred J. Nation. Dyson is a retired American sports car racing driver and is a current team owner. An avid participant in the annual Brickyard Vintage Racing Invitational at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, he lives in Millbrook, New York. Dyson engages in a wide range of business interests and responsibilities as the chairman and CEO of The Dyson-Kissner-Moran Corp., a privately owned, diversified holding company founded in 1954. He also owns and manages a diverse array of private investments, and was the founder and owner of a regional radio broadcasting group of radio stations in the Hudson Valley of upstate New York. Dyson has carried on his family’s philanthropy through the work of the Dyson Foundation, of which he has served as president since 2000.
Kirk Hendrix is President and CEO of AAA Hoosier Motor Club, a position he has held since March 2013, overseeing operations of multiple entities which include AAA membership, insurance, and travel operations. Prior to AAA, Hendrix spent 10 years as President and Chief Executive Officer of the 500 Festival, which produces and promotes 50 annual events and programs in celebration of the Indianapolis 500. Building up to his work with the 500 Festival, he was CEO of several events-related organizations in Detroit, Las Vegas, and Southern California. Hendrix started his career in collegiate athletics, in which he held a variety of executive posts during his 15 year tenure.
Fred Nation is a retired executive and active community volunteer in Terre Haute, Indiana. He has an extensive background in public relations, communications, and journalism, and most recently served as Executive Vice President, Communications, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corp., where he had served for 15 years from 1997-2011. From 1989-97, Nation worked as press secretary and executive assistant to Indiana Governor Evan Bayh. Prior to that he was a partner in the Terre Haute firm of Graphic Edition (now Miller-White), building upon his experience in public relations for Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and journalism as editor and general manager of the Terre Haute Spectator, a weekly magazine.
“We are honored that these gentlemen are joining our Board and excited about the opportunity to engage their enthusiasm and expertise on behalf of the Museum as we build upon its world-class collection to engage motorsports and automotive enthusiasts across the world,” added George.
Current Board members round out the breadth and depth of expertise on the Foundation’s Board with their extensive backgrounds in motorsports management, team ownership, driving, nonprofit governance, energy, vintage passenger cars, law, insurance, for-profit management, finance, banking, auditing and accounting.
W. Curtis Brighton is President of Templeton Coal Company, Inc., a closely held diversified holding company headquartered in Terre Haute, Indiana, a position he has held since 2011. He has extensive experience in the motorsports industry, having served as President of Hulman & Company and Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Prior to his management service with the Speedway, Brighton practiced law in Terre Haute. He currently serves as a Director of First Financial Corporation and as a Director of Union Hospital, Inc., both headquartered in Terre Haute.
Mari H. George is the daughter of Museum founders Tony and Mary Hulman. She has an extensive background in race team ownership as well as motorsports management at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. She currently serves as a Director and Chair of Hulman & Company. Ms. George has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation since 1979, where she has served in various capacities including Secretary and Vice President. She has served on the boards of a variety of for-profit and community organizations in Terre Haute and Indianapolis.
Anton H. George, President of the Board, brings extensive experience in racing, team ownership and management, and executive leadership in racing and motorsports to his work on the Foundation. He has been a board member since 1983, previously serving as Executive Vice President. Mr. George currently serves as a Director of Hulman & Company (former President and CEO), and is Principal of SONAX USA. He also serves as Director of Deep Vein Coal Company, First Financial Corporation, Princeton Mining Company, R.J. Oil Company, and Vectren Corporation.
N. Gene Perkins is President of N.G. Perkins Co., Inc., a residential construction company headquartered in Greenwood, Indiana. He serves as a Trustee of the University of Indianapolis, and is a past board member of the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana. Perkins is Past President of the Classic Car Club of America, and is a past President of the Classic Car Club of America Museum. He regularly serves as a Master Judge and/or Class Judge at the Pebble Beach International Concours d’ Elegance. A Packard expert and collector, Perkins brings a wealth of expertise to the Board on vintage passenger cars.
Howard L. Shearon, Treasurer of the Board, is a retired partner of Ernst & Young, LLP (Indianapolis) and has had extensive experience advising the motorsports industry on financial and accounting matters. His past clients include the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Shearon was past Chairman of the Board of the Indiana Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company and also serves as a Trustee of Butler University. He served as a Director of the 500 Festival, for which he was interim Board President from 2002-03 and Board Chair from 2003-04.
Jeffrey B. Smith, Secretary of the Board, is President of 500 Automotive Group (a Chevrolet, Buick & GMC dealership in Clinton, Indiana), and serves as President, Investment Manager, and member of the Boards of Directors of Deep Vein Coal Company, Princeton Mining, and R.J. Oil Company. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Morris Plan (a financial institution), and is a Founder and Principal of Fruitridge Development Company. Smith also serves his community as the Founder of 500 Museum of Wheels in Terre Haute, Indiana, and as a director of numerous non-profit boards in Terre Haute.
In addition to expanding its governing Board, the Foundation has added senior staff leadership by appointing Elizabeth (Betsy) Smith as its Executive Director. With a background of almost 15 years of business transactional, insurance, non-profit, and securities law as a partner at Ice Miller LLP in Indianapolis, and almost 13 years of fundraising experience as the Director of Philanthropy of the Indiana Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, she brings non-profit management, fundraising, and legal expertise to the Foundation. She also serves as a Director of Western & Southern Mutual Insurance Holding Company, a diversified financial services holding company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. Ms. Smith joins Ellen Bireley, Museum Director and a Museum employee for more than 20 years, in taking steps to capitalize on the Museum’s extensive and valuable collections to educate the public about Indiana’s motorsports and automotive histories.
Hall of Fame Museum
The Hall of Fame Museum at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, one of the top automotive museums in the United States, was first established in 1956 with about a dozen historical automobiles. Today, its collection includes more than 400 automobiles, of which about 75 are on display at any time. The vehicle holdings include Indianapolis 500 winners, Indianapolis 500 and Brickyard 400 pace cars, vintage passenger cars manufactured in Indiana and around the world, motorcycles, vehicles that once held world land speed records, NASCAR race cars and dragsters. The Museum also is home to the Borg Warner Trophy and other auto racing trophies from around the world, among other racing memorabilia. Its Auto Racing Hall of Fame has recognized and celebrated 148 leaders in American auto racing from 1952 to the present. As an independent, not-for-profit Section 501(c)(3) organization, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Foundation, d/b/a Hall of Fame Museum, is supported by revenue from museum admissions and tours, event fees, donations and sponsorships.