Boeing Chicago Game Changer Award


At Boeing, we know that the most enduring improvements come as the result of hard work and the vision of leaders who find new ways to make the world a better place. We think of these leaders as "game changers." These game-changing leaders are capable of breathing new life into our communities, fostering what is best in all of us and uniting diverse groups to work to bring about lasting systemic changes. They see our problems in new ways, take risks, and, as a result, develop new innovative solutions. In 2007 Boeing Chicago Global Corporate Citizenship inaugurated an annual award, the Boeing "Game Changer" Award, to acknowledge Chicago-area community leaders who serve diverse and disadvantaged communities and are breaking molds, are new in their position and/or are launching new programs or initiatives. Beginning in 2013, the $100,000 prize will be given in each of the 5 community strategies Boeing supports.
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2011 Winners

Civic Consulting Alliance

Chicago Game Changer Certificate and ChestCIVIC CONSULTING ALLIANCE is a partnership that reshapes how the city works. By building pro bono teams of business experts, government leaders, and their own staff, CCA and its partners figure out workable and enduring ways to make Chicago a more livable, affordable, and globally competitive city.

Boeing recognized CCA for their role in implementing the Chicago Climate Action Plan (CCAP), Chicago's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. The Plan has been recognized worldwide as a leading climate roadmap for cities.

Over the past few years, CCA partners have contributed nearly $11 million in pro bono services to develop and implement CCAP initiatives.

More importantly, these contributions are having significant impact. For example, in its inaugural year, the Green Office Challenge engaged more than 150 participants who saved $5.1 million in energy costs. The program, run by ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, is being expanded to four other cities nationwide.

Chicago Public Library's YOUMedia Program

Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library's Mary Dempsey accepting the Game Changer Award for YOUMedia.Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library's Mary Dempsey accepted the Game Changer Award for YOUMedia. This unique learning space for high-school students connects young adults, books, media, adult mentors and institutions throughout the city. Located at the Harold Washington Library, in three neighborhood branch libraries and online, YOUmedia engages young adults in projects that promote and build critical thinking and creativity skills; skills that are essential for success in a global economy. The program has been so successful that its model will be replicated in up to 30 learning labs across the country over the next few years.


Award Eligibility

The award is a $100,000 grant to the nonprofit organization the community leader represents. The resources will target innovation within the organization with a focus on diversity and/or organizational development. Leader will be selected on the basis of their most current work and a demonstrated commitment to mentoring and leadership development.

The director of Global Corporate Citizenship in Chicago will lead selection process which will be validated by the vice president of Global Corporate Citizenship. Winners may be recommended by Chicago-area leaders, communities, philanthropy colleagues and Boeing Chicago/Gary employees.

Review Process

  • The selection process will be conducted in the first half of any given year and winners announced in October.
  • Leader must serve in one of Boeing's five community strategies and specifically serve diverse and underserved communities; lead or have launched a new program/initiative.
  • Must have a proven track record and demonstrate leadership attributes valued by Boeing.
  • Leader and/or organization must demonstrate effective business and financial controls; promote integrity; show commitment to and take advantage of diversity; and create an environment of respect and inclusion.

2010 Winner

2010 Game Changer Award being presented to Jim Alexander of Illinois Action for ChildrenThe 2010 Game Changer Award was presented to Jim Alexander of Illinois Action for Children. Alexander was recognized for his leadership in fostering healthy and well-nurtured children throughout the state. Since August 2009, he has served as vice president of Strategic Planning and Execution for the IAFC, a nonprofit agency that provides social services and advocacy support in early care and education to Illinois families.

Rick Stephens, senior vice president, Human Resources and Administration, presented the award to Alexander during Leadership Greater Chicago's annual gala at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on April 15. "Jim is someone who unites diverse groups to look at problems in new ways, takes risks and, as a result, works toward lasting systemic changes in a community," Stephens said as he presented the award to a surprised and speechless Alexander, who was not notified of the honor in advance. "He was selected for his broad-sighted vision for change, his mentoring of the next generation of leaders and his ability to execute on that vision. Simply stated, Jim Alexander is a Game Changer."

2008 Winner

Ashley Wheater, The Joffrey Ballet artistic director (left), is recognized with the Boeing Game Changer award on Dec. 18, 2008. Shown with Wheater are (from left) Anne Roosevelt, Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship vice president and Jason Tyler, treasurer of The Joffrey's board of directors.In 2008, the second Game Changer Award was presented to Joffrey Ballet Artistic Director Ashley C. Wheater in a surprise presentation on stage at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago, at the Dec. 18 opening night performance of "The Nutcracker." The award recognizes Wheater's efforts to teach children, especially those from Chicago Public Schools and underrepresented communities, the whole concept of dance -- not just the steps and moves, but also the history, culture, science and math skills that combine to create the dancer's experience. Wheater's key initiative is launching and leading the Academy of Dance, Official School of the Joffrey Ballet, which opened the preceding Monday.

"We think of leaders like Ashley as 'game changers,'" Global Corporate Citizenship vice president Anne Roosevelt said. "They breathe new life into our communities, unite diverse groups to work to bring about lasting systemic changes, and foster what is best in all of us. Ashley Wheater is committed to furthering The Joffrey's hallmark of acknowledging that individual and cultural differences enrich his company."

2007 Winner

The first Game Changer Award was presented in 2007 By Boeing Chief Financial Officer James Bell (right) to Cheryle Jackson, president and chief executive officer of the Chicago Urban League at the Urban League's 46th Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner on Nov. 3. The first Game Changer Award was presented in 2007 By Boeing Chief Financial Officer James Bell (right) to Cheryle Jackson, president and chief executive officer of the Chicago Urban League, at the Urban League's 46th Annual Golden Fellowship Dinner on Nov. 3. Her high energy, laser-like focus and dedication have made a huge difference in the Urban League's course and direction since she has taken the helm--and helped take its game to a whole new level.