John Idler, president and general manager of ABC7 Chicago, and Alison Pure-Slovin, Midwest director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, were honored at the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans’ annual media luncheon on May 18.
Idler will be given the Dante Award, which is bestowed on a member of the media who lives up to Dante Alighieri’s call to be no timid friend to truth; Pure-Slovin will receive the Mazzei Award, which is presented to a person who shows extraordinary skills in the world of public affairs.
Dante Award Recipient John Idler
“As a longtime supporter of the work and mission of the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, I understand the tremendous significance of those chosen to receive the Dante Award,” Idler says. “Past recipients loom large in this city, so I’m both proud and grateful to be recognized with this distinguished honor.”
Idler was appointed president and general manager of ABC 7 Chicago (WLS-TV) in June 2012. In addition to overseeing the broadcast station, Idler manages Chicago’s Live Well, Laff TV affiliate, abc7chicago.com as well as the station’s mobile and other new media businesses. This is his third time working at ABC 7; previously Idler served in key sales positions. Most recently, Idler helped orchestrate a deal to bring 25 Chicago Cubs baseball games to ABC 7, the first time since 1949 Cubs games have aired on ABC 7. He also led in the development of an ABC 7 primetime newscast on WCIU-TV, the first 7 p.m. news broadcast to air in Chicago.
Mazzei Award Recipient Alison Pure-Slovin
“I am so humbled and honored to be the receipt of the prestigious Filippo Mazzei Public Affairs Award,” says Pure-Slovin. “Like Filippo Mazzei, my organization’s namesake, Simon Wiesenthal, fought for independence and freedom for all, which is emblematic of the strong union between the Jewish and Italian communities.”
A leader in the human rights community, Pure-Slovin has been the director of the Midwest region of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for nearly five years. In 2015 she was appointed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to the Holocaust and Genocide Commission—a group that provides guidance on Holocaust and genocide education and commemoration across the state. Pure-Slovin was also the first female president of the Standard Club, a 150 year-old private club that boasts some of Chicago’s most well known Jewish men and women as members. Prior to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, for ten years she was the Midwest regional director for Shaare Zedek Medical Center, one of the largest and oldest hospitals in Jerusalem.