Jami McKeon of Morgan Lewis Named 2016 United Way Women's Leadership Initiative Honoree

Annual gala celebrates women's leadership, supports Girls Today, Leaders Tomorrow program

PECO's Tiffany Tavarez to receive the organization's inaugural Next Generation Leader Award

Mar 02, 2016, 15:49 ET from United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey

PHILADELPHIA, March 2, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Jami McKeon, partner and global chair of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, will be presented with the 2016 Women's Leadership Initiative Award during United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey's (UWGPSNJ) annual Women's Leadership Initiative (WLI) Gala at the Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia on March 16.

"We are honored to recognize Jami because she is not only a well-respected leader in her industry, but she is also a dedicated and inspirational community leader," said Jim Cawley, president and CEO, UWGPSNJ. "She truly demonstrates the power of women's leadership and serves as a role model through her philanthropy, volunteerism and advocacy to help others and advance our region."  

Under McKeon's leadership, Morgan Lewis is now the world's largest law firm in the United States and the world's largest law firm led by a woman. A practicing trial lawyer and trusted advisor to financial services and technology industry clients around the world, McKeon has been a true advocate for her community through her longtime support of United Way and various nonprofit organizations including the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts, The Benchmark School, Mural Arts Program and Support Center for Child Advocates.

"Thank you to United Way's Women's Leadership Initiative for recognizing me with this prestigious award," McKeon said. "I've always been a firm believer in encouraging our next generation of leaders, especially young women, to achieve their dreams because I've had mentors do the same for me in my career. The Girls Today, Leaders Tomorrow program is all about women empowering other young women, and I'm proud and humbled to be a part of this life-changing work."  

The annual gala raises funds to support Girls Today, Leaders Tomorrow (GTLT) program, which helps girls in grades 7 through 12 attending schools in underserved communities to stay on track to graduation from high school prepared for college and career. During the last 12 years, WLI in Southeastern Pennsylvania has raised more than $4 million for the GTLT program and agencies that support underserved women and girls.

McKeon is the 13th recipient of the WLI Award, annually presented to a female leader who has given her time, talent and resources to support the work of United Way and the communities it serves. Past recipients include Rev. Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake, Independence Blue Cross; Karen Dougherty Buchholz, Comcast Corporation;  Mary Stengel Austen, Tierney; Charisse Lillie, Comcast Corporation and Comcast Foundation;  Molly D. Shepard, The Leader's Edge/Leaders By Design; and Harriet Weiss, CRW Graphics.

In addition, the inaugural WLI Next Generation Leader Award will be presented to PECO Corporate Contributions Manager Tiffany Tavarez. Named one of the 55 "Connectors and Keepers" by LEADERSHIP Philadelphia and Femme & Fortune's "30 Over 30 Philadelphia's Most Inspiring Women," Tavarez is a young professional who is passionate about giving back to her community through her support of United Way's campaign at PECO and service on various nonprofit committees and boards.

Samira Cook, a 5th year GTLT participant, 11th grader at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), and aspiring music producer will also be honored with the 2016 Helen Faust Award. This award is presented to a young GTLT participant who embodies confidence, compassion for community, and commitment to success and helping others – the core beliefs of the late Helen Faust, an advocate of young women for more than 70 years.

More than 700 guests are expected to attend the 2016 Women's Leadership Initiative Gala, presented by Independence Blue Cross. The event begins with a networking reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner and the award presentation emceed by NBC10 news anchor Tracy Davidson at 6:30 p.m. Additional sponsors of the 2016 Women's Leadership Initiative Gala include Enterprise Holdings; Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP; AmeriHealth Caritas; The AmerisourceBergen Foundation; UPS Chesapeake District; Comcast, NBC10, Telemundo62, and Comcast Spectacor; and Holman Automotive Group.

For sponsorship opportunities or to purchase seats for the 2016 Women's Leadership Initiative Gala, please contact United Way at 215-665-2417 or WLI@uwgpsnj.org. Learn more about United Way's Women's Leadership Initiative events and programs at UnitedForImpact.org/WLI. Also, follow @PhillySJUnited on social media using #Womensleadership.

About United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey
United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, serving communities in Pennsylvania's Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, and New Jersey's Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May  and Cumberland counties, is part of a national network of more than 1,300 locally governed organizations that work to create lasting positive changes in communities and in people's lives. United Way engages the community to identify the underlying causes of the most significant local issues, develops strategies and pulls together financial and human resources to address them, and measures the results. United Way is advancing the common good in Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey by positively impacting the lives of people throughout the region in the areas of education, financial stability and health.

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SOURCE United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey