Leopardo Protects His Blindside

HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (Dec. 21, 2011) — Just in time for the holidays, the December 2011 issue of Illinois Real Estate Journal features a cover story about Leopardo’s philanthropy, community service and “above-and-beyond” approach to client service.

“Most businesses champion a specific charitable organization or annually participate in an event or campaign to benefit a worthy non-profit,” the article reads. “Yet at Leopardo, it can truly be said that such endeavors are not merely on a yearly check-list, but are deeply embedded in company culture. From a house rock band that has raised $2 million in charitable donations through industry events to an employee initiated volunteer program that has donated more than 3,000 hours of service since 2008, Leopardo has proven it’s more than about writing a check. the firm has developed unique and creative ways to make a difference in the communities it serves.”

The cover story also includes a sidebar titled “Leopardo Protects His Blindside” about Jim Leopardo’s Hollywood-caliber work with a young, inner city athlete named Otis Hudson. Below is an excerpt of the sidebar:

Before the film “The Blind Side” became a box office hit and its story was familiar to millions, Jim Leopardo, founder and CEO of Hoffman Estates-based Leopardo Cos., was involved in a similar story that netted almost identical results.

Leopardo has always been supportive of youth sporting programs as a financial sponsor and a volunteer.

“In my early days, sports were my outlet,” said Leopardo, who played football at Western Illinois University. “They gave me confidence.”

Through his work with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball program Leopardo met Hudson, a young man from the west side of Chicago with immense athletic talents, but limited outlets to display them in the city’s notoriously rough area. Hudson spent as much time trying to avoid gangs as he did honing his athletic abilities.

The Leopardo family would eventually end up being a champion for his transition to a brighter future.

Click here to download the full story (PDF 1.7MB).