Celebrating the June 27 Annual Civic Awards

June 04, 2024

The Civic Federation’s Annual Civic Awards, now in its 42nd year, will take place on Thursday, June 27 at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel. The event will honor three Chicagoans with the newly renamed Gage-Msall Award for Outstanding Civic Contribution by Chicagoans and a Chicago institution with the Addams-Palmer Award for Exemplary Civic Involvement by a Chicago Institution for their remarkable work toward the betterment of the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois. Receiving the Gage-Msall Award are Hon. Heather Steans, Jennifer W. Steans and Robin Steans. Receiving the Addams-Palmer Award is Clayco

Hon. Heather Steans is the president of the Steans Family Foundation. Heather previously served as state senator for Illinois’ 7th District from 2008 to 2021, passing legislation to permit same-sex marriage in Illinois, reform Illinois’ Medicaid program and nursing home regulations, tax and regulate cannabis and improve the environment. She has previously been honored for her civic engagement, including receiving AARP’s Legislator of the Year Award, the Equality Illinois Freedom Award, Planned Parenthood’s Richard Phelan Profile in Courage Award and Trilogy’s Legislative Recovery Award. 

Jennifer W. Steans is the president and CEO of the Financial Investments Corporation (FIC) and a partner of Concentric Equity Partners, an FIC company. She chairs Navy Pier, is a Life Trustee and past chair of Ravinia Festival, and is a trustee of the Steans Family Foundation, the Civic Federation, The Commercial Club of Chicago, DePaul University, Phoenix Pact, Rush University Medical Center, World Business Chicago and the YWCA of Evanston/North Shore. She was named among American Banker’s 25 Most Powerful Women in Finance in 2013. 

Robin Steans is the president of Advance Illinois and is a trustee of the Steans Family Foundation and the University of Chicago Medical Center. At Advance Illinois, Robin works to reform the Illinois public school system so students can succeed in college, their careers and civic life. She is a co-founder and past Board Chair of the University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center and assisted in founding North Lawndale College Preparatory Charter High School, where she serves as a director. She also previously served on two of Chicago Public Schools’ Local School Councils. 

The Steans sisters collectively play a significant role in the Steans Family Foundation, founded in 1987 by their father Harrison I. Steans, the 2013 recipient of the Civic Federation’s Lyman J. Gage Award. The Foundation is invested in helping communities thrive and currently partners with like-minded organizations, residents and stakeholders in the communities of North Lawndale and North Chicago. Together, they work to build and enhance programs that advance early childhood development and K-12 education, college completion, workforce development, job creation and economic opportunity. The Foundation also bolsters policy efforts, concentrating on community development, justice, employment and education. The Foundation awarded over $14 million to organizations in 2021. 

Clayco President Kevin McKenna will accept the award on behalf of Executive Chairman and Founder Bob Clark. Founded in 1984, Clayco is a real estate, design-build, architecture, engineering and construction company for North American clients. Headquartered in Chicago and employing more than 3,500 employees across the county, the organization is dedicated to civic engagement through its established charity programs including the Juneteenth Fund, Construction Career Development Initiative and Future Leaders Fellowship, as well as its collaboration with nonprofit partners such as Habitat for Humanity and the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Clayco also recently launched its Clayco Student Loan Repayment Plan, an innovative program aimed at helping employees reduce their student debt repayment time frame by providing them up to $250 per month in loan repayment assistance.  

We encourage all who are interested to register to join us on June 27. 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. Join businesses and individuals dedicated to supporting the ongoing work of the Federation as an event sponsor. Any level of support will make a difference. 

We extend our sincerest thanks to our event co-chairs—Lester Crown, Adam L. Hoeflich, Dorri C. McWhorter, Michael J. Sacks and Maurice Smith—for their invaluable guidance and support.