Corporate Responsibility + Community Service
For more than three decades, community service has been a core value of Leopardo, demonstrated by countless volunteer initiatives, fundraisers, non-profit partnerships, above-and-beyond services, a charitable foundation, a charitable band and good corporate citizenship. Leopardo’s community-minded approach to business stemmed from its founder and CEO, and has organically grown into an important distinguishing characteristic.
Every year the Leopardo Charitable Foundation (LCF) aids dozens of deserving charities that promote education, health, technology and support the well being of citizens. LCF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that is dedicated to the core values of kindness, goodwill, compassion and benevolence. The foundation has contributed to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, American Heart Association, USO of Illinois, City of Hope, Ronald McDonald House, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Special Olympics, among many others. Since 2004 Leopardo and its charitable foundation has raised and donated well over $1.5 million.
Over the last decade, Leopardo employees have also collaborated on more than 85 community service projects for organizations like the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, American Cancer Society, Rebuilding Together, Feed My Starving Children, and many more.
Leopardo Points of Pride:
- Formed in 1999, Liquidated Damages is a group of musicians from Leopardo and its business partners. The band was organized primarily to play fundraisers and help make a difference in the community. Liquidated Damages has raised more than $3 million for charities including UPS for Downs, the Federation of Women Contractors, Hephzibah Children’s Association, Homes for Heroes, Alzheimer’s Association, and more. In more than 15 years of performing at the REACH Social at the Chicago House of Blues, they’ve raised over $1 million for the City of Hope to aid in pediatric cancer research. The City of Hope REACH Committee, which is chaired by Leopardo Senior Vice President Rick DuPraw, has raised a total of $4 million since its founding in 1996. Rick is also the drummer (and occasional vocalist) for Liquidated Damages. In the past, Liquidated Damages’ performances have featured special guests like Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen and Jim Peterik, guitarist and co-founder of Survivor.
- Leopardo CEO Jim Leopardo has served on the board at Foglia YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago and has been a recipient of the Volunteer of the Year and Family of the Year awards. He has also served on the board at Health World, a non-profit children’s health education museum. He sponsors and mentors a number of high school and college students, volunteers his time as a sports coach for his local high school, and regularly speaks to construction students at his alma mater to help them prepare for future careers. Jim has also personally provided funds for a YMCA sports court and founded the Ela Township YMCA’s first Indian Guides Program.
- Leopardo maintains an in-house community service committee that spearheads our community efforts. The committee’s mission is to provide Leopardo employees the opportunity to serve our communities and others in need by giving of ourselves as a company.
- In 2010, Leopardo accepted the Communitas Leadership Award for corporate social responsibility and community service. The award recognizes exceptional businesses that unselfishly give of themselves and their resources, and that are changing how they do business to benefit their communities. According to the judges from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP), Leopardo clearly exhibited the spirit of communitas, a Latin word that means people coming together for the good of a community.
- Leopardo is a recognized leader in sustainable building practices with extensive project experience that spans all levels of LEED construction, including Silver, Gold and Platinum certifications. Additionally, 25 percent of Leopardo office staff are LEED Professionals.
- Leopardo’s sustainability efforts extend beyond the office to our job sites as well. On our 4 E. Elm project, a 24-story luxury condominium building in Chicago’s Gold Coast, we were able to divert nearly 94 percent of waste from the landfill. Additionally, we partnered with the Environmental Law & Policy Center and Respiratory Health Association to create one of Chicago’s first clean diesel construction sites at our 3030 N. Broadway Mariano’s project in Lakeview. These measures help the job site emit less diesel particulates into the air and provide a healthier environment for people who live, work and play nearby.
- Leopardo created a committee that is dedicated to reducing or eliminating our negative impact on the environment. This committee promotes the benefits of green construction with clients and encourages green practices internally with recycling, energy conservation, use of environmentally-friendly building materials, and more. The committee recently designed and implemented a company-wide construction waste management policy, which in its first year has reduced the waste Leopardo sends to the landfill by nearly 13 percent.
- Leopardo also gives back to the community through major community revitalization projects, including renovations and restorations, that stimulate economic development. Our work on the strategic re-positioning of the landmark Carson Pirie Scott building is one example and continues to serve as a great source of pride. Leopardo helped turn the building into the Sullivan Center, a modern, multi-tenant, mixed-use property for retail, commercial and educational tenants. In addition to employing a large local workforce and retaining many different local subcontractors for nearly two years, Leopardo and this project revitalized a part of the Chicago Loop while maintaining its tie to the past. The new space, which has attracted new businesses and revenues to the city, is also adding to Chicago’s cultural environment with the Fashion School and Display Gallery for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
- As a testament to our green leadership, Leopardo was selected as the exclusive contractor of the 2007 International Greenbuild Legacy Project, a LEED-Platinum project at the Chicago Center for Green Technology.
- Beyond our active role at both the local and national levels of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), Leopardo is proud to have our sustainability manager currently serving on the USGBC-Illinois Board of Directors. Additionally, our general superintendent served as the 2009 vice chair on the USGBC-Chicago board of directors.
In 2012, Leopardo participated in National Rebuilding Together Day. This short video highlights our experience volunteering with the Metro Chicago chapter.