CHICAGO — On Tuesday, June 29, the Civic Federation will celebrate the outstanding civic and philanthropic contributions of Ariel Investments and Maurice Smith, president and CEO of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), during the 2021 Annual Civic Awards virtual program. The awards are presented annually to a Chicagoan and a Chicago-area business that best exemplify the vision of civic involvement espoused by the Civic Federation founders for whom the awards are named: Lyman J. Gage, Jane Addams and Bertha Honoré Palmer.
“Each year, the Civic Federation has the privilege of honoring a corporation and an individual who are world-class not only in their business accomplishments but also in their ability to drive change in the community,” said Civic Federation President Laurence Msall. “I believe I can speak for the entire region when I say we are especially fortunate that Ariel Investments and Maurice Smith each call the Chicago community their home.”
Maurice Smith will receive the Lyman J. Gage Award for Outstanding Civic Contribution by a Chicagoan for his commitment to expanding access to health care resources in underserved communities and his longtime involvement with Chicago cultural, philanthropic and educational institutions.
HCSC operates through health plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, serving nearly 17 million members. Maurice began his career at the Illinois health plan as an accounting intern in the mid-1990s. After excelling in various roles there, he was named President and CEO of HCSC in 2020, the same year he was also recognized as one of Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare. Under Maurice’s leadership, HCSC’s Illinois health plan established several multipurpose facilities on the city’s south and west sides that provide wellness programming and health education resources to historically underserved populations. In addition to creating hundreds of local jobs, the Morgan Park, Pullman, Pilsen and South Lawndale neighborhood centers prioritize improving the physical and economic health of the surrounding communities.
Maurice is committed to bettering Chicago communities. He believes that being a responsible citizen is critical from a moral imperative and also sees an opportunity to dedicate resources to invest in and experiment with neighborhood-wide strategies that can help lift communities economically and improve health outcomes. Maurice serves as a Civic Federation Trustee, as Vice-Chair of Roosevelt University and on the boards of Ventas, Inc., the Economic Club of Chicago, Executives’ Club of Chicago, the Art Institute and World Business Chicago. For his civic and philanthropic contributions, Maurice has been honored by the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and the Academy of Urban School Leadership and has been recognized as a Chicago United Business Leader of Color, among other designations.
“We are committed to collaborating with nonprofits, civic organizations, providers, the local business community and other stakeholders to create an outsized impact in the communities we serve and create a pathway to better health,” said Maurice. “I’m honored by this recognition and look forward to continuing our work with dedicated organizations like the Civic Federation to foster greater economic opportunities and help individuals live healthier lives.”
Ariel Investments is the 2021 recipient of the Addams-Palmer Award for Exemplary Civic Involvement by a Chicago Institution in recognition of the company’s work to expand opportunities in underserved communities and to advance education at all levels. John W. Rogers, Jr., Co-CEO, Chairman, and Chief Investment Officer, will accept the award on behalf of Ariel Investments.
Since 1996, Ariel has served as a corporate sponsor of Ariel Community Academy, a Pre-K to 8 neighborhood school on the city’s South Side that incorporates financial education and real investment opportunities into the district’s mandated curriculum. The program has been invaluable in teaching children the importance of investing and financial independence at an early age. In 2017, the John W. Rogers, Jr. Internship Program in Finance at the University of Chicago was established to connect businesses with exceptional summer internship candidates, primarily from underrepresented backgrounds.
As part of the company’s Commitment to Community, each Ariel team member is empowered and encouraged to give back through volunteer work for organizations such as After School Matters, the LaRabida Foundation, Lincoln Park Zoo, Thresholds and others.
“I am delighted to accept the Addams-Palmer Award on behalf of Ariel Investments. Giving back and enriching the communities where we live and work have always been at the core of our mission,” said Rogers. “We are proud to have a highly engaged team of talented individuals at Ariel who use their skills and passion to make an impact every day.”
Business and civic leaders David R. Casper, Lester Crown, Helene D. Gayle, M.D., Mark Hoppe and Andy McKenna and Jennifer Steans will serve as co-chairs for the event. Registrants can tune in June 29 at noon to see the full cadre of speakers, interviewees and government officials participating in the recipients’ tributes.
For more information on the history of the awards, their namesakes and past honorees, please visit civicfed.org/civicawards.