Hon. Heather Steans, Jennifer W. Steans, Robin Steans and Clayco Honored at Civic Federation’s 2024 Annual Civic Awards Event

July 03, 2024

On Thursday, June 27, over 400 of Chicago’s business, civic and government leaders gathered at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel to celebrate the Civic Federation’s 2024 Annual Civic Awards. Now in its 42nd year, the Annual Civic Awards event presents the Gage-Msall Award and the Addams-Palmer Award in recognition of the outstanding civic contributions of Chicago individuals and institutions. This year’s event was uniquely significant in that 2024 marks the Civic Federation’s 130th anniversary. In addition, the Federation awarded its newly renamed Gage-Msall Award, a tribute to late Civic Federation President Laurence Msall, for the first time. 

The 2024 Civic Awards event honored Hon. Heather Steans, president of the Steans Family Foundation; Jennifer W. Steans, president and CEO of the Financial Investments Corporation; and Robin Steans, president of Advance Illinois, with the Gage-Msall Award for Outstanding Civic Contribution by Chicagoans. The Civic Federation recognized the Steans sisters for their extraordinary individual civic accomplishments and dedication to public service, as well as their contributions to the Steans Family Foundation, which invests in and revitalizes the communities of North Lawndale and North Chicago.  

Clayco received the Addams-Palmer Award for Exemplary Civic Involvement by a Chicago Institution for its dedication to civic engagement through its charity programs, collaboration with nonprofit organizations based in Chicago and around the country and company initiatives aimed at improving the lives of its employees, including a student loan repayment program. Clayco President Kevin McKenna accepted the award on behalf of the organization. 

The Civic Federation was pleased to welcome esteemed emcee Brandis Friedman, anchor of WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight,” who led a roundtable discussion with Heather, Jennifer and Robin Steans as part of the event program. Friedman spoke in her remarks about the importance of civic engagement, calling it “the fuel that keeps our city and region evolving toward its greatest potential.” She also thanked attendees for their own dedication to service. 

“In whatever ways you each personally serve and give back, I want to thank you for your engagement,” Friedman said. “That includes being here with us today to celebrate these honorees who are the definition of civic leadership and show us all what is possible.” 

The event also featured remarks by Civic Federation President Joe Ferguson and Board Chair Jill Wolowitz; Douglas Boersma, CEO of Wintrust Bank, the largest bank subsidiary of Wintrust Financial Corporation, recipient of the 2023 Addams-Palmer Award; and Mesirow Executive Chairman Richard S. Price, the 2023 Gage honoree. Governor J.B. Pritzker was featured via a pre-recorded video during the event program, and expressed his congratulations to the honorees along with his gratitude for their commitment to uplifting vulnerable populations and deeply engaging with the communities they seek to improve. 

Among his remarks, Civic Federation President Joe Ferguson, who was making his first Civic Awards appearance as the organization’s new president, expressed gratitude for his new role and for the presence and ongoing support of the community as the Federation advances and evolves its mission.  

“It’s not work if you are joined in the right thing, for the right reasons, with the right people,” Ferguson said. “And I am. We all are.” 

The Civic Federation greatly appreciates the leadership of event co-chairs Lester Crown, Adam L. Hoeflich, Dorri C. McWhorter, Michael J. Sacks and Maurice Smith, who each helped make this event possible. The Federation also extends its thanks for the generous support of all who attended and sponsored the event. Finally, we extend an extra-special thank you to our three Legacy Sponsors: The Crown Family, GCM Grosvenor and the Steans Family. 

To view the full event recording and photo gallery, please click here

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