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At the 2018 Opening Night Concert, The Philadelphia Orchestra Award will be presented to Joseph M. Manko, Sr., and the late Lynn K. Manko for their outstanding volunteer leadership, philanthropy, and advocacy in support of The Philadelphia Orchestra. The Award is given by the Board of Directors to one or more persons in the Orchestra family of Board members, volunteers, musicians, staff, and friends, or to an organization that has made exemplary contributions to The Philadelphia Orchestra Association.
Joe and Lynn were members of what Harvard social scientist Robert Putnam, in his book Bowling Alone, called the “long civic generation.” Together, they were and are true champions of civic engagement here in the Greater Philadelphia region, devoting their lives to the betterment of others and—in the spirit of tikkun olam—to the repairing and healing of the world through their myriad associations, involvements, and volunteer leadership roles. The Philadelphia Orchestra is fortunate to have benefitted from their close friendship and involvement, especially over the past decade.
Joe has served on the Orchestra’s Board of Directors since 2013, including past roles as co-chair of the Opening Night Gala and the Golf Classic and current roles as co-chair of the Board’s Development Committee and as a member of the Executive Committee. Until her untimely passing in January 2018, Lynn matched Joe’s energy and commitment through her service as a long-time member of the Central Volunteer Committee, as Chair of Volunteer Annual Giving, and as a member of the Governing Board of the Volunteer Association. Together in their married life of 56 years, they loved the Orchestra, attending concerts regularly as subscribers and advocating passionately to introduce and encourage others to become involved.
Beyond the music, the Mankos have been passionate about education and, specifically, teaching children the value and importance of the arts and music. They exposed their own children—Joseph, Jr., Wendy, and Glenn, who are with Joe tonight—to music through recordings and by taking them to children’s concerts at the Robin Hood Dell, the Academy of Music, and the Kimmel Center.
Joe is a founding partner of Manko, Gold, Katcher & Fox, LLP, and has more than 45 years of experience advising clients on environmental matters. He received his B.A. from Yale University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School. In addition to his leadership at the Orchestra, Joe also served as a commissioner and officer of the Lower Merion Board of Commissioners for 27 years, as state finance chair for several U.S. Presidential candidates, and as finance chair for campaigns of Ed Rendell (governor and mayor) and Michael Nutter (mayor). Among his many other volunteer associations are service on the Fairmount Park Conservancy Board; as a trustee of Beth David Reform Congregation, the Golden Slipper Camp, and the Abramson Center for Jewish Life; and on the Advisory Boards of the Philadelphia Film Society and the Community Partnership School.
Lynn was a graduate of Boston University, and for many years, served as assistant athletic director and facility manager at the University of Pennsylvania. At the time of her passing, she also served on the Boards of Mural Arts of Philadelphia and the Symphony House Condominium Association.
The Lynn K. Manko Volunteer Endowment Fund was established at the Orchestra in January 2018 through hundreds of gifts made in her memory. Annual income from this endowment fund will support volunteer events, such as tonight’s Opening Night Gala, in perpetuity.
On behalf of all the members of the Orchestra, Board, staff, and volunteers, along with Yannick, we salute Joe and Lynn for their passionate commitment to civic engagement, and we recognize and honor them for their exemplary leadership of The Philadelphia Orchestra.