Rep. Jeff Espich, R-Uniondale, has been named 2012 Legislator of the Year by the Indiana Bankers Association (IBA).
The award was presented by IBA President and Chief Executive Officer S. Joe DeHaven during the association's annual convention on Sept. 11 in French Lick.
Espich was recognized for his 40 years of service in the Indiana House of Representatives, where he currently serves as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and of the State Budget Committee.
For the past two decades, Espich has monitored state tax dollars and authored balanced budgets, which have helped distinguish Indiana as one of the most fiscally sound states in the nation.
In 1972 Espich was elected to the House of Representatives and since has served as chairman of the House Commerce Committee and the House Labor Committee, and as a member of the House Insurance, Corporations and Small Business Committee; the House Courts and Criminal Code Committee; and the Citizens Commission on Taxes.
Additionally he has served as House Speaker Pro Tem, House Assistant Minority Leader and House Minority Whip.
Espich did not seek re-election this year and is retiring from the House following the November elections.
A self-employed small businessman and property owner/manager, Espich has been active with the Uniondale Volunteer Fire Department, Uniondale United Methodist Church and as a member of the Bluffton Chamber of Commerce.
He also has served as a director of the State Bank of Markle, later renamed MarkleBank, and currently is a director of Independent Alliance Banks Inc.
Espich is a graduate of Indiana University and a veteran of the United States Army.