About the Excellence Awards
The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Awards honor members and friends of the legal aid community who exemplify excellence in their commitment and accomplishments as advocates for low-income people.
Nominations are made in the following categories:
Legal Services Staff
This category is for all staff positions. We are seeking nominations for employees who exhibit excellence and commitment in the performance of the duties of their jobs;
This category is for members of the private bar who display an outstanding commitment to legal aid and the legal needs of low-income Pennsylvanians;
This category is for client leaders, organizational partners, or others who have donated significant time and energy to the mission of legal aid and the needs of low-income people.
This category is for volunteers and friends who demonstrate exceptional dedication to legal aid. It may include legislators or government officials, clients, community leaders, or others who help promote the mission of legal aid.
Nominations are open to everyone. You do not have to be a member of the legal aid community to submit a nomination. You also do not have to be a member of a particular category to submit a nomination in that category. There is no limit to the number of nominations you may submit.
Nominations usually open in the last quarter of each calendar year for the awards to be made in the spring of the following year.
Specific information on nominations and a submission form will be posted here when nomination open for next year's awards.
Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Awards
Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Announces 2016 Excellence Award Recipients
The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Awards.
The mission of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network is to ensure equal access to justice so that Pennsylvanians can have representation when facing important civil legal concerns affecting their safety, health, shelter and survival.
Each year, PLAN requests nominations from across the Commonwealth and honors individuals, groups, and/or organizations that have established excellence and demonstrated diligence improving the availability and quality of civil legal services for low income people and victims of domestic violence in Pennsylvania.
The recipients of the 2016 Excellence Awards are:
Joseph R. DeCristopher, Esq.
Staff Attorney, North Penn Legal Services, Sunbury, PA
Corporate Legal Department, Moon Township, PA
William Gibbons, Esq.
Senior Attorney, Community Legal Services, Philadelphia, PA
Hardwood Estates Project Team
- Wendy Carter, Director of Housing Administration, PathStone Corporation, Harrisburg, PA
- Nancy Close, Hardwood Estates Resident Association, Conneaut Lake, PA
- Robert Damewood, Esq., Staff Attorney, Regional Housing Legal Services, Pittsburgh, PA
- Carla Falkenstein, Director of West Region, Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Pittsburgh, PA
- Kenneth Joseph, Esq., Of Counsel, Pepper Hamilton, LLP, Pittsburgh, PA
- PA Department of Environmental Protection Safe Drinking Water Program
- Melvin Reinhart, Hardwood Estates Resident Association, Conneaut Lake, PA
- Charles G. Scalise, President & CEO, Housing and Neighborhood Development Services of Erie, Erie, PA
- Wesley S. Speary, Esq., University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
Public Policy Advocate, Just Harvest and Board Member, Neighborhood Legal Services Association, Pittsburgh, PA
Mark A. Krochka, Esq.
Staff Attorney, Neighborhood Legal Services Association, New Castle, PA
Mathew W. Lee, Esq.
Partner, Blank Rome/Pro Bono Volunteer, Philadelphia VIP, Philadelphia, PA
Jeffrey A. Mills, Esq.
Partner, Nicholaus & Hohenadel, LLP, Lancaster, PA
Excellence Award in Cy Pres Advocacy
The following law firms will receive the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Award for their Cy Pres Support of Legal Services to the Pennsylvania IOLTA Board and its grantees:
- Barrack, Rodos & Bacine (Mark Rosen, Esq.), Philadelphia PA
- Donovan Axler, LLC (Michael D. Donovan, Esq.), Philadelphia, PA
- Feldman, Shepherd, Wohlgelernter, Tanner, Weinstock, Dodig, LLP, (Alan M. Feldman, Esq.), Philadelphia, PA
- Francis & Mailman, PC (James Francis, Esq.), Berwyn, PA
- Kessler, Topaz, Meltzer & Check, LLP (Lee D. Rudy, Esq.), Radnor, PA
- Wohl & Fruchter, LLP (Ethan D. Wohl, Esq.), New York, NY
The 2016 Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Awards will be presented at the awards dinner on Tuesday, March 15, 2016, at the Hilton Harrisburg. A social hour will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., immediately followed by a buffet dinneR.
Information on advertising and sponsorship opportunities, table reservations and individual dinner tickets will be posted here in the near future.
Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Presents 2015 Excellence Awards
The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) honored the recipients of the 2015 Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Awards on March 23, 2015 at the annual awards dinner held at the Hilton Harrisburg. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Debra McCloskey Todd served as the keynote speaker for the event.
The mission of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network is to ensure equal access to justice so that Pennsylvanians can have representation, when facing important civil legal concerns affecting their safety, health, shelter and survival. The PLAN Excellence Awards are presented each year to individuals, groups, and/or organizations that have established excellence and diligence improving the availability and quality of civil legal services for low income people and victims of domestic violence in Pennsylvania.
A video tribute was shown highlighting the accomplishments of each of the 2015 recipients of the award. Those video tributes may be viewed below:
The recipients of the 2015 Excellence Awards included:
- Carl W. Bailey, Linda A. Bergman, Carol Collington, Minta Livengood and Dorothy Young
Executive Committee of the Coalition for Affordable Utility Service and Energy Efficiency in Pennsylvania (CAUSE-PA)
- Deborah L. Freedman, Esq.
Deputy Director of Legal Practice, Community Legal Services, Philadelphia, PA
- Sharon Goldsmith
Executive Secretary, Neighborhood Legal Services Association, Pittsburgh, PA
- The Honorable Alan D. Hertzberg
Court of Common Pleas Judge of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, PA
- Jennifer L. Heverly, Esq.
Attorney, North Penn Legal Services, Williamsport, PA
- Diana Ingersoll, Esq.
Attorney, MidPenn Legal Services, Altoona, PA
- Michael Lee, Esq.
Private Attorney Volunteer, Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, Philadelphia, PA
- Merck & Co., Inc. Pro Bono Program
Kenneth C. Frazier, CEO; Bruce N. Kuhlik, General Counsel, Whitehouse Station, NJ
- Jonathan Pyle, Esq.
Contract Performance Officer, Philadelphia Legal Assistance, Philadelphia, PA
- Lawrence A. Swanson
Executive Director , ACTION Housing, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA
We invite you to follow the link below to learn more about the 2015 Excellence Award winners.
The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network congratulates each of the award recipients and is proud to celebrate their examples of excellence in the pursuit of Access to Justice for all citizens.