As the John & Abigail Adams Benefit — scheduled for January 28th at the Museum of Fine Arts — continues to gain momentum after a red hot start of $340,000 already raised, the Boston Bar Foundation (BBF) has announced that it will honor Paul Grogan, President and CEO of The Boston Foundation with the BBF’s 2012 Public Service Award. The Adams Benefit Steering Committee, again led by Co-Chairs Anthony Froio (Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi) and Christopher Kenney (Kenney & Sams) looks to top last year’s stellar showing of $610,000 raised.
“Paul Grogan is a very worthy recipient of the BBF’s 2012 Public Service Award,” said Kenney. “From grant-making activities to community foundation projects, Paul and the Boston Foundation embody the BBF’s core values of professionalism, service, compassion, and responsibility.”
The BBF, the charitable affiliate of the Boston Bar Association (BBA) is dedicated to promoting justice — by funding and promoting innovation in legal services, enhancing access to justice for the underserved, and supporting the public interest activities of the bar. The BBF granted $305,000 of last year’s Adams Benefit Proceeds — a record amount — directly to legal services organizations.
This year, the BBF will honor Paul Grogan for his commitment to the Boston community, exemplary leadership of the Boston Foundation, and support of the BBA’s work in public service and studying a civil right to counsel.
“Under Paul’s leadership, The Boston Foundation has set the standard for public service activity not just here in Boston, but nationally,” said Froio. “His commitment to community, specifically championing initiatives in housing, the arts, education reform, workforce development and civic engagement, made him a clear cut choice for this prestigious award.”
With Paul at the helm, The Boston Foundation has become the largest public charity and grant maker in the region, recently passing the $1 billion in grant for to regional nonprofits since its inception. The Foundation has become a central convener on issues and challenges facing the City and the region.
Paul joined the Foundation from Harvard University, where he served as Vice President for Government, Community and Public Affairs from 1999 to 2001. Paul also successfully transformed the University’s previously poor relationship with the City of Boston, which paved the way for Harvard to double its property holdings in the Allston neighborhood with the public blessing of the Mayor, local neighborhood groups and the editorial page of The Boston Globe.
Named one of the “heroes of the community development movement” by Nicholas Leman, Dean of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Paul created a new national organization, “CEOs for Cities,” whose members are big city mayors, business leaders, university presidents and foundation executives. “CEOs” holds semiannual conferences and publishes cutting edge research on the nature of successful urban economies.
Paul has served Mayors Kevin H. White and Raymond L. Flynn in a variety of staff and line positions and has headed Boston’s neighborhood revitalization efforts in the early 80s, where he pioneered a series of public/private ventures that have been widely emulated by other cities. These included the Boston Housing Partnership and the Boston Compact, a partnership between the city’s corporate community and public school system.
Paul co-authored, with Tony Proscio, book Comeback Cities, published in 2000, cited by LA Times syndicated columnist Ron Brownstein as “arguably the most important and insightful book on the American city in a generation.”
Among previous winners of the BBF’s Public Service Award are John F. Fish, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Suffolk Construction Company, Inc; Edward C. Johnson 3d, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Fidelity Investments; Theresa Heinz, Chairman of Heinz Family Philanthropies; Jeffrey Swartz, President & CEO of The Timberland Company, and Jack Connors, Jr., Founding Partner and Chairman, Hill Holliday Connors & Cosmopulos, Inc.