2019 Award Recipients
Arthur J. Decio
Throughout Mr. Arthur J. Decio’s life, he has led by example in his pursuit of excellence in business and commitment to community. When Decio joined his family’s small business in 1952, it was being run out of a garage in Indiana. Under his leadership, Skyline became one of the three largest builders of manufactured homes in the United States. Decio supported other business ventures by serving in leadership positions with companies such as NiSource, Northern Indiana Public Service Company, and Homette Corporation, to name just a few.
Decio’s commitment to community has included not only the local area but also extended to include service in regional and national organizations. His local involvement spans diverse people and ages as he served on numerous boards with civic, religious, educational, business, financial, and non-profit purposes. Decio’s involvement also touched a variety of people while serving on national boards and fulfilling four separate Presidential Appointments.
Decio’s example of service continues as he remains active as a board member in business, educational, non-profit, and medical research foundation boards. His humble service has resulted in receiving over 40 awards for his voluntary leadership and recognition in the form of honorary degrees from eight colleges and universities including Hillsdale College, University of Notre Dame, and Salem College.
Rex Martin is Chairman of NIBCO INC. and represents the fourth generation of Martin family leadership. He joined the Company in 1975 and has served in a variety of leadership positions including President and Chief Executive Officer since 1992. He was elected Chairman of the Board in 1995.
Martin is the Co-Founder and Chairman of The Rex & Alice A. Martin Foundation which specializes in donations to fund major projects for children in all of the NIBCO site locations. Extending his service to the community, Rex has also served on many not-for-profit organizations and charities across the State of Indiana. as well as leading several capital campaigns. Rex currently serves on the Student Athletics Advisory Board for the University of Notre Dame.
Rex Martin has been honored many times for his leadership and philanthropy by such organizations as Culver Academies and Indiana University at South Bend. As well as, from the state of Indiana for his distinguished service, he was granted the state’s highest distinction, the designation of Sagamore of the Wabash in 2004.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in Bloomington and a master’s degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
2018 Award Recipients
Babette and Richard Boling
When you meet our honorees, Dr. Richard C. Boling II and Babette Boling, they talk a lot about the virtues important to them: community, family and legacy. They not only live these virtues daily, but have passed them on to two new generations. Dr. Richard Boling II and Babette Boling are the first honorees for the Council on Aging’s Benny Russo Award. They support many nonprofits that impact our community including the Council on Aging. They are different than traditional non-profit supporters as they are quite literally in the trenches working alongside staff to make a difference. This incredible couple believes in giving our society’s most vulnerable, children and the elderly, a voice and a helping hand. This was a virtue critically important to the late Benny Russo, whom this distinguished award is named after. Both have been tremendous caregivers to not only their parents and grandparents but also our community’s. According to Babette, the couple wanted to make sure they are supporting this great generation that raised us and supported us and now needs our assistance. Babette and Rich found the Council on Aging services as one way to effectively do this on a local level.
The Bolings’ legacy began on July 22, 1978 when the two high school sweethearts were married. Throughout the years, the Bolings went on to have five daughters their proudest achievement, whom they raised as women making philanthropic impacts as well: Ashley, Whitney, Hayley, Mackenzie and Ronisha.
Many are familiar with the Boling name through the award-winning Boling Vision Center where Richard is the founder and chief medical officer. Boling Vision Center has been compassionately serving the families of Michiana with a state-of- the-art, personalized eye care experience since 1960. Boling Vision Center is a third-generation, legacy eye care practice where the genuine care and comfort of the guest is their highest mission. Boling Vision Center has taken great care of area senior citizens for more than four decades.
The Bolings also make sure to pay-it-forward with other generational nonprofits. The Bolings started an after-school initiative called Raise the Bar Drum Line. It involves mentoring kids through drumming, rhythm, music, exercise and fun. Raise the Bar Drum Line provides a solid foundation for handling life’s lessons and offers an opportunity to participate in a weekly youth Bible study. Babette also oversees the “Golden Beats”, a group that brings positive energy and the message to “keep moving” to senior citizens throughout Michiana.
Both are also active board members for the Elkhart Education Foundation that their daughters Hayley and Ashley formed, whose mission it is to fill in the funding gaps for local students and educators.
Today, the Bolings also have another honor and title, being grandparents. They have three grandchildren (Ryan, Lyla and Noah) that will carry on their grand parents’ virtues of service.