The first annual Virginia Barton Wallace Award has been presented to NBC10 News anchor Renee Chenault-Fattah
White and Williams Honored Renee Chenault-Fattah with the Virginia Barton Wallace Award
Chairman, George J. Hartnett (left), and Partner, Gale White (right),
pictured with Virginia Barton Wallace Award recipient, Renee
White and Williams LLP presented the First Annual Virginia Barton Wallace Award at a special luncheon in Center City on October 25, 2006 to NBC10 News anchor Renee Chenault-Fattah.
The award included a ten thousand dollar check, which was presented to a charity of Chenault-Fattah’s choice. Chenault-Fattah chose to split the check between Planned Parenthood, Mothers in Charge, the GE Foundation, People's Emergency Center and Work to Ride. White and Williams established this award to honor Virginia “Ginny” Barton Wallace, their first female partner. Sadly, Ginny passed away in 2002 so now they honor her memory and contribution to women in law.
“Ginny Wallace was a true pioneer among female attorneys,” said Gale White, a partner in the Commercial Litigation Department at White and Williams. After earning her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College, she took an intern position at the Saturday Evening Post in Philadelphia. During World War II, Wallace earned the rank of 1st Lieutenant, while serving with the Women’s Army Air Corps. At the end of the war, she entered the University of Wyoming with plans to become a legal secretary. Instead, when a business law professor told her she should be a lawyer, she transferred to the University of Pennsylvania where she received her law degree in 1950. After graduation, Wallace joined White and Williams. In 1961, she became one of White and Williams first female partners.
“Wallace was well known in the field of Trusts and Estates, and was highly regarded in the prestigious Orphans’ Court of Philadelphia,” said White. “Even though she retired from White and Williams in 1980, she continued to consult for the firm until she was in her 90s.”
White and Williams choose Chenault-Fattah because they believe she is a rarity among her Philadelphia television colleagues: she is both an attorney and broadcast journalist. From 1982 to 1986, she practiced law in New York City and remains a member of the New York Bar. Like Wallace, she received her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and exemplifies the same spirit with which Wallace pursued her careers in journalism and law.
The grand event took place at the Four Seasons Hotel located at 18th Street and the Ben Franklin Parkway this afternoon from 11am-2pm. The program began with a brief seminar presented by Stacy West Clark, Esq. of Stacy Clark Marketing LLC and Nancy Conrad, Esq. of White and Williams on the “Ethics of Media Relations and Presentation Skills for Professional Women.” The luncheon and award ceremony followed.
White and Williams LLP is one of the largest law firms in the Philadelphia region. The firm represents a large, diverse client base including banks, bank-holding companies, product manufacturers, insurance companies, colleges and universities, service and distribution companies, health care institutions, real estate developers, retailers, title insurance companies and brokerage firms.
White and Williams attorneys are proud of the century-old heritage of excellence, innovation and integrity left to them by their predecessors. Every day, they dedicate themselves to maintaining their reputation, case by case, client by client. Their focus remains on their clients, whose goals and objectives they strive to understand and serve.