Pennsylvania Legal Services Presents 2003 Striving Towards Excellence Awards

Pennsylvania Legal Services held its 2003 Striving Towards Excellence Awards Dinner on Tuesday evening, February 25, 2003 at the Harrisburg Hilton and Towers.

The Striving Towards Excellence Awards honor and celebrate some of the extraordinary people who are part of legal services community or who contribute their time and talents to legal aid programs across the state. The keynote speaker for the event was the Honorable J. Michael Eakin, Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

This year’s event also featured the presentation of special awards of recognition to many individuals who spearheaded the effort to pass the Access to Justice Act into law. This new law adds a surcharge to the filing of legal papers to generate funds to help low income individuals access civil legal aid.

The 2003 recipients of the Striving Towards Excellence Awards included:

  • Donald Driscoll, Esq.
    A legal aid attorney, presently with the Community Justice Project, Mr. Driscoll has been one of the most accomplished and prodigious impact litigators in Pennsylvania’s legal aid programs for over 25 years.
  • Ronell Guy
    The founder of the Northside Coalition for Fair Housing in Pittsburgh. Ms. Guy led the way for building community consensus around keeping the existing levels of rental subsidy in place pending the development of a long-term solution for the properties at risk of being lost by low income people.
  • Nanci A. Hoover, Esq.
    Ms. Hoover was the first managing attorney at Legal Aid of Southeastern PA’s regional centralized telephone intake, brief service and referral unit. She created a unit that produces easy access and high quality services for clients.
  • Paul Sternberg
    Mr. Sternberg, a paralegal with MidPenn Legal Services, has spent a large part of his life fighting for the fair treatment of clients. His enthusiasm, good humor and ability to cut to the heart of the matter have often been persuasive in accomplishing improvements in state policies.
  • Mary Ann Troper-Malley
    Ms. Troper-Malley, a paralegal With Neighborhood Legal Services Association, has dedicated 30 years of service to the principle of equal justice for all. She currently works with the Protection from Abuse Program at NLSA, where she continues to build partnerships with large law firms and works tirelessly to recruit and train new attorneys to represent victims of domestic abuse.
  • Alan M. White, Esq.
    Mr. White has been a consumer law expert at Community Legal Services for 20 years. He is recognized nationally as one of the premier consumer lawyers in the country. In addition, he has authored several law review articles, including a work of scholarship in the Stanford Law & Policy Review, entitled “Literacy and Contract.”

In addition to these award winners, those receiving special recognition for their efforts relating to the passage of the Access to Justice Act include:


  • Brett Feese, House Majority Caucus Chairman from Lycoming County
  • Kathy Manderino, State Representative from Philadelphia
  • John Perzel, House Majority Leader from Philadelphia
  • David J. Brightbill, Senate Majority Leader, who represents Lebanon, Berks and Lehigh Counties
  • Thomas P. Gannon, House Judiciary Committee Chair
  • Leslie Anne Miller, a Past President of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, Board Member of Pennsylvania Legal Services, and presently General Counsel to Governor Rendell
  • Stewart J. Greenleaf, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair who represents Bucks and Montgomery Counties
  • James M. Sheehan, who served as General Counsel to Governors Ridge and Schweiker
  • Gerald A. McHugh, Jr., President of the IOLTA Board and Past President of the PA Trial Lawyers Association
  • Jay Costa, Jr. State Senator from Allegheny County
  • Timothy J. Carson , President of the Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Edward F. Chacker, a Past Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Richard L. Cantor, President of the PLS Board of Directors
  • H. Reginald Belden, Jr., Past President of the Pennsylvania Bar Association


  • Stephen C. MacNett, General Counsel of the Senate Republican Caucus
  • Brian J. Preski, Jr., Chief of Staff for the House of Representatives
  • Gregg L. Warner, Counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee
  • Michael S. Schwoyer, Chief Counsel for the House Judiciary Committee
  • Louis N. Teti, a Past President of the Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Barry M. Simpson, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Alfred J. Azen, Executive Director of Pennsylvania’s IOLTA program
  • Louis S. Rulli, Member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Task Force
  • Diann D. Stinney, Pennsylvania Bar Association, who staffed the first PBA Task Force
  • Daniel E. Beren is a lobbyist for Pennsylvania Legal Services with the firm of Buchanan Ingersoll
  • Karen S. Ball, Buchanan Ingersoll
  • John E. Nanorta, legislataive representative for the Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Anthony L. Crisci, a lobbyist for the Philadelphia Bar Association with the firm of Holston and Crisci
  • David K. Trevaskis, Pro Bono Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Bar Association


  • Jon G. Hogue, Past President of the Board of Directors of Neighborhood Legal Services Association
  • Kenneth Shear, Executive Director of the Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Elizabeth C. Price, Executive Director of the Delaware County Bar Association
  • David A. Blaner, Executive Director of the Allegheny County Bar Association
  • Amy J. Greer, Past President of the Allegheny County Bar Association
  • Donald Morgan, Executive Director of the Dauphin County Bar Association
  • Barbara I. Kittrell, Executive Director of the Berks County Bar Association
  • Raymond H. Bogaty, President of the Board of Directors of Northwestern Legal Services
  • Sandra Brydon Smith, Executive Director of the Erie County Bar Association
  • Philip B. Friedman, Past President of the Erie County Bar Association and Chair of the Bar Association’s Legislative Committee
  • Allan H. Gordon, Immediate Past Chancellor of the Philadellphia Bar Association
  • Jeffrey M. Lindy, Immediate Past-Chair of Philadelphia Bar Association’s Board of Governors

The Pennsylvania Legal Services Board and Staff also offered its appreciation to all program staff, community services  and private bar advocates, legislators and government officials, clients and community leaders for their consistent commitment and dedication to equal justice for all.

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