William Von Hoene, general counsel and executive vice president of finance and legal at Exelon Corp., won the 2010 Arthur Goldberg Social Justice Award on Sept. 20 in Chicago. Presented by the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, the annual award recognizes a wide variety of community services.
In Von Hoene's case, the award honored a longstanding commitment to diversity in the legal profession and pro bono work. He has received several awards for his contributions to making the legal profession not only more accessible, but also more representative of the diversity in the community at large. One program Von Hoene instituted at Exelon that promotes this goal measures and ranks preferred law firms based on how much of their work for the company is performed by minorities and women.
In addition to his work at Exelon, Von Hoene has served on several civic and public interest boards, including the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. and the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Diversity Scholarship Foundation.
Von Hoene says he's proud to be a part of Exelon's legal department and describes its pro bono work as "among the most robust for any corporate legal department." Though he has won several awards for his efforts and was honored individually with the Arthur Goldberg Social Justice Award, Von Hoene says he's not the only one in his department deserving of it.
"It's a great honor," he says. "But it's an honor that really belongs to so many people here at Exelon. Here there's a deep, heartfelt devotion to community and this award is very much a recognition of Exelon's commitment in these areas. They are issues upon which I'm very passionate."