Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Awards
Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Honors 2021 Excellence Award Recipients
The 2021 Award recipients were originally scheduled to receive the award in 2020 but the 2020 Excellence Award Celebration could not take place due the to COVID-19 pandemic. Rather than electing to select a new slate of award winners for 2021, PLAN decided to use the 2021 celebration to honor those selected to receive the award in 2020 and to celebrate the legal aid community’s collective response to COVID-19.
The featured speaker at the event was Supreme Court Justice David Wecht.
The mission of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network is to ensure equal access to justice so that Pennsylvanians can have legal representation when facing important civil legal concerns affecting their safety, health, shelter and survival.
The PLAN Excellence Awards recognize legal aid attorneys, paralegals, support staff and friends of civil legal aid who support the clients served by the civil legal programs that comprise the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network.
Nominations are solicited from across Pennsylvania for the awards which are made based on a variety of criteria that demonstrated excellence and diligence in helping improve the availability and quality of civil legal services for low income people and victims of domestic violence in Pennsylvania.
The 2021 Excellence Award recipients honored at the event include:
- Wesley C. Allen, Esq.
Senior Attorney, Family Advocacy Unit • Community Legal Services • Philadelphia, PA
- Mardi Busanus
Volunteer • Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania • Doylestown, PA
- El Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agrícolas (CATA)
El Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agrícolas (The Farmworkers Support Committee) • Kennett Square, PA
- Robert Damewood, Esq.
Staff Attorney • Regional Housing Legal Services • Pittsburgh, PA
- Samuel R. Grego, Esq.
Principal • Dickie McCamey, & Chilcote, P.C. • Pittsburgh, PA
- Erin Guay
Paralegal • Pennsylvania Health Law Project • Pittsburgh, PA
- Gabriele Miller-Wagner
Administrative Assistant, Pro Bono Department • Pennsylvania Bar Association • Harrisburg, PA
- Matthew S. Rich, Esq.
Staff Attorney • MidPenn Legal Services • Harrisburg, PA
- Joan M. Tutak, Esq.
Senior Attorney • Neighborhood Legal Services • Butler, PA
A video tribute was shown during the event highlighting the accomplishments of each of the 2021 recipients of the award. Those video tributes may be viewed below:
In addition, PLAN presented the Outstanding Leadership in Legal Services Award to Samuel W. Milkes, Esq., Former Executive Director, Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. During his 19 years as Executive Director, Samuel Milkes worked tirelessly to expand access to civil legal services for low-income households and dedicated himself to advancing the mission of a compassionate and coordinated, client-centered legal aid system in Pennsylvania.
In recognition of his long service and his superlative efforts as Executive Director, the Outstanding Leadership in Legal Services Award was rechristened the Samuel W. Milkes Outstanding Leadership in Legal Services Award at the conclusion of the ceremony and will be known as that award in the future.