Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Mark of Excellence – PPRA’s 2012 Hall of Fame Induction

On May 7 in the Ballroom of Philadelphia’s Four Seasons Hotel, PPRA inducted its newest member of the esteemed Hall of Fame, Mark Tarasiewicz. Mark, the Associate Executive Director of the Philadelphia Bar Association was honored with PPRA’s highest award for his many contributions over the last 20 years to not only PPRA, but the greater Philadelphia region. 

A Philadelphian through and through, Mark has spent his life in this city and has become an integral part of its fabric. He shares his knowledge and experience as an adjunct professor of public relations in the Temple University graduate program in Strategic Communication, and has also lectured for a variety of organizations from the Public Relations Society of America to the American Society of Association Executives.  An active member of the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE), he serves as treasurer of the organization’s Communication Section and a member of its Program Committee, not to mention is a three-time recipient of the NABE Luminary Award.   In the community, Mark has volunteered his time to the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including the Young Advocates for Mural Arts and the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia.

Friends and former colleagues showered Mark with warm wishes and congratulations at the Hall of Fame luncheon, telling stories of their experiences with Mark over the years.  PPRA member and Penn State Abington Lecturer Dan Cirucci began by recalling how impressed he was with Mark’s work at The Legal Intelligencer – so much so that he hired him to work at the Bar Association 17 years ago. First Judicial District Judge Annette Rizzo and Chancellor Savoth, on the other hand, credited Mark with successfully connecting the legal community with the community at large and commended his effort to humanize the legal profession in Philadelphia.  But Bobbi Booker perhaps expressed it best, simply saying, “Mark made my life easy.” 

Emceed by NBC10’s Aditi Roy, the event was also attended by a who’s who of Philadelphia personalities, including Mayor Michael Nutter; Bobbi Booker, Lifestyle Leisure Reporter for the Philadelphia Tribune; Dan Martin, musical computer;  Valerie Knight, co-host of the Breakfast Club on Philadelphia’s 98.1 WOGL; Dr. Betsy Leebron Tutelman, Temple University’s Senior Vice Provost for Strategic Initiatives and Communications; and John E. Savoth, the 2012 Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association. 

At the conclusion of the afternoon, PPRA President Chris Lukach presented Mark with the Hall of Fame award and surprised him with tickets to Disney World. Mark sincerely thanked his friends and family, mentors, Temple University, and the Bar Association for helping him earn this great honor. He ended his remarks with a quote from Maya Angelou, “When you learn, teach; and when you get, give.” 

Mark embodies this quote and serves as an example of someone who has received a great deal from others but has given back what he has received tenfold.  Congratulations from all of your fellow PPRA members, Mark! 

Many thanks to Dan Cirucci and Lisette Bralow, co-chairs of the 2012 Hall of Fame committee, and all of the hard working committee members whose efforts to arrange and publicize this event made it the great success that it was.  If you missed the event and would like to view pictures, you can visit the PPRA website

Thomas is working towards his Master of Arts degree in Strategic Communication at Villanova University. An active member of PPRA, Thomas served on the 2011 Gold Medal banquet committee, the 2012 Hall of Fame banquet committee and he serves on Philly PRoactive. His work can be viewed and he can be contacted at his blog The Good Word(smith).

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