June 20, 2012
On June 18th at the Palmer House Hilton Grand Ballroom, the Civic Federation honored the civic leadership of Thomas J. Wilson, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Allstate Corporation, with the Lyman J. Gage Award for Outstanding Civic Contribution by an Individual. AT&T Illinois, a global telecommunications corporation, received the Addams-Palmer Award for Exemplary Civic Involvement. Paul V. La Schiazza, President of AT&T Illinois, accepted the award on behalf of his company. Read more about the Civic Federation Awards here.
The luncheon was attended by over 600 of Chicago’s and Illinois’ most prominent business, civic and government leaders.
Cook County Health and Hospitals System Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ram Raju gave the salutation address. Dr. Raju congratulated AT&T Illinois and Thomas J. Wilson for their civic commitment to Chicago. He said that philanthropic endeavors launched in Chicago have the potential to improve health in communities around the world. Dr. Raju urged Chicagoans to work together to end local disparities in healthcare access.
Dr. Raju giving the salutation address at the Awards Luncheon.
After a break for lunch, Civic Federation President Laurence Msall recognized the past honorees and numerous civic and government leaders in attendance and introduced Civic Federation Chairman Thomas E. Livingston. Chairman Livingston discussed some of the Federation’s major accomplishments in the past year and acknowledged the leadership of the luncheon co-chairs: Lester Crown, Andrew J. McKenna, Bruce V. Rauner and Michael J. Sacks. Chairman Livingston also recognized the Board of Directors of the Civic Federation and thanked them for their expertise in guiding the Federation’s policy discussions.
Luncheon Co-Chair Bruce V. Rauner then presented the Addams-Palmer Award for Exemplary Civic Involvement by a Corporation to AT&T Illinois President Paul V. La Schiazza. Mr. Rauner praised the company’s commitment to giving Chicago residents opportunities to thrive and succeed. AT&T Illinois serves the community with programs like the AT&T Aspire program to address high school graduation and workforce development for at-risk Illinois students, the “It Can Wait” education campaign against texting and driving and the “Investing in Illinois” grants for organizations including the Safer Foundation on the West Side and the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club.
The company is one of the largest private employers in the state with more than 15,000 employees. During Mr. La Schiazza’s tenure as President, the company has invested more than $21 million in charitable and foundation giving programs in Chicago and Illinois. In his presentation speech, Mr. Rauner included Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, DePaul University and the new Quad Cities campus of Western Illinois University as a few examples of organizations benefitting from AT&T’s charitable investments.
The Lyman J. Gage Award for Outstanding Civic Contribution by an Individual was presented by Mr. Msall to Thomas J. Wilson, Chairman, President and CEO of The Allstate Corporation. Mr. Msall said Mr. Wilson is a leader who is keeping the business community front and center in efforts to move Chicago forward. Mr. Wilson leads a joint City of Chicago-Cook County youth violence prevention partnership of 50 leaders from the government, business and civic communities. The group aims to make Chicago the safest big city in America by the year 2020 and has already received national attention as a new model for anti-violence efforts.
Under Mr. Wilson’s leadership, Allstate’s Teen Safe Driving program has helped decrease teen deaths on U.S. roads. He has also championed Allstate’s partnership with the National Network to End Domestic Violence to provide financial education, matched savings programs and job training to survivors of domestic violence. In 2010 he launched The Allstate Fellows Program, which allows employees to take a paid sabbatical to share their skills with local non-profits.
Mr. Wilson has also been on the Board at Rush University Medical Center for 10 years and serves on the boards of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Museum of Science and Industry and Catalyst, a non-profit organization working to advance women in business.
The annual Civic Federation luncheon serves as a tribute to the honorees’ commitment to the Chicago area. The generous support the Civic Federation receives from this event allows the organization to continue its efforts to promote efficient delivery of public services and sustainable tax policies in the Chicago region and State of Illinois.
(From left) Civic Federation President Laurence Msall; Co-chair Michael J. Sacks; Paul V. La Schiazza, President of AT&T Illinois; Thomas J. Wilson, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Allstate Corporation; Co-chair Lester Crown and Co-chair Bruce V. Rauner.