A Legacy of Innovation Binds Chicago’s Financial Community and Boy Scouts

John Lothian

John Lothian

Executive Chairman and CEO

For nearly 50 years, the Chicago financial district has supported the Boy Scouts of America with a fundraiser. The glory years of the LaSalle Street Dinner featured a circus tent set up on LaSalle Street for a summer soirée.

More than 100 years ago, a former president of the Chicago Board of Trade, A. Stamford White, and some Chicago businessmen founded the Owasippe Scout Reservation, making it the oldest Scout camp in the US. 

And earlier this year, the Boy Scouts opened the door to girls in the newly renamed Scouts BSA. The legacy of innovation between the financial district and Boy Scouts continues to bind us together.

As a result of this latest innovation, thirty-four girls took the weeklong National Youth Leadership Training this summer, funded by the money raised for the Fearless Girl National Youth Leadership Training Fund. The fund was started last year during the LaSalle Street Trading Tech Awards fundraiser. More girls will be trained this winter, and more next summer.

Last year Amy Shelly and Joanne Moffic-Silver were the first women to chair the LaSalle Street fundraiser for Chicago area Scouts. And this year, Tom Sexton, CEO of the National Futures Association, has agreed to chair the event.

The connection between the Chicago financial district and scouting goes back to the beginning of the Boy Scouts of America, with former CBOT President White listed as founder of the BSA on its Congressional charter and in the earliest editions of the Boy Scout Handbook. 

And today, the Chicago financial community continues to support Scouting with merit badge clinics as part of Trading Tech/Scout Tech. The success of Trading Tech has spawned interest from other industries, and clinics are being held and planned in Medical Tech, Civil Tech and Building Tech under the Scout Tech banner as a result of the leadership and innovation of the Chicago financial community.

The success of Trading Tech has also helped create STEM specific merit badge workshops at community colleges in the Chicago area.

This innovation is giving all Scouts greater access to industry- and college-related merit badge counselors, many in STEM subjects. Girls are developing leadership skills and coming back to their units full of Scout spirit. The result is lots of goodwill for our industry from these girls and boys of Scouts BSA.

As a leader of a girls troop in Scouts BSA, with two girls from my unit having attended a week of National Youth Leadership Training, I can tell you firsthand your financial support has made a difference. As a leader in Boy Scouts of America, having been inspired by a Scout leader at the LaSalle Street Dinner back in 2001 to become a Scout leader, I can tell you that your financial support and leadership continues to be meaningful and to have an impact.

I encourage you all to help support the LaSalle Street Trading Tech Awards fundraiser financially. And I encourage you to spread the word about the event to colleagues, friends and family.

Click HERE to become a sponsor of the LaSalle Street Trading Tech Awards event or to buy individual tickets.

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