ACCP Announces Purpose Awards Winners

Awards recognize excellence among senior executives, leading practitioners and emerging talent in corporate social responsibility field
Oct 5, 2021 9:30 AM ET
ACCP Purpose Awards logo

WASHINGTON, October 5, 2021, /3BL Media/ - Today the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals (ACCP) announced the winners of their annual Purpose Awards for exceptional leaders in corporate social responsibility (CSR). The awards, presented in partnership with Rocket Social Impact, recognize CSR professionals making significant social impact within their companies and communities.

“ACCP is a catalyst to educate, connect and prepare CSR professionals and their companies to make real and lasting change in communities around the world,” said Carolyn Berkowitz, President and CEO of ACCP. “The past 18 months have required corporations to respond to significant change due to COVID-19 and the reckoning with racial justice. ACCP’s Purpose Awards recipients are the embodiment of steady leadership, innovative practice and impactful results over that time.”

“Rocket Social Impact believes it’s critical to recognize the inspirational and impactful work of the corporate social responsibility field,” said Rich Maiore, President of Rocket Social Impact. “In a time of evolving needs and rapid social change, the contributions of these three winners have gone above and beyond.”

The Champion for Change Award recognizes a senior executive who provides leadership that advances social and business impact throughout our world and was presented to Alan Colberg, CEO of Assurant. Since becoming CEO in 2015, Mr. Colberg has prioritized corporate social responsibility and particularly, diversity, equity and inclusion, and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives as essential to foster innovation, expand the company’s global footprint and reinforce a company culture that encourages employee volunteering to build stronger communities.  

The Trailblazer Award goes to a senior practitioner whose leadership, strategy, and partnerships have demonstrated significant business and societal impacts. This year’s recipient is Laura Nieto, Director of Community Outreach at Southwest Airlines. A 25-year employee at Southwest, Laura has led the development of strategic and innovative programming and championed multicultural initiatives while building Southwest Airline’s first broad-reaching community affairs platform.

The third award, the Rising Star, is given to an emerging professional in corporate citizenship whose work creates meaningful impact inside and outside the company, often requiring influence well beyond the level of their position. This year’s recipient is Cara Garcia-Bou, Learning and Communications Officer at T. Rowe Price. Cara helped lead the firm's racial justice philanthropic response, which included gathering inputs from multiple external and internal stakeholders and developing in-depth training on structural racism.

Purpose Award winners were chosen by a panel of judges, comprised of past Purpose Award recipients and current CSR industry leaders, including:

  • Carolyn Berkowitz, President & CEO, ACCP
  • Matthew DeCamara, Executive Director, Rite Aid Foundation
  • Rich Maiore, President, Rocket Social Impact
  • Kevin Martinez, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, ESPN + 2020 Trailblazer Award Recipient
  • Catherine McGlown, VP, ESG & Community Impact, MetaBank
  • Rhonda Nesmith Crichlow, SVP and Chief Diversity Officer, Charter Communications

The Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals (ACCP) is the membership association for purpose-driven companies and a career-long resource for corporate citizenship professionals. ACCP advances the field of corporate citizenship and serves as a strategic resource for its community of impact-minded professionals so that they can do the most good—in their companies, their communities, and around the world.  For more information, visit

Rocket Social Impact is a leading CSR & ESG consultancy, advising established and emerging companies on their social impact strategy, implementation, and communication. Go further, faster.