February 20, 2014– Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced Barbara Ash, Chief Deputy City Solicitor of the Law Department, as the recipient of the third annual Richardson Dilworth Award for Distinguished Public Service. The Dilworth Award recognizes the contributions of outstanding city employees whose work embodies excellence in public service. In 2013, a videohighlighting the award was produced and released.
“Throughout her twenty-three years of service, Barbara’s passion for her job as a public servant has been wide reaching and has improved the quality of life for thousands of Philadelphia’s most vulnerable citizens—its families and children,” said Mayor Nutter. “Barbara is held in very high regard by her colleagues within and outside the government, and it is my honor to present her with this award.”
Barbara Ash is a graduate of the Temple University, James E. Beasley School of Law. She has practiced with the City since 1991. Over the course of her career with the Law Department, Barbara has risen through the ranks from Assistant City Solicitor to Chief Deputy City Solicitor and Chair of the Law Department’s Social Services Group. In her current position, Ms. Ash is responsible for providing representation to the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services, Child Welfare Unit. Barbara is married to a retired attorney, and has two stepsons and six grandchildren. She is an active member of Sharon Baptist Church, and a member of the National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division.
“My faith is what grounds me and helps me with the daily stress of the job,” said Barabara Ash. “This is a demanding job; however, my greatest satisfaction comes from representing the hard working and dedicated DHS social workers. I have wonderful staff who work just as hard as I do and, therefore, they make my job easy.”
Shelley R. Smith, City Solicitor said, “Each day, Barbara works through the details of these often tragic cases and expertly represents DHS and its constituents with unparalleled professionalism, compassion and zealousness. Barbara takes each case as a challenge to find better ways to solve the difficult problems DHS encounters and through her legal practice, remains focused on the purpose for which DHS exists—the children who depend on the agency for protection.”
Barbara Ash was selected from 154 nominations of City employees from all over the government. Nominations came from City employees, managers and the general public. The award honors a current, full-time executive branch employee with at least three years of continuous service and no recent disciplinary violations. The award is being sponsored by Dilworth Paxson LLP and Independence Blue Cross and is staffed by The Fund for Philadelphia, Inc.
“Richardson Dilworth was a firm believer in meritocracy; it was one of the hallmarks of his administrations as Mayor and District Attorney,” said Joe Jacovini of Dilworth Paxson, LLP. “Barbara Ash has distinguished herself on her merits as an outstanding civil servant and is most worthy of this award. Her twenty-three years of outstanding service to the citizens of Philadelphia set her apart from an outstanding field of candidates. I offer her my sincere congratulations.”
“No one was more transformational than Richardson Dilworth,” said Dan Hilferty, President and CEO of Independence Blue Cross. “This award is a remarkable way to honor the legacy of Philadelphia’s 91st Mayor, and provides a way for our public servants to receive the recognition they deserve.”
The selection panel members are:
· Joseph Jacovini (Co-Chair), Dilworth Paxson LLP
· Dan Hilferty (Co-Chair), Independence Blue Cross
· Nina Ahmad, Pryme Jenomix, LLC
· Bishop Audrey Bronson, Sanctuary Church of the Open Door
· George Burrell, Esq., Senior Vice President and COO, Universal Companies
· John Chin, Chinatown CDC
· Patricia Coulter, Urban League of Philadelphia
· Helen Cunningham, Samuel S. Fels Fund
· Deborah Dilworth Bishop
· Liz Dow, Leadership Philadelphia
· Marcy Feldman Rost, Independence Blue Cross, (designate for Dan Hilferty)
· Cynthia Figueroa, CONGRESO
· Joseph Frick, Diversified Search
· Susan O. Jaffe, Community Volunteer and former Chair of the Zoning Board of Adjustment
· Charisse Lillie, Comcast Corporation
· Ed McBride, PECO
· Judith Mondre, Mondre Energy, (designate for Rob Wonderling)
· Stella Tsai, Archer & Greiner, P.C.
· Anna Verna, Former City Council President