Jack and Betsy Dustman
Betsy Dustman fondly recalls an era when titans of industry and business, including her departed husband Jack, perpetually banded together for the betterment of Indianapolis. “We had just dynamite heads of companies working together,” she said.
Mr. Dustman was one of the many leaders who worked hard to combine resources to create a better Central Indiana. Although he established Jack Dustman & Associates, Inc. in 1952 and served as the president until his death in 2006, Mr. Dustman’s passion was serving his community. “It was very important, it was our lives really. You had professions, but that (civic involvement) occupied a lot of our time. One year, Jack headed four fund drives,” said Mrs. Dustman.
In total, Mr. Dustman has helped run seven capital campaigns for three different organizations, generating more than $73 million for the Indianapolis community. Some of his most notable work was with United Way of Central Indiana, serving 24 years as a board member and helping establish the Philanthropic and Endowment funds. The couple helped fund the purchase of United Way’s past headquarters and even donated Mr. Dustman’s office building once he retired.
The Dustman’s also shared a passion for assisting Goodwill Industries of Central & Southern Indiana. For nearly 40 years, Mr. Dustman served in roles ranging from donor to fundraiser to board member. Shortly before his death, he endowed the Jack Dustman Internship to fund internships at Goodwill for college students. Mrs. Dustman now takes her husband’s seat at the board table, extending his legacy for years to come.
Mrs. Dustman is a major supporter of education and the arts, serving as a board member of The Orchard School and a volunteer for “Winterlights” at Newfields. She encourages others to participate and enjoy in what the museum has to offer. “To see happy families and what it meant to them, it was a real joy,” she said.
Her hope for the future of our community is to see organizations unite together to ignite the next generation. “You see across the country the symphonies and art museums struggling to encourage young people to become involved; I’d like to see another generation supporting and enjoying all that we have.” The most important thing is to, “continue to be a city in which you want to live and raise children or grandchildren; most important thing is family relationships and preserving them.”