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J. William Mills, III to Receive 2012 William Penn Award

Posted Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Events, Member News, Press Releases

The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce today that J. William Mills, III, regional president for Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, PNC, will receive the 2012 William Penn Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a business executive in Greater Philadelphia.

The award, which has been given annually since 1949, recognizes an individual for his/her outstanding contributions toward the betterment of the region, professional accomplishments, and commitment to charity as well as to the community. Mr. Mills will be honored on Friday, April 19, 2013 during a gala event hosted at the Hyatt at The Bellevue.

Mr. Mills has served the Greater Philadelphia community as both a civic and private sector leader for more than 30 years.  Currently, Mr. Mills serves on the board of directors of Independence Blue Cross, The United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Temple University.  He also serves on the Thomas Skelton Harrison Foundation and the Executive Committee of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce (GPCC) Board.

“Bill Mills has dedicated so much time to bettering the Greater Philadelphia community,” said Rob Wonderling, GPCC President and CEO. “I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Bill, as he provides tremendous leadership to the GPCC Board of Directors’ Executive Committee as a business leader who is committed to both the public and private sectors.”

Mr. Mills is active with both the business and arts communities. Under his leadership, PNC is an annual sponsor of the GPCC Excellence Awards, which honors the region’s best small businesses, and the annual GPCC Paradigm Award, which honors a woman business leader whose outstanding professional and personal achievements serve as a model for success. In addition, PNC was a lead sponsor of the opening of the Barnes and, through its “PNC Arts Alive” initiative, PNC and Mr. Mills support numerous regional arts programs and organizations, including the Arts and Business Council of Greater Philadelphia, a GPCC affiliate. Further reflecting his commitment to the arts, Mr. Mills is a past chairman of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Corporate Executive Board.

Along with supporting the arts, Mr. Mills has also contributed his leadership to spearheading PNC’s commitment to early childhood education and employee volunteerism through PNC Grow Up Great. This $350 million, multi-year, bilingual initiative began in 2004 to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. To date, the PNC Grow Up Great has served 1.5 million children and supported the creation of six preschool libraries in the region. Additionally, Mr. Mills is a past Chairman of the Business Leaders Organized for Catholic Schools (BLOCS), an independent non-profit organization committed to providing children with access to a high quality, values based education in Philadelphia area Catholic schools.

“It’s an honor to be recognized among such an esteemed group of business leaders who have contributed to Philadelphia’s growth and success,” said Mr. Mills.  “Living and working in Philadelphia opened the door to countless possibilities for me. The opportunity to return that generosity to my adopted hometown’s business and community organizations is a wonderful personal and professional experience.”

PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services companies in the United States, and Mr. Mills oversees PNC’s largest region. He joined PNC in 1989 as treasurer and president of the PNC Funding Corp. He later became senior vice president of Fixed-Income Investments for PNC Investment Management and Research. Mr. Mills was promoted to executive vice president in 1993 in charge of Capital Markets and the bank’s Asset Liability Committee. Before his appointment to regional president, he was executive vice president in charge of PNC Wealth Management.

Mr. Mills earned a bachelor’s in mathematics from Ohio State University, a master’s in economics from Niagara University and is a graduate of the University of Illinois School of Bank Investments.

Past William Penn Award recipients include David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation; Joseph A. Frick, former Independence Blue Cross President and CEO; Charles Pizzi, former Tasty Baking Company President and CEO; H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest, cable TV pioneer and philanthropist; the late Constantine Papadakis, Ph.D., President, Drexel University; William R. Sasso, Esq., Chairman of StradleyRonon LLP; Nick DeBenedictis, Chairman and President of Aqua America Inc.; Ed Snider, Chairman of Comcast-Spectacor; Judith Rodin, former President, University of Pennsylvania; Ralph J. Roberts, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Comcast Corporation; the late G. Fred DiBona, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, Independence Blue Cross; Ronald Rubin, President, Pennsylvania Realty Investment Trust; the late Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg; and, the late Rev. Leon Sullivan, Founder of OIC.

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