University of Chicago Medical Center honored for use of minority and women-owned firms

October 30, 2008

On October 30, Chicago-based Black Contractors United (BCU) presented their annual President's Award to Joan Archie, Executive Director of Construction Compliance at the University of Chicago Medical Center, for her role in the Medical Center's efforts to "maximize the utilization of minority- and women-owned firms and workers on its construction, renovation, plant and maintenance projects."

The Award, presented at the BCU's annual awards dinner, held this year at the Hotel Intercontinental, honors the Medical Center's commitment to "go beyond the call of duty" in their efforts to include minority and women contractors in the construction process.

BCU previously awarded their 2002 "Compliance Officer of the Year" award to Archie, who was then with the Chicago Urban League. Archie developed and implemented a program designed to increase the number of minority- and woman-owned business and workers needed for construction of the University of Chicago Comer Children's Hospital. Archie also received the organization's Silver 25 award--in 2006, their 25th year--honoring 25 individuals who had been instrumental in the development and utilization of minority- and women-owned firms.

"She is someone who for many years has helped to make life a little easier for all contractors by providing fair and equal access," said Florence Cox, executive director of BCU.

"It is always an honor to be recognized for doing work that you deeply believe in," Archie said. "We recognize that diversity, equality and fairness is not only the right thing to do, but it is also a business imperative."

For the past seven years, every construction engagement entered into by the Medical Center has established minority- and woman-owned business utilization goals. "We set goals for impactful change," Archie said, "and are meeting and exceeding those goals." Every new construction project since the Comer Children's Hospital in 2001 has won an award for the inclusion of minority and woman-owned firms."

Recent projects at the Medical Center include construction of:
Comer Children's Hospital: minority- and women-owned businesses -- 38%
Pediatric Emergency Room: minority- and women-owned businesses -- 43%
61st and Drexel Parking Office: minority- and women-owned businesses -- 55%

BCU also presented awards to Senate President Emil Jones; Mamon Powers, president of Powers and Sons Construction; the F. H. Paschen, S. N. Nielsen, Inc., professional service firm; and the City of Chicago Department of Housing.

Last year, BCU's President's Award went to James L. Madara, MD, Dean of the Biological Sciences and the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Chicago Medical Center.

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