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Mayor Rahm Emanuel Appears at Axelson Symposium

Mayor Rahm Emanuel

More than 500 attend the 12th annual Symposium for nonprofits

CHICAGO (May 17, 2011) — Rahm Emanuel, the newly inaugurated mayor of Chicago, made an appearance and spoke about the importance of the nonprofit community in Chicago at North Park University's annual Axelson Center Symposium for Nonprofit Professionals and Volunteers.

More than 500 people attended the symposium today, the largest conference in the Midwest focusing on nonprofit management. It included more than 40 of the country’s top nonprofit management experts and thought leaders, who provided nonprofit strategy-level discussions and practically focused workshops throughout the day. Awards for nonprofit managerial excellence and emerging nonprofit organizations were presented to Children’s Home + Aid, Lincoln Park Community Shelter, and Urban Initiatives.

While at the Symposium, Mayor Emanuel spoke about the importance of Chicago’s nonprofit community and introduced the closing keynote speaker, Darell Hammond, CEO of KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to create great playspaces through the participation and leadership of communities.

Commenting on the Symposium, Mayor Emanuel said, “We as a city benefit by what nonprofit organizations do for the City of Chicago.”

“The attendance of Mayor Emanuel at today's Axelson Center Symposium affirms the critical role schools and colleges like North Park University and all nonprofit organizations have in supporting the well-being of the City of Chicago,” said North Park's president, Dr. David L. Parkyn.

Pier C. Rogers, Ph.D., director of the Axelson Center, added, “We are delighted that Mayor Emanuel's friendship with our speaker Darell Hammond has brought him to the University's Axelson Center Symposium. His comments about our nonprofit community suggest his appreciation of nonprofit organizations in contributing to the vitality of Chicago and all its citizens.”

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence, which was given to three nonprofit organizations that embody exemplary management practices. Children’s Home + Aid won the Large Nonprofit Award (annual budget exceeding $3 million annually) and Lincoln Park Community Shelter won the Small Nonprofit Award (annual budget under $3 million annually) and will each receive a $5,000 unrestricted grant. Additionally, Urban Initiatives won the Excellent Emerging Nonprofit Organization Award, which targets smaller, emerging organizations and includes more than $25,000 in pro bono capacity-building services and a $2,500 grant.