Daniel Tann, Attorney Receives Phi Beta Sigma Distinguished Service Chapter Member Award
A wise man once said that a man should not measure his success by how much money he makes, but by how much he gives back to the community.
That statement certainly applies to Daniel Tann, Esquire, who was recently awarded the Distinguished Service Chapter Award by the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. So far, 166 other people have received this award. Tann was the 163rd recipient. A predominately African American fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma began in 1914 at Howard University. Today, it has five hundred chapters over the US, and countries like Africa, South Korea, Germany and the Virgin Islands. According to Tann, Phi Beta Sigma gives the award based on members’ service to the organization and service to the community. After all, its basic motto goes: “culture for service, service for culture.”
And above all else, Tann has made it has obligation to give back to the community. A Philadelphia native, Tann graduated from La Salle University in 1982 with a duel degree in Business Administration and Organizational Behavior Management. At LaSalle, Tann started the first Phi Beta Sigma chapter because he wanted to “positively portray the culture and social awareness of the Black Student.” Before that only a citywide chapter of Phi Beta Sigma existed in Philadelphia, Tann explained.
After graduation, Tann received the Joseph Drogan Scholarship to Study Law at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. During his second year, Tann was elected President of the local chapter of the Black Law Students of America. Before then, it was an honor traditionally reserved for upper classman.
Once Tann completed law school, he returned to Philadelphia where he practiced for several years in the areas of commercial litigation, collections, bankruptcy, matrimonial law, personal injury, real estate, civil litigation and criminal law. In 2002, Tann opened his own firm dedicated to “providing legal services to people from all walks of life.”
Tann’s accomplishments prove too many to list. In fact they occupy a one hundred and seven page document. However, some of the highlights include the work he has done with Nu Sigma Youth Services, which provide mentoring and jobs to Philadelphia adolescents. The participants, Tann explained receive paychecks for work they do at programs like mural arts. “But we also teach them things like how to tie a tie, interview skills as well as how to apply to college.” Students can access this program through the Philadelphia School System, Tann added.
There’s also Tann’s involvement in Camp Sigma, which takes kids out of the city and provides them with one on one interaction with African American males who aren’t drug dealers or athletes. “This is designed to help them realize that they have options.”
When Tann received his [up to] $500 with his award last month, he donated it to the, Learning Tree. Based in Waynesboro, Virginia, the Learning Tree offers job and computer training. “It might seem weird to give money to a program in another state,” Tann says, explaining that the organization’s CEO, Janet Harvey, is an old friend who used to work in Philadelphia. Tann admired Harvey’s work, because “she took her money and gave it back the community.”
And that’s a motto that Tann lives by.
Tann has served on the Board of Directors for the Market West Neighborhood Planners Inc., Nu Sigma Youth Services, President’s Council of Associates for La Salle University, La Salle University Alumni Association, the African American Alumni Association of La Salle University, Fair Housing Council of Southern New Jersey an the Philadelphia Boy Scouts of America. Currently, he sits on the board of the Waynesboro Area Learning Tree and is the Chairman for the Diversity Committee of the GP/Solo Division of the American Bar Association. He is also on the steering committee for the ABA Death Penalty Project.