Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to my friend Barry Berkoff, a senior policy advisor for Thelen Reid and Priest. Through many years of both public and private service, Barry has been an invaluable asset to Congress and the Executive Branch. He is a true role model for those who wish to dedicate their lives to improving government, society and our nation's public policy.
Barry started his career as a young legislative assistant for Senator Frank Church in 1968. He spent twelve years in public service, rising to become the Senator's senior legislative and government affairs assistant. Barry has always been very proud of his service in government, and Congress was fortunate to have the benefit of his skills and dedication.
I first got to know Barry in my early years in Congress, when I joined with several members of my delegation in the fight to preserve the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard and the Philadelphia Naval Station. Barry was part of the team representing the City of Philadelphia during the base closure process. Since the closure of the yard, Barry has championed the difficult task of converting the yard to civilian, commercial use. Now known as the Philadelphia Business Center, the yard is a vibrant commercial complex that is attracting new jobs every day. A great deal of this success can be attributed to Barry Berkoff's efforts.
Barry has also worked on a number of economic development projects that have improved the standard of living of my constituents in Philadelphia. He has helped small businesses in Philadelphia that have sought to convert their defense technologies to commercial applications. He has also provided invaluable advice on government contracting and appropriations to Philadelphia-area companies.
Mr. Speaker, I know of few other individuals in this city who possess Barry's knowledge of the legislative process and history.
I regret to inform my colleagues who know Barry that he is currently very ill. I join the House today in paying special tribute to this remarkable individual. He is in our thoughts and prayers.
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