Former Lilly VP honored by alma mater for giving back to community


Arnold Hanish was completely surprised when he learned he would be receiving a Distinguished Service Award from his alma mater, the University of Cincinnati College of Business.

“I didn’t even know I was being nominated for it when I got the call in November,” said the Carmel resident, who received the award during the business achievements awards ceremony March 3 in Cincinnati. “It’s based on contribution and service to the university. I endowed the first minority scholarship at the university, specifically directed to minority students, majoring in accounting. Minorities are sorely under-represented in the field of accounting. I felt it was important to endow a scholarship to allow more minorities to major in accounting.”

Hanish, 74, said the Hanish Business Fellows scholarship was endowed in 2011. He continues to contribute money to increase the fund for the annual scholarship.

“I’m very proud of that,” he said. “I’ve had the opportunity to mentor scholarship recipients over the last 10 years.”

Hanish said he remains active at the university, serving on the UC Business Advisory Council and UC Accounting Advisory Dept.

“I speak to students about business ethics and leadership,” Hanish said. “I talk about soft skills. It’s been a pleasure for me to give back. I believe in paying forward to the next generation. One way I could pay it forward is with the scholarship.”

Hanish received a distinguished alumnus award in 2011. He retired as vice president and chief accounting officer for Eli Lilly and Co. in December 2012. He began his career at Lilly as manager of domestic tax operations in 1984. In 1986, he moved into a financial reporting role and was appointed chief accounting officer in 1994. He previously worked for Arthur Young & Company (now Ernst & Young) upon graduating from the University of Cincinnati.

Harnish moved to Carmel in 1979.