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Jimmie AlfordThe Better Government Association mourns the passing of Jimmie R. Alford, a special adviser and friend to the BGA, who was also a longtime nonprofit management expert and a force for social good throughout the Chicago area.

The BGA offers condolences to his wife and business partner, Maree, his children Ann, Sean, Alan and his entire family.

As a special adviser to the BGA for the past four years, Jimmie was instrumental in reinvigorating the watchdog organization as it sought to expand its mission and reassert itself in the community. He worked tirelessly and provided wise and worldly counsel, based on his over 50 years in the nonprofit arena, to the BGA board and its CEO and President Andy Shaw, who joined the BGA in 2009 after a 37-year career in TV news.

"No one deserves more credit for the recent revitalization of the BGA than Jimmie Alford." said Shaw. "He befriended, mentored and advised a former TV reporter with no management experience or understanding of the needs and nuances of the nonprofit world with the patience and wisdom of a saint. We're a stronger organization because of many people, but Jimmie's at the top of the list.

"We'll miss his sage advice and generosity of spirit tremendously, but at least we were honored to have known and loved him. Condolences to Maree and the rest of Jimmie’s family."

Said BGA Board Chairman H. Roderic Heard: "Jimmie was one of the BGA's best friends. At a time when we were in need of guidance and organization, Jimmie volunteered his expertise, time, and good judgment. Much of the recent success of the BGA is the direct result of Jimmie's unselfish, tireless work. The BGA will miss Jimmie so much."

At the BGA’s latest annual luncheon on Oct. 2, Jimmie was honored for his many years of service and for his deep commitment to the BGA. At that event, philanthropic leaders and friends Renee Crown and Ron Gidwitz introduced Jimmie to the audience.

In his comments, Gidwitz noted that Jimmie came from a "coal mining family in Kentucky" and at age nine made Chicago his home. He began his career in 1962 with the Boys and Girls Club of Chicago, when he was a freshman at North Park University, and spent over 16 years at that organization before starting his namesake firm, The Alford Group.

The Alford Group is one of the premier consulting firms in the United States and has served more than 3,000 nonprofit clients since its creation in 1979.

Since April, Jimmie, 69, served as chair of the CeaseFire Chicago Advisory Board and was a consultant and senior consultant for the Chicago Community Trust between 2007-2011.

For the past six years, Jimmie was an executive-in-residence at Chicago’s North Park University, where he taught classes in nonprofit management and public policy. In 2007, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from North Park, as well as an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Aurora University, Aurora, Ill.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Ron Gidwitz and Renee Crown honor Jimmie Alford with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BGA Annual Luncheon


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In Memoriam: Jimmie R. Alford

Jimmie R. Alford
Tone Stockenstrom Photography
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