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Nov 15

Ellen M. Costello Joins Prestigious List of Daniel H. Burnham Award Honorees

On November 14 at the Hilton Chicago, in a room full of prominent names – Governor Pat Quinn, Chicagoland Chamber Board Chairman Scott Swanson, and past Burnham Award winners Deb DeHaas, Glenn Tilton, John Rogers Jr., Richard Thomas and Alan McNally – it was Ellen M. Costello, CEO and US Country Head, BMO Financial Corp., who received the honor of the night: the 2012 Daniel H. Burnham Award for Distinguished Leadership from the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

Costello joined Deborah DeHaas, Vice Chairman & Central Region Managing Partner, Deloitte LLP and 2004 Burnham Award honoree, as the second woman to be honored with the award.

“It is such an honor to receive this award,” Costello said during her acceptance speech. “It is very humbling to be included in this group of leaders.”

The majority of Costello’s acceptance speech was dedicated to the important issue of improving graduation rates for students in Chicago. She emphasized improving the education system by fostering environments for success for our students, including safer neighborhoods, a stable home environment, and access to resources.

“To make this happen, we all need to work together to improve the odds so more students graduate,” she said.

The event, which was sponsored by Charter One and RBS Citizens, was also highlighted by Governor Pat Quinn, who addressed the crowd early in the ceremony. He lauded the Chicagoland Chamber for its dedication to economic development and job creation and thanked Chamber members, Ellen Costello, Chicagoland Chamber President and CEO Jerry Roper, and the past Burnham Award winners in attendance for their hard work in advancing the region.

“It’s leaders like this that move this city and this state forward,” Quinn said. “It’s important to have this type of economic leadership today.”

The dinner wasn’t all about the speakers. Each year, the Burnham Award Dinner features an exciting silent auction, and this year Chamber member AuctionsByCellular took it to an even higher level. Attendees were able to use AuctionsByCellular’s innovative, easy-to-use technology to bid on a variety of prizes via smartphone or by iPad through an AuctionsByCellular team member. Prizes ranged from a two-night stay at the Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel and a three-night stay at the Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts to United Club tickets for a Chicago Bears game and roundtrip airfare on American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines.

The Chamber presents the Burnham Award annually to an individual who best embodies Daniel Burnham’s philosophy of “make no little plans”. Congratulations to Ellen M. Costello for carrying on the Burnham tradition and serving as one of Chicagoland’s most distinguished business and civic leaders.

Click here to view photos from the event on Flickr.

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