Chicagoland Habitat for Humanity honored Wintrust Financial CEO Ed Wehmer, of Lake Forest, and Hilti Corporation at its third Habitat Hero Award Dinner, recognizing decades of leadership and commitment in their roles working with Habitat in the Chicago area and beyond.
More than 400 guests toasted the honorees at the Radisson Blu Aqu Hotel, Chicago and helped celebrate the homeowners and heroes that help Habitat for Humanity build strength, stability and self-reliance through shelter. CBS2 Chicago weekday anchor Irika Sargent was master of ceremonies for the event. “We’re all here tonight because of one universal truth: Everyone deserves a decent place to live. And Habitat for Humanity makes that dream a reality across the world every single day.”
“Housing is the foundation for a stable life,” said Leanne Redden, Executive Director, Regional Transportation Authority. “– including the Habitat homeowners for the pride they take in building their homes and investing in their families.” Leanne was a co-chair of the event along with 2016 Habitat Hero John Edwardson, CEO (retired), CDW.
For 33 years, Habitat for Humanity has had a local presence in the Chicago area, serving as a catalyst that mobilizes people to build homes, neighborhoods, and community. Since their beginning in the Chicago region, the eight Habitat for Humanity affiliates collectively have served over to 5,200 individuals in the area.
“We are grateful for all Hilti has done and the awareness you’ve raised so that others realize the critical importance of affordable housing and its role in creating safe neighborhoods in which children and families can grow and prosper,” said Amy Gardner, Sales Director for 2017 Habitat Hero Whirlpool Corporation. “In just 6 years of partnership, you have set a high bar for what a corporate partnership with Habitat for Humanity can accomplish and provide an outstanding example for other companies to emulate.”
“Living in the Chicago area, I had my first experience with Habitat,” said Avi Kahn, President and CEO, Hilti North America. “I still remember my first build day and the impact of seeing the family out building with our team members at Hilti. It’s something I’ll never forget.”
“My relationship with Habitat began several years ago and has evolved into one that includes Wintrust helping with local builds, financial donations, and mortgage loans and servicing,” said honoree Ed Wehmer. “They won’t let me build, though, as I am not allowed near power tools given my innate clumsiness!”
The evening included a video and onstage interview of a Habitat homeowner family, a paddle auction that raised over $113,000 to build a Habitat home in the region, and the world renowned Leo Catholic High School Choir closing the event with a rousing rendition of “Sweet Home Chicago.”
Sponsors include Anixter International Inc. and Wintrust (Region Builders); Ann and Ted Dosch, Edwardson Family Foundation, KoenigRubloff Cares Foundation, PepsiCo, and Valspar (Community Builders); Brandenburg Industrial Service Company, Bob and Kim Eck/The Eck Family Foundation, Essendant, Greenhill & Co./Cindy and Steve Cruise, Hilti, and Michigan Avenue Real Estate Group (Neighborhood Builders); Aon, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Chicago Cubs, Chuhak & Tecson, P.C., Clayco, Crist | Kolder Associates, Deloitte Tax LLP, Ernst & Young LLC, Goldman Sachs, Annie & Gregory K. Jones, KPMG, Method, Northwestern Medicine, Tim Schwertfeger & Gail Waller, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Westminster Capital, Wells Fargo, Whirlpool Corporation, and Wolverine Capital LLC (Home Builders); and BAIRD, Clune Construction Company, Cate & Jim Denny, Duane Morris LLP, Elkay Manufacturing Company, Focus, Carmela & Chris Griffin, IMS Companies, LLC, Elaine & Matthew Moy Johnson, Todd Kaplan, Knauf Insulation, Nicole & Michael Murray, Northern Trust, Radian Guaranty, RBC Capital Markets, and The Williams Capital Group (Family Builders). Crain’s Chicago Business served as Media Sponsor.
For more information, visit www.chicagolandhabitat.org/habitathero. #HabitatHero