Barnes & Thornburg LLP announced today that U. S. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II will deliver the keynote address at the firm’s Third Annual Celebration of Diversity dinner on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at the Palmer House Hilton.
Cleaver, elected as the first African American Mayor of Kansas City in 1991, is a United Methodist pastor and the U.S. Representative for Missouri's 5th congressional district, serving since 2005. He is a member of the Democratic Party, and in January 2010 became chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.
The third annual dinner and reception will honor businesses and legal leaders in the Chicago community who have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to diversity, justice and civil rights, including: Andrea L. Zopp; CEO and President of the Chicago Urban League; Edward M. Burke, alderman of the 14th Ward of the City of Chicago; and Northstar Lottery Group, the private manager of the Illinois Lottery who recently doubled its annual contracting goal to businesses owned by minorities, women and people with disabilities (MFBDE) businesses since its ramp-up began in the spring of 2011.
“I commend Barnes & Thornburg for its civic and community involvement,” stated Danny Davis, U.S. Representative for Illinois' 7th congressional district. “I look forward to participating in this celebration of diversity for the third consecutive year.”
“We’re honored that Congressman Cleaver is joining us as the keynote speaker for this unique event,” said Richard Boykin, partner in the Chicago and Washington, D.C. offices of Barnes & Thornburg and a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee. “It is fitting that someone like Congressman Cleaver is here to honor Attorney Andrea Zopp and Alderman Burke, who epitomize what diversity is about, as well as the Northstar Lottery Group, a private organization that has made amazing contributions to the MFBDE business community. We look forward to recognizing the groundbreaking accomplishments of each of our honorees.”
Barnes & Thornburg’s Third Annual Celebration of Diversity will unite leaders in the legal and business communities including Cook County judges, businessmen and women from a variety of corporations and non-profit organizations, among others who are unwavering in their commitment to making the Chicago legal and business communities the most diverse in the country.
“Barnes & Thornburg is deeply committed to the practice of promoting a diverse workforce, and we hope this Celebration of Diversity sparks the attention of the business community,” said Barnes & Thornburg Managing Partner Alan A. Levin.
“As we continue to do our part as a firm to promote diversity both in and outside of the workplace, this event reaffirms our commitment to engage the community throughout our programs, partnerships, sponsorships and volunteerism,” added Mark Rust, Managing Partner of the Chicago office of Barnes & Thornburg.
Sponsors of Barnes & Thornburg’s Third Annual Celebration of Diversity event include: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Best Buy, Chatham Business Association, Prinicipal Financial Group and YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago.
Biography of U.S. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II
Emanuel Cleaver, II is now serving his fourth term representing Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, the home district of President Harry Truman.
Having served for 12 years on the city council of Missouri’s largest municipality, Kansas City, Cleaver was elected as the city’s first African American Mayor in 1991.
During his eight-year stint in the Office of the Mayor, Cleaver distinguished himself as an economic development activist and an unapologetic redevelopment craftsman. He and the City Council brought a number of major corporations to the city, including TransAmerica, Harley Davidson, and Citi Corp. Cleaver also led the effort, after a forty year delay, to build the South Midtown Roadway. Upon completion of this major thoroughfare, he proposed a new name: The Bruce R. Watkins Roadway. Additionally, his municipal stewardship includes the 18th and Vine Redevelopment, a new American Royal, the establishment of a Family Division of the Municipal Court, and the reconstruction and beautification of Brush Creek.
Cleaver has received five honorary Doctoral Degrees augmented by a bachelor’s degree from Prairie View A&M, and a master’s degree from St. Paul Theology of Kansas City.
Cleaver was unanimously elected the 20th chair of the Congressional Black Caucus of the 112th Congress. Cleaver, a native of Texas, is married to the former Dianne Donaldson. They have made Kansas City home for themselves and their four children.
Biographies of the Honorees
Andrea L. Zopp
Andrea L. Zopp, a business and civic leader who has been closely involved with the economic empowerment and civil rights work of the National Urban League for several years, was appointed president and CEO of the Chicago Urban League in September 2010.
Prior to her appointment at the Chicago Urban League, Zopp was executive vice president and general counsel at the Exelon Corporation. Zopp joined Exelon in 2006 as senior vice president, Human Resources. In January 2008, she was appointed executive vice president and chief human resources officer. In this role, she led the company's human resources, diversity, labor and employee relations and security functions.
Prior to joining Exelon, Zopp was senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Sears Holdings Corporation, a $50 billion retail company formed by the merger of Sears Roebuck and Company and Kmart. In this position she had responsibility for legal affairs, governance, public relations, government affairs, and compliance. Before joining Sears, Zopp was vice president, deputy general counsel in the law department at Sara Lee Corporation. There she managed senior attorneys at the operating divisions, risk management, environmental services and safety. Prior to joining the private sector Zopp served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Chicago. Additionally, Zopp was the first woman and African American to serve as First Assistant State's Attorney in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office, where she served for six years.
Andrea Zopp received a bachelor's degree in history and science and a J.D. from Harvard University. She and her husband William reside on Chicago's South Side and have three children.
Edward M. Burke
Edward M. Burke, is the “Dean of the Chicago City Council,” and has served as Alderman of Chicago's 14th Ward for more than three-and-a-half decades. A recognized expert on city budget matters, Alderman Burke is the Chairman of the City Council Committee on Finance.
A master parliamentarian, Alderman Burke entered politics by following in the footsteps of his father, Joseph P., and became Democratic Committeeman of the 14th Ward in 1968 and Alderman in 1969. Alderman Burke was a Chicago Police Officer, serving from 1965 to 1968.
Alderman Burke is a partner in the law firm of Klafter & Burke and is involved in many civic and charitable organizations, including the One Hundred Club of Cook County, the Knights of Columbus and the Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago.
A lifelong resident of the Southwest Side, Alderman Burke graduated from Quigley Preparatory Seminary in 1961 and earned a Bachelor's Degree from DePaul University in 1965. He received a J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1968 and was admitted to the Illinois Bar that same year.
Alderman Burke and his wife, Anne, a Justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, are the parents of four children: Jennifer, Edward, Sarah and the late Emmett. The Burkes are also the permanent guardians of Travis.
Northstar Lottery Group
Northstar Lottery Group, the private manager of the Illinois Lottery, is a consortium of best-in-class companies with more than 50 years combined experience in Illinois. Northstar Group is led by a partnership between GTECH Corporation and Scientific Games Corporation.
In May 2012, Northstar announced it awarded more than $15 million in contracts to more than 40 firms owned by minorities, women and people with disabilities (MFDBE) around the state. With this commitment, Northstar has more than doubled its annual contracting goal for MFDBE businesses since its ramp-up began in the spring of 2011.
The contracts awarded to MFDBE firms cover a wide range of critical services for the Lottery, including technology infrastructure; multicultural advertising and communications; promotions; printing; paper and packaging; and field service maintenance and installation.
Beyond its contracting initiatives, Northstar is also participating in the Chicago United Five Forward Initiative, which is aimed at expanding business relationships with local minority firms. By helping minority firms become more competitive, the Five Forward initiative is designed to build a stronger regional economy.
With more than 550 attorneys and other legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg LLP is one of the 100 largest law firms in the country. The firm serves clients worldwide from its offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Delaware, Indiana, Los Angeles, Michigan, Minneapolis, Ohio, and Washington, D.C. Visit us online at www.btlaw.com.