November 12, 2009
The Civic Federation is pleased to announce that long-time Civic Federation Director Theodore M. Swain was awarded the 2009 Abel E. Berland Award for Exemplary and Outstanding Service to the Civic Federation of Chicago at the Federation’s 115th Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 12, 2009.
The Abel E. Berland Award for Exemplary and Outstanding Service to the Civic Federation was established in 2009 to honor Mr. Berland’s extraordinary service to the Federation and to recognize members of the Civic Federation Board of Directors for their own exceptional contributions.
Ted Swain, a thirty-year Civic Federation Board member, is the foremost expert on property tax law in Illinois and has a distinguished half-century of extraordinary service to the legal profession, of which he has spent decades in practice at Gould & Ratner LLP. He has also served the public as Judge in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Chief Deputy Assessor for Cook County, and Principal Property Tax Attorney in the Civil Division of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office. Ted’s greatest achievement at the Civic Federation was as Chairman of the Civic Federation Task Force on Reform of the Cook County Property Tax Appeals Process. The Task Force quarterbacked one of the most influential accomplishments in the Civic Federation’s 115-year history: the drafting and enactment between 1994 and 1998 of historic legislation to reform the Cook County assessment appeals process. The law made it easier for taxpayers to successfully appeal incorrect assessments, a major victory for property owners across Cook County.
Abel E. Berland is a thirty-plus year member of the Civic Federation Board of Directors and a past Chairman of the Board. Mr. Berland is an internationally recognized bibliophile and collector of rare manuscripts. He is a distinguished real estate executive and was President of Arthur Rubloff & Co. for many years. It is thanks to Mr. Berland that his friend, Arthur Rubloff, included a very generous endowment of the Civic Federation in his bequests. That endowment has enabled the Civic Federation to continue its valuable work uninterrupted through good economic times and bad.
John F. Ward, Jr., a past Chairman of the Civic Federation, presented the Berland Award to Mr. Swain, saying “On behalf of your fellow Board members, I thank you for your years of service to the residents of Cook County and Illinois and, above all, to the Civic Federation.”
The Civic Federation is an independent, non-partisan government research organization founded in 1894. The Federation's membership includes business and professional leaders from a wide range of Chicago area corporations, professional service firms and institutions. For more information, please visit the Federation’s website at www.civicfed.org.