Joan Markman Volunteer Leadership Award
For her many selfless acts to make the world better, we have created the Joan Markman Award for outstanding volunteer leadership by which we will acknowledge the person who most exemplifies Joan’s care, kindness and tenacious devotion to the public good.
Joan Markman has a special place in the hearts of all those who ride in the Breakthrough Bike Challenge. BBC Board Chair Chris Hall first met Joan at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 1990. He was new to town and Joan introduced him to her husband, Jim Becker, at an office holiday party. As was Joan and Jim’s way, they reached out to welcome a newcomer to the Office and to the City.
Joan, then 33, did not know she would live for only twenty-four more years. But she made every day count. You can read elsewhere about her professional exploits—the papers and media are replete with stories about her pursuit of justice in the courtroom as a federal prosecutor and later as the City’s first Integrity Officer at Mayor Nutter’s request.
We remember Joan here instead for the care she demonstrated for her community, right down to her last days. Joan was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. It returned in metastatic form in 2013. She approached that bad hand with dignity and purpose from which we can all learn.
We hosted our first, somewhat ragtag bike ride in 2012 to raise money for cancer research. Joan instantly offered to take responsibility for the Support and Gear (SAG) Wagon. She then cameoed in that role when we formed the BBC 501(c)(3) Foundation in 2014. Cancer had weakened her by that point, so friend Jamie McAndrews kindly took the wheel of the SAG wagon while Joan, riding shotgun, kept a gimlet eye on her husband Jim as he pedaled up hills on a 30-year-old bike.
We invited Joan to join our board in October 2014 not knowing she would live for only three more months. She showed commitment in that short period none of us will forget. She left us in awe on several occasions, but her last communication to the BBC serves as a clarion call. She had to go to the hospital for what turn out to be a succession of procedures, but had one item left on her list to prepare the website for this year’s ride. Incredibly, she felt guilty she could not get to it, and asked Jim to call the BBC board—between procedures—to apologize.
Joan died of cancer a few days later on January 14, 2015 at age 57. We look forward to many beautiful days cycling with her husband Jim and their wonderful children Andrew and Lizzie, and to basking in the memory of their undaunted mother and wife, who serves as a shining example to us all.
Muscoe Martin Fundraising Leadership Award
Muscoe kind’s disposition and thoughtful approach to life have galvanized many to donate their hard earned treasure to fund research for a cure to brain cancer. For his essential role as a catalyst, we have created the Muscoe Martin Fundraising Leadership Award to recognize the person or team of people who best demonstrate the art of raising funds to support cutting edge cancer research. We have created this award to honor Muscoe and the giving spirit he engendered in so many.
Muscoe Martin was a loving father to four children, a devoted husband and an accomplished architect who had only begun to realize the full potential when he died of cancer at home in Philadelphia on December 28, 2014. He was 59 years old. His career in sustainable design began long before the term "green architecture" became part of the vernacular.
Muscoe began with his work in solar design in California. In Philadelphia he was an associate at Jacobs/Wyper, Wallace Roberts and Todd, and then a partner at Susan Maxman & Partners. In 2006, he founded his own firm, M2 Architecture, which was involved with the design for the Horticulture Center at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. He taught courses in ecological architecture and environmental systems at Penn’s School of Design for many years and inspired his students to build green.
Within his profession, Muscoe worked tirelessly to spread the word about sustainable design. He chaired the AIA Committee on the Environment and served on the Board of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council. Subsequently, he was a board member for the national US Green Building Council, where he also chaired numerous committees. He helped to establish the principles of LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) for USGBC and taught LEED certification workshops all over the country.
In his own practice Muscoe achieved LEED’s highest certification—Platinum—for the Stroud Water Research Center in Chester County, PA. He was inducted in 2013 as a USBGC LEED fellow, the organization’s highest honor.
He was an avid soccer fan (especially of the Philadelphia Union) and played Ultimate Frisbee in the Philadelphia Disc Alliance. He was a wonderful friend to many and his quick smile and twinkling eyes are missed by all.