Transcripts of full meetings of the council.

Oh, okay, Mr. President. So I will first do an announcement, a friendly reminder to Council colleagues and staffers and guests who want to join us immediately following the adjournment for our Second Annual Celebration of Black History Month, which will include song, music, and dance and followed by delicious food offered up by Arnez, a wonderful caterer here in town, and, lastly, art in its purest form being exhibited by Florcy Morisset, an African American female owner of the only art gallery there in Old City. So all are invited to join us immediately following City Council. I thank the leadership again for just saying yes that we can do this.

My remarks speak to an opportunity to salute a man who touched my life very, very early in my career, has made a huge impact on a dozen of others, and an even bigger mark on the City of Philadelphia. On Monday, February 24th, Mr. Willie F. Johnson, President of PRWT Services, Inc., was honored in Washington, DC by our United States Senator Bob Casey. I count myself both lucky and fortunate to have been among the legions of guests and friends from Florida, South Carolina, his home state, and Philly made us proud, we were there in huge numbers, who were there to cheer him on, show him our love, and offer our heartfelt admiration.

I got to know Mr. Johnson, my former boss, when he was the Executive Director of the Youth Services Coordinating Office under the Rizzo Administration, and I learned a lot about work ethic and what that looks like. Never, ever did he have his nameplate on his desk. When you walked into his office, what you saw on his nameplate were two words: Be Thorough.

At the tribute Donna Allie, President and CEO of Team Clean, offered the following quote. She was one of four panelists who were a part of a symposium that followed the salute to Mr. Johnson on the Senate floor, and here's what she had to say: Quote, "If you want to sleep well at night, you have to genuinely be more interested in people than profit," end quote.

This quote is a testament to Willie Johnson's inspiring story. He's the Founder and Chairman of PRWT Services, Inc., one of the largest minority-owned businesses in the United States located right here in Philadelphia. He started his career as a social worker, which has strongly influenced his approach to the way he approaches the business world.

Before beginning his career as an entrepreneur, he served as the Regional Commissioner for the Office of the City of Philadelphia, the Executive Director for the Youth Services Coordinating Office under Rizzo, the Executive Director of the Office of Employment and Training under Rendell. Then Mr. Johnson took the leap and in 1983 established Fidelity Systems, Inc., a cable line construction company. From there he went on to found another company, PRWT, Services, Inc. in 1988. Today, PRWT now employs over 1,500 people nationwide. A central tenet of PRWT is to be a world-class entrepreneurial diversified company while also being an excellent corporate citizen.

Under his leadership, PRWT was named Industrial Service Company of the Year in the 2009 issue of Black Enterprise and was saluted at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneur's Conference for being one of the top 100 black enterprise companies, and has been in that place for at least nine years.

He was also recognized as Entrepreneur of the Year by the Philadelphia region of Ernst and Young in June 2000. His commitment to community, to the arts and culture organizations -- he's supported Philadanco, African American Museum, Urban League of Philadelphia, and the list goes on and on and on.

So I'm delighted to be able to salute him on this last day of us convening during African American History Month and salute Mr. Willie F. Johnson for being truly an inspirational human being, a giant of a citizen, an enormous wonderful role model for those of us who have the spine to become entrepreneurs, because in every way he represents and is a reflection and symbol for the next generation of leaders.

So it's a wonderful pleasure, Mr. President, to salute Mr. Willie F. Johnson while he's still able to smell the roses.

With that, City Council stands adjourned until Thursday, March 6th, 2014.

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