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Howard A. Learner

ELPC Board Members Honored by Crain’s Chicago Business

Congratulations to ELPC Board Chair Harry Drucker and Board Member Smita Shah for being named Crain’s Chicago Business 2021 Notable Nonprofit Board Leaders

We are honored to have two ELPC Board members named to Crain’s Chicago Business 2021 Notable Nonprofit Board Leaders.

Smita Shah was recognized by Crain as a Board member of the Museum of Science and Industry, but we give Smita a shout-out for her ELPC Board participation, too. Smita is the CEO and founder of SPAAN Tech, an infrastructure firm providing expertise in planning and designing transportation projects and buildings. Smita brings political savvy, engineering expertise, and a strong civic commitment to ELPC’s Board.  We appreciate her engagement in helping to advance ELPC’s environmental progress and economic growth together agenda.

Harry Drucker was recognized by Crain’s for his work as ELPC’s Board Chair. That’s great and very well-deserved.  Let me tell you a story about Harry’s long-time commitment as a dedicated conservationist and his work helping ELPC succeed in many ways.

I first met Harry in 1996 when he and TNC’s Illinois State Director Bruce Boyd came to ELPC asking for our strategic litigation and advocacy help to stop a maximum-security prison from being sited on the Savanna Prairie, the largest unfragmented sand prairie remaining along the Upper Mississippi River. Working together with Harry and the local Friends of the Depot group, we stopped the “prison on the prairie,” supported the new Lost Mound Unit of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge to encompass and restore the 10,000-acre Savanna Prairie, and supported the Governor’s proposal for an alternative prison site. In short, ELPC won a big land conservation case, the client later became ELPC’s Board Chair, and I gained two friends for life.

Harry has been a stellar ELPC Board Chair and member for many years.  He is a strongly committed, effective activist serving as a leader of many environmental groups, including ELPC, TNC and the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission. His networks and relationships with donors, other environmental group board members, and business leaders broadens ELPC’s organizational reach and helps advance ELPC’s productive relationships with diverse constituencies.

Harry is a tireless “doer” and problem solver, ally to all at ELPC, and brings resources. What more could one want from a Board Chair?

Harry greatly deserves this honor and recognition. His leadership and guidance as ELPC’s Board Chair has been terrific. He brings passion and a sense of urgency to the environmental problems that ELPC works to solve. I admire his leadership and value his friendship. Congratulations Harry!

Ellen Craig, ELPC Board of Directors, Secretary and former Board Chair

“As member of the ELPC Board and Executive Committee, what I appreciate about Harry is his ever thoughtful, forward-looking leadership on both governance and environmental issues. Congratulations on this well-deserved honor!”

Bob Graham, ELPC Board of Directors, and former Board Chair

“Harry Drucker is an exceptional leader. His commitment to protecting the environment, good board governance, and sound policy to ensure that organizations thrive is at the core of his work as ELPC’s Board Chair. Congratulations, Harry. This is a well-earned honor.”

Howard A. Learner,

Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director

Howard Learner is an experienced attorney serving as the President and Executive Director of the Environmental Law & Policy Center. He is responsible for ELPC’s overall strategic leadership, policy direction, and financial platform.

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