Equality Illinois Business Leadership Award to Honor Mariano’s
The recognition will be presented at the Equality Illinois Jubilee Year Gala

CHICAGO (December 18, 2015) – The Mariano’s grocery chain will be recognized with the 2016 Equality Illinois Business Leadership Award for its outreach to the LGBT market and embrace of LGBT employees.

Robert A. Mariano, Chairman, President and CEO of Mariano’s parent company Roundy’s, will accept the recognition at the Equality Illinois 25th Anniversary Gala on Saturday evening, February 6, 2016 at the Hilton Chicago.

“From the planning stages of Mariano’s entry into the Chicago-area market in 2010, it has sought to create a welcoming environment for staff and customers. Company leaders came to us to develop a plan to build and maintain a diverse employee team that was fully inclusive of LGBT Illinoisans in recruiting, hiring, advancement, benefits and community outreach,” said Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of Equality Illinois.

“For demonstrating the essence of corporate social responsibility, Mariano’s has earned the 2016 Equality Illinois Business Leadership Award and will be recognized at our 25th Anniversary Gala,” Cherkasov said.

The Equality Illinois Gala, annually the largest LGBT event of its kind in the Midwest, is expected to draw more than 1,400 guests, including nearly 100 public officials and many community VIPs.

“Mariano’s is honored to be recognized by Equality Illinois as the recipient of the annual Business Leadership Award,” said Robert A. Mariano. “At Mariano’s we are deeply invested in the health, happiness and well-being of our customers. Inclusion is a core value at Mariano’s and we believe our unwavering commitment to workplace equality results in a diverse and talented workforce that is vital to our success.”

The Equality Illinois Business Leadership Award is given annually to firms that demonstrate remarkable vision, courage, and leadership in the effort to achieve full equality for LGBT individuals in Illinois. Past Business Leadership Award recipients include GCM Grosvenor, State Farm Insurance, United Airlines, AT&T, Kraft, Walgreens, Motorola, and McDermott Will & Emery.

It was previously announced that the recipient of the 2016 Equality Illinois Freedom Award at the gala will be House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. More details about special guests and gala honorees will be announced in the weeks ahead.

Tickets and more information about the gala are available at

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