By Abrahm Hurt TheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS — Former state Sen. Beverly Gard said she never intended to run for public office. “It was never anything that I’d planned when planning what I wanted for my life,” she said. “I just happened to be in the right time and the right place when I was in my early 30s.” Gard started her public career as a city council member in Greenfield in 1976, and she eventually ran for a Senate seat, which she held for 24 years. [caption id="attachment_35231" align="alignright" width="224"]
Former State Sen. Beverly Gard, R-Greenfield[/caption] On April 9, the Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series will honor Gard with the Nancy A. Maloley Outstanding Public Service Award. She will be recognized at the Lugar Series 28th Annual Luncheon at the Indianapolis Downtown Marriott. The award was established to recognize a Republican woman through appointed governmental or political office who has demonstrated dedication to serving the public. “Senator Gard’s commitment to public service is what the Lugar Series program is about,” said Anne Hathaway, Lugar Series executive director, in a statement. “We are so proud to have her as an inspiration to women leaders in Indiana and to honor her with this year’s Nancy A. Maloley Outstanding Public Servant Award.” The Lugar Seriesis a nonprofit organization inspired by former U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar. The series is a women’s leadership development program designed to increase the number of Republican women in local, state and national elected and appointed offices. Gard said she was humbled to be recognized for her work. “I never dreamed I would ever be even considered for an award like that,” she said. “It’s very humbling and something I’ll always treasure.” Gard said her most gratifying work as a Senator was legislation she passed in environmental affairs. “I chaired that committee for many years,” she said. “I did a lot of environmental affairs work, a number of things regarding healthcare, some local government things and some utilities legislation.” Gard, who started her career as a biochemist at Eli Lilly and Company, said her science background played a large role in creating legislation. “When you take a lot of science courses and major in science, you learn how to evaluate scientific results, and I think that’s a big factor,” she said. “Learning how to evaluate information and so forth.” After retiring from the Indiana Senate 2012, Gard became active in public policy issues and continues to stay engaged serving as chair of the Environmental Rules Board and the Alcohol Code Revision Commission. Abrahm Hurt is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.