At the retirement party, Jamerson was honored as Wabash’s Sagamore


April 28 — Anderson — Mary Jamerson likes to think of the new season she’s entered into as a rewiring rather than a retirement.

In late January, Jamerson departed from a career of more than 40 years in auto retail by selling the Myers Autoworld dealership on Scatterfield Road.

She was honored at a reception at the Anderson Country Club on Thursday, which included the surprise announcement that she had been selected for Wabash’s Sagamore, a prestigious award recognizing her service to Indiana.

“It makes me really humble,” said Jamerson. “It’s not about me. It’s about ‘us’.” As I look around this room and the organizations I’ve been involved with, I know that I stand on the shoulders of many giants, both professionally and personally.

“We kind of get along and share a passion for community, so it’s inspiring that we’re here. I really feel like I want to be a giver.”

Jamerson has promoted a culture of community service that has elevated the role of women, brought tens of thousands of dollars in donations and scholarships to local schools, and led to new jobs. In recognition of his leadership, he was named Community Person of the Year by The Herald Bulletin.

Jamerson has served on many local boards, including the Flagship Enterprise Center, the Madison County Economic Development Corporation, and Community Hospital Anderson. While serving on the latter’s board, Jamerson was on the search committee that appointed Beth Tharp as the hospital’s president and CEO in 2012.

“It’s a big memory for me,” Tharp said at the gala on Thursday.

Since then, Tharp has transitioned to a regional role as President of Hospital Services for Community Health Network. Her ongoing relationship with Anderson involved her friendship with Jamerson, and Tharp said it cemented when she won her 2016 Athena Awards. The award is on the shelf in her office.

“When you look at it, you can’t see me. You can’t see Athena. You can see Mary Jamerson,” she said. She “has seen over the years mentoring, recognizing and lifting women in her community.”

Jamerson is the driving force behind the Athena Awards, which recognize outstanding businesswomen in Madison County.

Jamerson was gifted Wabash’s Sagamore by former state senator Terry Austin and former state senator Tim Lannan. In his remarks, Austin said the confirmation of Jamerson’s nomination was swift with the help of Rep. Bob Cherry.

“Mary was a breakthrough in so many areas,” Austin said. “She is one of those people in the community who are always trying to help Anderson. She understands that you can’t make a more attractive time.”

Tarp also told the dozens of local business and government leaders in attendance that Jamerson isn’t afraid to ask tough questions and hold peers accountable for their work on projects for community improvement. It reminded me of

“She can ask wicked questions and get you on track,” Tharp said. All reasons for doing so are for the benefit of this community.”

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