Celebrating the June 28 Annual Civic Awards and the Legacy of Laurence J. Msall

June 02, 2023

The Civic Federation is pleased to return to Navy Pier’s Aon Grand Ballroom on Wednesday, June 28 for the 2023 Annual Civic Awards. This event honors one Chicagoan and one Chicago institution each year for their remarkable work toward the betterment of the city of Chicago. Awarded each year are the Lyman J. Gage Award for Outstanding Civic Contribution by a Chicagoan and the Addams-Palmer Award for Exemplary Civic Involvement by a Chicago Institution. This year’s event will also feature a special tribute honoring our late president, Laurence J. Msall.

Receiving the Lyman J. Gage Award for Outstanding Civic Contribution by a Chicagoan this year is Richard S. Price, executive chairman of Mesirow. Mr. Price has a demonstrated passion for the growth and success of Chicago, and is committed to charitable giving through Mesirow Financial, which for over 20 years has prioritized philanthropic projects including Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives. Mr. Price sits on the boards of World Business Chicago, The Executives’ Club of Chicago, Northwestern Memorial Foundation, Navy Pier, Metropolitan Family Services, the Big Shoulders Fund and the Civic Consulting Alliance. He was appointed to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Council by President Barack Obama, to the Cook County Economic Advisory Council by Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and is serving as a co-chair of Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson’s transition team. He is the chair of the Nora Project Leadership Council and is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and the board of regents for Mercy Home for Boys and Girls.

Receiving the Addams-Palmer Award for Exemplary Civic Involvement by a Chicago Institution is Wintrust Financial Corporation. Timothy S. Crane, president and chief executive officer, will accept the award. Founded in the suburbs of Chicago in 1991, Wintrust is a family of locally-run banks that has grown to include more than 170 locations and remains committed to its mission of providing an alternative to big banks. Through its Wintrust Community Impact team and commitment to corporate social responsibility, Wintrust invests to help spur community development, provides volunteer financial education training to individuals and small businesses, helps expand access to affordable housing through its commitment to funding affordable homeowner mortgages and donates millions in support of nonprofit organizations. Mr. Crane’s own civic engagement includes serving on the boards of Metropolitan Family Services, the Bank Administration Institute, Chicago United and DePaul University, and as an active member of the Economic Club of Chicago, the Executives’ Club of Chicago and The Bankers Club of Chicago.

This year’s Annual Civic Awards is also an opportunity for the Civic Federation to remember and honor its longtime president, Laurence J. Msall, who passed away unexpectedly on Feb. 4, 2023. During his 21-year tenure at the helm of the Federation, Laurence transformed and expanded the work and influence of the Federation. He was long respected and admired on both sides of the political aisle for his government finance expertise, his wise and generous policy counsel, his warm and friendly nature and his one-of-a-kind sense of humor. While the Civic Federation and others close to Laurence continue to plan additional activities and tributes in remembrance of him and his legacy, it is particularly meaningful to the Federation to honor Laurence at this year’s Annual Civic Awards, our first without him and an event he both loved and played an instrumental role in expanding into the much-anticipated event it is today. As part of our celebration of Laurence, we’ve created a new sponsorship tier for the Annual Civic Awards, the Laurence J. Msall Legacy Sponsor, intended to honor Laurence’s legacy. More information is available here.

We encourage all who are interested to register to join us on June 28. In addition to recognizing the extraordinary work of local individuals and businesses in service of our community, this event also serves as the Civic Federation’s primary fundraising initiative each year. Those interested in joining the list of businesses and individuals supporting the ongoing work of the Federation as event sponsors can learn about how to become a sponsor here. We appreciate any and all contributions as we advance our independent, nonpartisan government research initiatives this year and beyond, but especially during this period of unprecedented transition for our organization.

Finally, we would like to extend our sincerest thanks to our event co-chairs—William J. Brodsky, Les Coney, Lester Crown, Adam L. Hoeflich, Dr. Suzet M. McKinney, Donovan W. Pepper, Patrick G. Ryan, Maurice Smith and Jennifer W. Steans—for their invaluable guidance and support.

We hope to see you at Navy Pier!