With a strong reputation that has been earned through excellence in the quality of its professionals, services and attention, Deloitte offers Chicago’s large corporate clients innovative management consulting services for a variety of industries. The firm has generously supported the Chicago Urban League’s fundraising events such as the Golden Fellowship Dinner, which is the organization’s signature fundraising event.Below, Byron Spruell, Vice Chairman, Central Region and Chicago Managing Principal at Deloitte and a Chicago Urban League Board member, talks about his role at the firm and his experience as a Chicago Urban League Board member. Here he discusses how the consulting firm’s social responsibility strategy is adding value to the firm and positively impacting the community, as well as how he sees Deloitte’s relationship with the Chicago Urban League evolving.
Byron O. Spruell, Vice Chairman, Central Region and Chicago Managing Principal at Deloitte and Chicago Urban League Board MemberWhat is your role at Deloitte?
My current role with Deloitte is serving as Vice Chairman and Chicago Managing Principal for Deloitte LLP. I oversee our 4,000-person Deloitte Chicago practice, which is the largest Big Four professional services firm in the area, and I am primarily responsible for facilitating marketplace revenue growth by encouraging cross-business teaming. I also oversee Deloitte’s community involvement initiatives and am responsible for developing and implementing strategies to attract and retain the next generation of Deloitte leaders in the Chicago area.
How long have you served on the Chicago Urban League Board of Directors and what do you hope to accomplish during your tenure?
I’ve served on the Board of Directors for two years and chair the Development Committee following in the footsteps of a great Chicago leader, Jim Reynolds. During my tenure, I hope to further the organization’s mission of making economic, educational and social progress for African Americans in Chicago. Of particular interest to Deloitte, and to me personally, is the work that the Urban League does in the area of education. With low-income students and students of color dropping out of high school and college at disproportionately higher rates than their peers, the significant disadvantages they encounter as adults - and the potential cost to society - is enormous. Deloitte believes preparing today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders is critical in building thriving communities. We are committed to growing leaders and believe that improving access to education as early as elementary school helps put students on a track to succeed. I hope to help the Urban League in increasing access for African Americans to quality education here in Chicago, and in helping improve graduation rates at the high school and college levels.
How do philanthropy, volunteerism and leadership development work together within Deloitte’s broader corporate social responsibility and community outreach?
Philanthropy, volunteerism and leadership development definitely do intersect when Deloitte works with an organization like the Chicago Urban League. Through relationships with nonprofits, Deloitte hopes to help build a stronger economy and society by serving the public interest, strengthening a culture of purpose, and inspiring leadership in others. We also want to drive measurable change in our communities, and instill pride in our employees by demonstrating how impactful it can be when the business and nonprofit communities work together. More broadly speaking, Deloitte’s approach to Corporate Citizenship is based on the idea that by leveraging the knowledge and experience of our professionals, we can make a significant impact nationwide and across local communities. Our professionals lead in their communities through serving on nonprofit boards, driving local impact as Volunteer Council members, serving as Impact Day site leaders, and providing strategic advice for nonprofit organizations through our pro bono projects and skills-based volunteering opportunities.How do you see the partnership with the Chicago Urban League evolving?
As noted, we continue to be a big supporter of the Chicago Urban League by sharing our people’s time and talent. With the Centennial Campaign and related celebration coming up soon, we are also looking at specific ways to collaborate with other community leaders and organizations to spread the news and share the amazing story of the League and its impact in Chicago and beyond. This represents a big strategic opportunity for CUL, its staff, Board and all of our committees moving forward.