October , 2018

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Celebration to Recognize Great Achievements of African Americans


CHICAGO, IL – Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs hosted a celebration at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago to commemorate Black History Month. The event was an opportunity to reflect on the great achievements of African Americans and present awards to active leaders in the community.

“It is important that we acknowledge the great achievements and contributions of African Americans every day, not only during the month of February,” Treasurer Frerichs said. “Today, we all stood united to recognize past and current leaders for their dedication to making our communities a better place to live, work and raise a family.”

Illinois State Senator Toi Hutchinson served as the celebration’s Keynote Speaker. Treasurer Frerichs and ABC 7’s Jim Rose presented awards to the following recipients for their outstanding commitment to the community:

Outstanding Service in Business

John Clark, Founder of Reggio’s Pizza

Outstanding Commitment in Community Service

Andrew Holmes, Community Activist

Outstanding Commitment in Education

Karen Calloway, Assistant Principal, Kenwood Academy High School

Outstanding Commitment as an Elected Official

Carrie Austin, Alderman, 34th Ward

Outstanding Service in Leadership

Bishop Claude Porter, Pastor of Proviso Baptist Church

Black History Month is a national effort. In 1926, Carter G. Woodson created Negro History Week. In 1976, the annual celebration was expanded to a month.

About the Illinois Treasurer

The Illinois Treasurer is the state’s chief investment officer and Frerichs is a Certified Public Finance Officer. He protects consumers by encouraging savings plans for college or trade school, increasing financial education among all ages, and removing barriers to a secure retirement. As the state’s Chief Investment Officer, he actively manages approximately $25 billion. The portfolio includes $13 billion in state funds, $7 billion in college savings plans and $5 billion on behalf of local and state governments. The investment approach is cautious to ensure the preservation of capital and returns $28 to the state for every $1 spent in operations. The Treasurer’s Office predates Illinois incorporation in 1818. Voters in 1848 chose to make it an elected office.

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