An Appetite for Doing Good

Today’s post was authored by guest blogger Keith Ecker, who is Vice President at Jaffe PR, a complete Public Reputation resource, devoted primarily to law firms, legal associations and vendors to the legal market.

In an atmosphere of dignity and respect, Inspiration Corporation helps people who are affected by homelessness and poverty to improve their lives and increase self-sufficiency through the provision of social services, employment training and placement, and housing. One of their flagship programs is Inspiration Kitchens, a unique food-service training program providing skill-specific job training and employment placement to people facing barriers to self-sufficiency. As part of the program, Inspiration Corporation operates two for-public restaurants and a catering business, which are designed to provide participants with the tools they need to secure and retain jobs in the food service industry.

In May, Inspiration Kitchens – Garfield Park won the national Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence, celebrating Inspiration’s ability to use creative solutions to transform urban problems. And, on June 3, the non-profit won an $11,500 grant for being an Impact 100 Chicago 2013 annual grant award finalist.

Attorney John Shapiro serves as Inspiration Corporation’s General Counsel. It’s a fitting role for someone who by day provides counsel to food companies as part of the Freeborn & Peters Food Industry Team, a cross-section of skilled attorneys who apply their knowledge of food safety, real estate, risk management, intellectual property and other areas to help clients build a better future for the food industry.

“My role as legal advisor allows me to do much more than provide counsel to Inspiration Corporation,” says Shapiro, who also serves as a commercial litigator and business counselor. “It allows me to participate in the organization and get involved in planning, programming and volunteering.”

As the organization’s GC, he provides counseling on various legal issues both to the organization and to its board, of which he is a non-voting executive committee member. One recent project he and other Freeborn attorneys are currently assisting with is the purchase of an 8-unit apartment building on Chicago’s South Side, which will serve as supportive housing for homeless and low-income families.

“I look at Inspiration Corporation as a client, which means I’m able to get other knowledgeable Freeborn attorneys involved in handling matters,” Shapiro says. “I’m grateful for the generosity of the firm and my colleagues.”