The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce recently held its 29th Annual Daniel H. Burnham Award Dinner, which brings together leaders from businesses of all sizes and industries to celebrate the accomplishments and resilience of Chicago’s business community and highlight outstanding leadership. During the virtual event, the Chicagoland Chamber honored Maurice Smith, President & Chief executive officer of Health Care Service Corporation, which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, with the prestigious Daniel H. Burnham Award for Distinguished Leadership.

“Maurice has a bold vision for health care and leads a company that is headquartered in the city’s Central Business District and is making major investments in Chicago’s neighborhoods with new facilities and hundreds of new jobs,” said Bruce Lubin, Vice Chair, CIBC USA, and Chairman of the Board, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. “Maurice’s vision is a message of balance between development downtown and the neighborhoods for which the Chamber has been a strong advocate, in turn making our business community and City more vibrant and inclusive.”

Smith has been a long-time Chicago business leader for Health Care Service Corporation and previously served as president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. As President & Chief Executive Officer, Smith has helped increase access to quality, affordable health care to everyone, regardless of where they live and their personal or economic circumstances to close gaps to better health. In Chicago, under Smith’s leadership, hundreds of jobs have been created and significant investments made in the city’s South and West side which includes Morgan Park, Pullman, and Pilsen. The insurer also plans to open another center in Chicago’s South Lawndale community. 

“The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce serves as an essential component of the local business community,” Smith said. “I am incredibly grateful and honored to receive this award and be recognized by this historic organization that continually ensures that Chicagoland is a place where businesses, of any size, can thrive.”

Joining the event virtually, City of Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot congratulated Smith for his business acumen and civic leadership, as well as the significant investments and creation of jobs on the south and west sides of the city. Mayor Lightfoot also asked business leaders to work together to support fellow entrepreneurs and pave the way for future businesses to plant their roots and grow in a resilient and inspiring city.

2020 has challenged the region’s economic future — from the global COVID-19 pandemic to civil unrest. However, like events of the past, it will be the Chamber and the business community that innovate, demonstrate resiliency and reimagine the future of Chicago to bring back jobs and investment.  

“No matter what gets thrown our way, the business community always leads us through challenges and back to opportunity,” said Jack Lavin, President & Chief Executive Officer, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. “As the leader and independent voice of the business community, the Chamber stands ready to lead and ensure our global city remains the greatest in the world.”

About the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce is a nonprofit organization that represents more than 1,000 member companies, which collectively employ 400,000 employees and generate $24 billion in revenue. The Chamber combines the power of membership with its legacy of leadership and business advocacy to drive a dynamic economy. To learn more, visit  

About Health Care Service Corporation 
Health Care Service Corporation is the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer, with nearly 16 million members in its health plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. A Mutual Legal Reserve Company, HCSC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.