Frank Clark, 2012 Jean Allard Regional Trailblazer Award Winner - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Frank Clark, 2012 Jean Allard Regional Trailblazer Award Winner

At MPC's 2012 Annual Luncheon, "The Cities That Work," MPC honored Frank Clark, former chairman and CEO of ComEd, with the Jean Allard Regional Trailblazer Award. Named for MPC’s immediate past president, Jean Allard, who served the organization from 1990 to 1995, MPC established the award to recognize others who blazed trails similar to Allard. Since then, the award has been given to individuals who exemplify her independence, leadership and commitment to regional collaboration. Allard was one of the first civic leaders in Chicago to realize that being truly metropolitan meant reaching out to all parts of the region. Sadly, Allard passed away in January of this year. 

"Jean Allard was a trailblazer in every sense of the word, and someone I personally knew. Her metropolitan perspective and deep understanding of what is needed to create and sustain a truly great region will be difficult to replace,” said Clark, in his speech at the Annual Luncheon. “I am highly honored to receive an award that bears her name."

“Like Jean, Frank is a groundbreaker and a champion for metropolitan Chicago,” said award presenter King Harris, chairman, Harris Holdings, Inc., and chair, MPC Board of Governors. “He knew well what was at stake in 2004, when he served on a politically charged task force exploring the merger of northeastern Illinois’ land use and transportation planning agencies. Thanks to him and other members of that task force, today we have the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, which is steering our region’s ship toward growth and prosperity.” 

Ranked by Fortune magazine in 2002 as one of the 50 Most Powerful Black Executives in America, Clark retired from ComEd in 2011, after 46 years. Clark’s sharp business acumen is matched by his strong civic commitment. He serves on the boards of trustees of nearly a dozen Chicago-area institutions, including as chairman of the executive committee of The Chicago Community Trust and a co-founder of the Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy on Chicago’s West Side. In addition, he is a trustee on the boards for organizations like Alder Planetarium, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, and on the board of directors of Metropolitan Family Services.

MPC is pleased to recognize Mr. Clark for his outstanding leadership and for his promotion of a better region.


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For more than 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area's toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Read more about our work »

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