Approximately 80 people attended the 2007 Knee/Wittman Achievement Awards and the 2007 NASW National Lifetime Achievement Award Ceremony and Reception on Friday, February 1, 2008, at The Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. The evening opened with welcoming remarks from NASW Executive Director and NASW Foundation President Elizabeth J. Clark who recognized the NASW Social Work Pioneers®, chapter executive directors, national board members and NASW staff who were in attendance. This was the 16th year that the Knee/Wittman awards have been given to recognize individuals who are models of excellence and have made significant contributions in the field of health and mental health. Award namesake Ruth Knee, who served as the host for the evening, also addressed the gathering, noting the “professional and caring contributions” of the award recipients. Milton Wittman was represented by his son, Perry Wittman.
Betsy Vourlekis was recognized with the Knee/Wittman Lifetime Achievement in Health and Mental Health Practice Award, Teresa DeCrescenzo received the Outstanding Achievement in Health and Mental Health Policy Award, and Dorothy V. Harris was honored with the NASW National Lifetime Achievement Award during the event.
DeCrescenzo has long been recognized as an icon in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. She founded Gay and Lesbian Adolescent Social Services (GLASS), a non-profit agency that provides comprehensive services for youth, particularly those who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender who live in out-of-home care. Betsy Vourlekis has contributed to social work research and practice on the national and international levels and has had a career spanning many areas. NASW President Elvira Craig de Silva presented Dorothy V. Harris with the NASW Lifetime Achievement Award. She has been a leader in child welfare initiatives that focus on improving child welfare systems.