Even though it was definitely not in the plans, Jean McMahan was likely
the first to know she was to be recognized with the Golden Hoosier Award on
During a recognition ceremony at the Sullivan Civic Center, Mayor Clint
Lamb — who nominated McMahan for the prestigious award — relayed a story
of McMahan, in her role working in Sullivan City Hall, telling the mayor he
had a call from the lieutenant governor's office about the award.
"So she knew before I knew she'd be getting the award," Lamb laughed to a
crowd of well-wishers celebrating the award with McMahan.
Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, in collaboration with the Indiana Family and
Social Service Administration’s Division of Aging, announced 21 senior
citizens — including McMahan — received the 2021 Golden Hoosier Award this
"So many of our strong nonprofits rely on the generosity of volunteers, and
we are fortunate to have great senior citizens who answer the call to give
their time, lend a hand and make considerable contributions to their
communities," Crouch said in a news release. “These humble leaders make
positive impacts on the lives of others and improve the overall wellbeing
of our state. Thank you for your service and answering the call to give
Crouch said the award began in 2008 and annually honors Hoosier senior
citizens for their years of service and commitment to the state. To date,
more than 260 Hoosiers have received the Golden Hoosier Award.
"I'm not really good at tooting my own horn," McMahan told assembled media
— TV and newspaper —prior to the ceremony. "I'm just really humbled.
"I've worked with the city, all the organizations of the city, since I was
pretty young," she said. "I never thought anything other than trying to do
things for the city or the organizations."
McMahan mentioned her parents as an initial inspiration in her life to
serve the community, and her husband for allowing it to continue through
the many years and to this day.
"I married a man that said go ahead and do your thing," she recalled. "I'd
have dinner on the table some evenings when he walked in the door and I
walked out. He would take care of the kids. He's been very supportive of
"It has been the honor of a lifetime to work alongside the City of Sullivan
for these years," she added. "Thank you to Mayor Lamb for recognizing my
passion for my community and thank you to Lt. Gov. Crouch and (Indiana
Family and Social Services Administration Division of Aging) for this award.
Throughout her career, McMahan's leadership has helped advance Sullivan's
mission and priorities. Her volunteerism and drive are all based on her
personal experience as a former downtown business owner and avid community
supporter. Jean has been a volunteer at the Sullivan County Community
Foundation for over 20 years and has worked on several committees,
including the scholarship committee, asset and development committee,
governance and planning committee, marketing and public relations committee
and the golf outing committee.
McMahan has played an integral role in identifying numerous students who
qualify for college assistance and has helped to raise funds to make
Sullivan County a better place to live, work and play for all ages. Jean's
volunteerism on the Sullivan Housing Authority Board and current role as
board president has impacted hundreds of families by providing safe, secure
and reliable housing.
McMahan currently serves on the Sullivan City Board of Public Works, as
well, which met in their monthly meeting just the night before in the Civic
Center. She is also a past member of the Sullivan City Council.
"The city's motto is 'take time to care' … Jean embodies what this means and
we are lucky to have her as a part of the community," Lamb stated.
"Everything she does, she does with her heart and the notion that she is
bettering the community and people who call it home."
This year, Golden Hoosier Award recipients were honored with a video
ceremony, which can be watched by going to IN.gov/lg/2532.htm.
For more information, contact GoldenHoosiers@fssa.IN.gov.