About Mike

Karickhoff Family at Organization Day

Karickhoff Family at Organization Day

Mike Karickhoff is about making things happen. When you first meet Mike, his no-nonsense approach to life is apparent. A community leader with thirty years of local experience, Mike’s no nonsense method of problem solving has had great success in many areas. If you follow Mike around for a day, you will see a quick wit coupled with an ability to coordinate a wide variety of projects—all while juggling the demands of being an outstanding professional, civic and community leader and advocate, as well as a dedicated family man.

Professional life

Mike’s 35 year career has always centered around service. After graduating from University of Missouri, he served as Assistant Director and then Director of the Hannibal Missouri Parks and Recreation Department. When Kokomo’s Mayor Daily recruited Mike to lead his city’s Parks and Recreation Department, Mike returned to his Hoosier roots and led several projects for the city, including the creation of Kokomo Beach, the Carver Community Center remodel and expansion, the Wildcat Creek Walk of Excellence, Jackson Morrow Park, and the Kirkendall Nature Center. Mike became facilities director for Ivy Tech Community College in 2002. At Ivy Tech, Mike has overseen the expansion and improvement of college facilities to handle their rapid growth in the past twelve years.

Commitment to Community

In the past three decades, you’d find Mike at Kokomo Common Council meetings, Kiwanis board meetings, serving at holiday lights in Highland Park (a Kokomo Y’s Men’s project), or volunteering for the United Way and Red Cross. You could have found Mike at a middle school basketball game where you would get to see the competitive side of Mike as he coached. In all Mike does, there is passion and commitment to excellence. Mike is a man who cares about people and about making a contribution to the community and to individual lives, and he knows a positive attitude coupled with sound judgment and broad experience goes a long way toward making positive changes.

Community Involvement

  • 2010-2014 Indiana District 30 State Representative, Ways and Means Budget Sub-committee Chairman, Natural Resources Committee, Indiana Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, Chairman 2012, Vice-chair 2013
  • 2009,10,14 Greater Kokomo Howard County Economic Development Alliance Board of Directors
  • 2004–2010 Kokomo Common Council, president 2007, finance chair 2006, 2008-10; Plan Commission 2005
  • 2004–2010 Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, Legislative Affairs Committee
  • 2005–2010 Middle School Basketball Coach Taylor School Corporation
  • 2004-2008 Kokomo/Howard County Development Corporation Board of Directors
  • 2000–2004 Middle School Basketball Coach Northwestern School Corporation
  • 1992–1998 Howard/Tipton Counties American Red Cross Board of Directors, President 1995
  • 1986–2000 Kokomo Y’s Men’s Club; board member, 1996–97
  • 1996–present Kiwanis Foundation Board, Vice President 1998-2010, Treasurer 2014
  • 1985–present Kokomo Kiwanis Club, board member 1988–92; president 1991
  • 1985–2002 Indiana Parks and Recreation Association Registered Professional 1985; Registered Administrator 1988
  • 1985–1989 Participant and member of Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Kokomo Program
  • 1985–1996 United Way of Howard County, City of Kokomo Key Person 1985, 1986, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996; Board of Directors 1986–1990; Campaign Cabinet 1993, 1994
  • 1977–2002 National Recreation and Park Association, 1993 Certified Leisure Professional
  • 1976–1986 Missouri Parks and Recreation Association Registered Supervisor 1980; Registered Professional 1984

Commitment to Family

Although the term “family values” may have become cliché, it truly is what Mike is about. He and his wife, Kelly, are committed to their family, their church and their community. For Mike, that commitment comes in many forms—city government, education, and concern about regional and statewide issues. Kelly served as executive director of the Howard County Historical Society for over twenty years. Together, they instill in their family the idea of the importance of leadership and of giving back to the community.

Mike with his nine grandchildren

Mike with his nine grandchildren

Recognized Leader

  • 2014 Indiana Conservation Alliance Legislator of the Year
  • 2014 Indiana Park and Recreation Association Legislator of the Year
  • 2013 Indiana Association of Cities and Towns Legislator of the Year
  • 2011 Indiana Representative to the Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development
  • 2010 Ivy Tech Regional Administrator of the Year
  • 2005 Ivy Tech Community College Public Relations Award
  • 1996 Governors’ Voluntary Action Community Service Award (Red Cross involvement)
  • 1984 Jaycee of the Year Hannibal Missouri
  • 1977 Recipient of the MPRA Lee Fine Scholarship Award
  • 1976 Elected to the Recreation Honorary Sigma Lambda Sigma, University of Missouri
  • 1970 Eagle Scout, Central Ohio Council, Circleville Ohio