Shari Richey Boone County’s Newest Councilor: On Representing The Boone County Community

5/5 - (1 vote)

July/August 2023

Shari Richey Boone County’s

This month, Zionsville Monthly is pleased to feature Zionsville resident Shari Richey on the cover. Richey, who is no stranger to serving the Zionsville community, was elected to the Boone County Council by the Boone County Republican Party after a closed 2-hour caucus last June.

We wanted to familiarize our readers with Richey and her contributions to the Zionsville Community Schools and other local organizations over the many years, as well as share Richey’s intentions as they relate to her service to the Boone County community.

In the wake of the sudden passing of Councilwoman Marcia Wilhoite, who served the council for 18 years, the Boone County Republican precinct committee members elected Richey, who was among eight candidates. As someone who spent her career in accounting at Ernst & Young (EY), Richey brings a breadth of specialized skills, insights and experiences to her new role as a county councilor.


For the past 35 years, Richey has devoted her time and her skills to various community organizations and entities, including her alma mater Butler University where she graduated cum laude with a degree in accounting in 1988. Richey earned her CPA and served 10 years as a tax consulting partner at Ernst & Young.

“I have been involved in a number of civic and community organizations, having served multiple years on the boards of The Indiana Repertory Theatre, Butler University, Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. and United Way of Central Indiana,” Richey shared. “I served on the Zionsville Community School Board of Trustees from 2010 to 2018. I was lucky to work closely with Mike Shafer, the CFO at that time, who knew school finance better than anyone in the state.  As a result, I have a much deeper understanding of quasi-governmental budgets, municipal bonds and the accounting rules that govern these entities. That local experience will likely be the most useful in my role on the Council, which is the fiscal body for the County.”

Professionally, Richey served as the leader for EY’s Indiana Entrepreneur of the Year Program [2003-2009], EY Indiana Alumni Program, as well as the Professional Women’s Network for the Indianapolis office. From 2004 to 2006, Richey led a $25-million area-wide practice with 54 professionals within the Human Capital Practice, successfully working with clients to save millions annually by making the most of their human capital investment to better align their human resources plans with their overall business strategy. In 2006, Richey was selected to lead Indianapolis Office’s Business Tax Services with revenue of $10 million and staff of 70+ representing the federal tax practice at EY.

When asked why she’d considered running for the open council seat after the untimely death of Wilhoite, Richey said, “First, let’s be clear. No one can truly replace Marcia.  Her work as a CPA in private practice facilitated a deep understanding of the County Council’s budget and finances over 18 years, and her expertise in these areas makes her loss even more pronounced.  While I didn’t have the privilege of knowing Marcia personally, I have the utmost respect for the work she did in service to the residents of Boone County.”  Richey continued, “The Council was in need of financial talent that could be put to work right away.  Given that this is the fiscal body for the county, and the Council’s budget process begins in earnest from July through October, I realized that accounting and finance experience is exactly what was needed at this time.”

However, it was the opportunity to be involved with and to assist our County in managing the LEAP project that really drew her interest.  “The LEAP project is something that I had been following intently since its announcement in 2022.  Boone County is about to explode on all levels.  LEAP is going to affect every one of us in the county — no matter where you live. I believe that it is imperative that every person with a leadership position in Boone County must be all hands on deck for the next 8-10 years so that we can land this jumbo jet as safely and gracefully as possible. We must do this well —very well—and ensure that we maximize this opportunity without losing the heart and soul of this wonderful county.  We must have leaders who can build consensus and bring our residents together.

Richey added, “Serving on the Boone County Council would be an additional opportunity for me to give back to the county that has been my home for the past 24 years. In this season of my life, I have availability for monthly meetings, budget work sessions, and any other committee-related efforts required. I’m not looking at this role as a stepping stone for any further political involvement.  Rest assured; I will work as hard as anyone in the county to serve the next eight years in this role so that I can have a meaningful impact.”


Richey has officially been in office since June 26, 2023, and shortly after attended her first County Council Meeting and 2 days of budget work sessions, experienced her first budget process for the county.

“I have learned a great deal already from this budget process and the meetings I’ve had with department leaders to date.  My fellow Council members have been so welcoming and helpful,” Richey said.  “Marcia knew it like the back of her hand. I’ve got a lot to learn, knowing how much our county is going to change with the LEAP project.”  In addition to the Lilly investment of $3.7B, there will be much bigger companies—and corresponding investments—coming to LEAP in the future.

Richey concluded, “We must have extremely capable adults in the room who can listen, lead and have the time to devote to significant strategic planning and budgeting.  Leaders who can bring our residents together. In less than 18 months, we will see a new Governor, as well as a new leader of the IEDC. Boone County residents are counting on all of us. We must have leaders who can work with and hold the state and the IEDC accountable every step of the way. It is a privilege to serve Boone County and I am excited about our future.”

Board Experience

  • Impact 100, Member (2013-2022)
  • Zionsville Community Schools, Board of Trustees (2010-2018); held roles of President, Vice President and Secretary
  • Butler University Board of Trustees (2004-2012); served on a number of Committees including Finance, Executive Committee, Membership and Academic Affairs
  • United Way of Central Indiana Women’s Initiative Steering Committee (2002-2012); Chair, Women United (2009-2011)
  • Indiana Repertory Theater, Board Member and Finance Committee (2002-2011)
  • Strategic Planning Committee for Butler University’s Five-Year Strategic Plan, Member (2008-2009)
  • Indianapolis Downtown, Inc., Board Member, Executive Committee and Chair of Finance Committee (2003-2009)
  • Butler University Alumni Board of Directors, President (1997-2003)

Honors and Awards

  • Promoted to Tax Partner at age 33
  • Member of IBJ’s 40 Under 40 – 2005
  • Butler University’s 50 Under 50 – 2004