USA • Chicago



Gus Wilhelmy

2022, Ron Hering Awards

“Accountability is quintessential in life, putting values into action, behaving so I walk my talk.”

Gus grew up on a chicken farm, became a Catholic monk, an ordained priest and university professor. He then became the visionary and co-founder of Safer Foundation.  Since 1970, this non-profit has helped tens of thousands offenders make their effective transition from being incarcerated to landing meaningful jobs, procuring decent housing, gaining an education, securing health benefits and rejoining society. Safer is a leader in helping enact laws that address issues of people with arrest records. Today, with a $30 million annual budget, it has 250+ employees, at least one in every Illinois jail and in Adult Training Centers. Gus is also the founder of Chicago’s Philanthropy Club, a fisherman and poet. Gus says, “Maybe those who really should be nominated are all the men and women who made a successful transition from prison to society. And today they are Chicago and Illinois taxpayers shoring up our economy and creating safer communities for all to us to live in.”




Share This