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Calvin Jackson Career Impact Award

Business officials’ award winner says school relationships were key to his success

Gary KellyThe Illinois Association of School Business Officials presented its new Calvin Jackson Career Impact Award to Michael McHugh at the Second General Session of the 2018 Joint Annual Conference.

When McHugh moved to the school division of Arthur J. Gallagher and Company in 1987, he says he had a lot to learn. Luckily, school business officials (and Illinois ASBO Past Presidents), including Jim Hintz, Ron Miller, and Ron Chilcote, were willing to take him under their wing, teach him the ropes, and make some introductions.

McHugh’s involvement throughout his career with Illinois ASBO has allowed him to work with many Superintendents, School Business Officials, and fellow Service Associates who have key relationships and roles in his industry and in schools. He commented, “Working with some of the brightest people I have seen and seeing what they’ve been able to do from a finance standpoint with the current financial condition of the state is amazing.”

McHugh says he has made many meaningful connections with his clients as he has counseled and helped them through major crises, including one of the worst in the state when a school bus was hit by a Metra train 23 years ago. The relationships are about much more than business: “You get to know families and kids going to each other’s school events. To see the relationships you build as not just business but also personal – that’s important.”

As a member of the original Illinois ASBO Service Associate Advisory Committee, McHugh has also been able to witness the changing relationship between Illinois ASBO and Service Associate members. He says “Service Associates within Illinois ASBO used to be a listing in a three-ring binder. Now it is about personal relationships. The change in their association leadership led to an opening in the way that Service Associates interacted within the organization. Now, there are many ways that [Illinois ASBO] Service Associates come together with SBOs to make a difference for the association and for schools.”

McHugh attributes much of his success to those who took the time to mentor him, and says he makes sure to pass on his experience to others.   “I am glad that I have been able to assist and help other administrators and Service Associates through my career and Illinois ASBO. As I was mentored, I have made sure to get other younger people involved to form the same mentoring relationships. I am helping them have the same experience as I have had in the organization by attending the Conference and joining PDCs.”

He says he is excited to see Illinois ASBO continue to recognize Service Associates for the time and talent they give to their association and honored to be the first recipient of the new Calvin Jackson Career Impact Award.


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