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Editorial: Laws award fitting honor for leader in community


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There is no more deserving winner of the William R. Laws Human Rights Award than local business and community leader Tom Harmon.

The CEO of Taylor Brothers Construction is a builder by trade, but he’s done much to build bridges among diverse people.

Take, for example, his involvement with CAMEO, the Columbus Area Multi-Ethnic Organization. It started when he was asked to represent the African-American groups. Once he got involved, he was impressed by people’s diverse backgrounds. So, he tapped their talent for community projects.

The same can be said for his involvement with Columbus Young Professionals and Leadership Bartholomew County.

Most recently, he brought several families together, including his own, to form the African American Fund of Bartholomew County. It provides grants to educate, inspire and equip African-Americans in Bartholomew County in education, leadership development, economic and career development, health awareness, and arts and culture. The families made a five-year commitment to the fund.

On top of this, Harmon is president of the Columbus Regional Health Foundation, chairman of the Heritage Fund’s Outreach Committee and a member of the Columbus Area Sports Advisory Committee.

That Harmon finds the time and energy to be active in all these endeavors is amazing, and more than many people do. Harmon said he learned early on from his father, William, owner of Harmon Construction in Jennings County, the importance of giving back to the community and becoming friends with all those he met.

For years, Harmon has been quietly connecting groups or individuals he met to tackle projects that benefit Bartholomew County residents.

He hasn’t sought the spotlight, always careful to give credit due to all the people who helped.

That’s the mark of a good leader.

Now it’s time for the public light to shine on Harmon for a lifetime of doing the right thing.

If you go

WHAT: Columbus Human Rights Commission annual dinner

HONOREE: Tom Harmon, CEO of Taylor Brothers Construction, will receive the William R. Laws Human Rights Award

SPEAKER: Keynote address will be given by Tom Linebarger, CEO and chairman of Cummins Inc.

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. April 9

WHERE: The Commons, downtown Columbus

COST: $30 per person

TO GET TICKEtS: Send a check to the Human Rights Commission, City Hall, 123 Washington St., Columbus, IN 47201, or purchase tickets at the commission office at City Hall. Deadline for ticket purchase is 5 p.m. April 3.

INFORMATION: 812-376-2532 or email humanrights@columbus.in.gov

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