CEO of Robert W. Baird & Co. To Receive Reach for Excellence Award

Paul Purcell Honored To Receive Reach for Excellence Award from Chicago Nonprofit 

For More Information: Bob Kornecki, Midtown Educational Foundation, (312) 738-8300

Midtown Educational Foundation, a Chicago nonprofit dedicated to helping at-risk children achieve their full potential in school and later in life, this year is recognizing Paul E. Purcell with its annual Reach for Excellence Award. The award, now in its 23rd year, honors individuals of strong character and integrity who lead exemplary professional and personal lives. 

Purcell joined Baird in 1994 and is currently Chairman & CEO of the employee-owned, global financial services firm. Under his leadership, Baird has grown to become one of the largest privately held, full-service investment firms in the U.S. with more than $125 billion in client assets. Baird ranked No. 9 on FORTUNE's 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2014 list - its 11th consecutive year on the list. 

"Paul Purcell has demonstrated a commitment to education and community that far exceeds his many accomplishments in the business world," says Glenn Wilke, Executive Director of Midtown Educational Foundation. "His service to Teach for America, Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Junior Achievement of Chicago, the University of Notre Dame Mendoza School of Business, and the University of Chicago Booth School represents a passion and personal interest in giving back and serving others that few can match.
He's a business and community leader whom others inherently trust and respect." 

"Every child deserves the chance to achieve his or her best, both academically and in life," Purcell said. "For nearly 50 years, Midtown Education Foundation has been doing life-changing work, helping Chicago-area children excel academically, while developing strong characters based on integrity and service to others. Both are vital to children's long-term success and happiness. I'm incredibly humbled and honored to receive this recognition."

Purcell will receive the Reach for Excellence Award at Midtown Educational Foundation's annual dinner on Monday, October 27, at the Four Seasons in Chicago. Dinner co-chairs include executives from Aon, Coca-Cola, Hollister Incorporated, PepsiCo, Unilever and Walgreens. Further information is available at

Dinner honorees in 2013 were Dr. John J. Tracy, Chief Technology Officer, The Boeing Company; John G. Martin, President and Chief Executive Officer, GE Antares Capital; and Alan and Connie Herbert. 


About Midtown Educational Foundation (MEF)

MEF, through its Metro Achievement Center for girls and Midtown Center for boys, has helped close the achievement gap for at-risk youth from low-income families in Chicago since its founding in 1965. Its after-school and summertime programs combine academics with virtues and individual attention with parental involvement to develop students of strong character with a desire for academic excellence, a college education, and service to others. For more information, please visit