I am almost positive I caught Master of Ceremonies Gerry Dick grinning during the Images of Excellence Awards ceremony as the list of accomplishments he was reading seemed to be unending.
The list, by any normal measure, should only be accomplished by a team of high achievers. But of course, the reason for the grin and why we were all gathered at the Ritz Charles was to honor not a crowd but one very special man: Ranjit Puthran.
Ranj, as his friends and colleagues kindly refer to him, achieved a major milestone in his life. He is the 2013 recipient of the Most Valuable Volunteer Award presented yearly by the Carmel Chamber of Commerce.
As is tradition during the month of December, the chamber recognizes the people and businesses who help to make Carmel a truly special place to live, work and raise a family.
So when a surprised and truly-moved Ranj made his way to the podium to accept his award, his remarks were heartfelt and humble.
“I am surprised and shocked. Thank you to my wife and to my great office staff who make it possible for me to work with these groups,” Puthran said.
Puthran is not a sit-back kind of guy. He jumps in with both feet, ready to help wherever he can, including helping others to reach their full potential.
One of the nominations he received described him by saying, “Ranj has a unique leadership style that combines business savvy with a how-can-I-help-you attitude.”
Because of his deep dive into the volunteer world of Carmel and Hamilton County, it will be easy to assume many readers will know exactly who this column is about. Some of the organizations which have benefited from his elbow grease include Carmel Dads Club, Gleaner’s Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, CarmelFest, Carmel Farmers’ Market, Rotary Club of Carmel, Habitat for Humanity, Carmel Marathon, Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors, St.Vincent Hospital Safety Day, Carmel Clay Public Library Board of Trustees and Riley Hospital For Children.
It is the spirit with which he approaches each of his many volunteer activities that makes Puthran special. Anyone who comes in contact with him will attest, it is his steady hand, humble essence and a willingness to do even the dirtiest job that makes him unique and worthy of this award.
He joins a long list of esteemed awardees, and without doubt, adding his name to the list has raised the prestige of this award to a new height.