City Year Greater Philadelphia (CYGP), my newest client, announced that Arthur R. Block, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Comcast Corporation, is being honored with the 2012 Idealist of the Year Award at the annual Tribute Dinner on Thursday, May 17th, at 6:00 PM, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA. Over 1,000 community leaders will join City Year corps members and champions for an engaging evening that celebrates Block and Comcast’s commitment to America’s youth.
The Tribute Dinner is supported by premiere event sponsor Davis Polk & Wardwell, LLP. Joe Banner, President of Philadelphia Eagles, David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President of Comcast Corporation, and M. Norman Goldberger, Partner of Ballard Spahr LLP, are serving as event co-chairs. Event sponsors Ballard Spahr LLP and Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP join over 68 other major sponsors in supporting this evening.
“Art has volunteered untold hours towards the expansion and improvement of City Year in his role as member and Co-Chair of the Board,” said Dinner Co-Chair and CYGP Advisory Board Chair Joe Banner. “It is because of Art’s deep rooted values of passion, integrity and commitment that City Year has chosen to honor him with the 2012 Idealist of the Year Award.”
Block is Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Comcast Corporation, one of the world’s leading media, entertainment, and communications companies. He has been involved with Comcast since 1978, first as outside counsel at Wolf Block, a role he held until he joined the company as an in-house attorney in 1989. He was named to his current position of General Counsel in 2000. Block directs the law and corporate governance functions at Comcast, supervising over 300 attorneys.
Block is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School (BS Economics and BA 1975) and the University of Michigan Law School (JD 1978). A lifelong Philadelphian, Block has been involved in various community organizations. He currently serves as Chair of the Board of Managers of Moore College of Art & Design and Co-Chair of City Year Greater Philadelphia’s Advisory Board. Block has been married to his wife Janice, a clinical social worker, for over 30 years. Their children Marissa (27, also a clinical social worker) and Alexander (23, a digital advertising manager), both live and work in New York City.
“No one better exemplifies Comcast’s commitment to active community engagement than Art Block,” said Loree Jones, CYGP Co-Executive Director. “He has been instrumental in deepening Comcast’s ongoing dedication to City Year and our nation’s young people.”
Comcast’s initial involvement with City Year came in 2001 when The Comcast Foundation funded the City Year Detroit Leadership Development and Training program. Soon after in 2002, Comcast became a local sponsor for the team serving at Henry A. Brown School in Philadelphia. Today, the Comcast partnership supports all of City Year’s leadership development programs, sponsors City Year teams in nine cities, and donates significant communication and broadcasting resources to help City Year raise awareness about its mission and focus areas by reaching more young people across the country through cable and internet. Comcast’s partnership with City Year has been renewed to carry through 2013. This partnership renewal brings Comcast's total cash and in-kind support to more than $75 million.
The Idealist of the Year Award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the Philadelphia community and who have dedicated themselves to the greater good of the region through their "idealism." Each year a committee of the CYGP Board selects the Idealist of the Year from a list of prominent civic and business leaders. Past recipients of the organization’s highest honor have included Banner; Cohen; Andrew C. Kerin, Executive Vice President of ARAMARK Corporation; Lynn L. Elsenhans, former CEO of Sunoco; Bill McDermott, Co-CEO of SAP; Richard Green, CEO and Vice Chairman of Firstrust Bank; and former United States Senator Harris Wofford.
Since 2000, the Tribute Dinner has engaged over 5,000 civic and business leaders, and raised over $5,000,000 to support City Year. The 2012 Tribute Dinner is expected to be the largest Tribute Dinner and fundraising event in CYGP’s 15 year history. Tickets and sponsorships are currently available by visiting www.cityyear.org/philadelphia or calling (267) 386-7033.
Photos: Leading up the Tribute Dinner, City Year invited me to join them for Comcast Cares Day with the Today Show and their Board Co-Chair/Honree Arthur Block.