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Integrity Icon 2023: Who is Your Public “Fun Hero?”

Fishtown pool opening celebration, summer 2022. Photo by Theo Wyss-Flamm

In the summer of 1981, a young student intern started working with the Fairmount Park Commission. Her (fitting!) name: Lori Maple Hayes. Today, she’s the City’s Director of Urban Forestry.

For her commitment to our city’s wondrous natural landscape, The Philadelphia Citizen named her a 2022 Integrity Icon. The Integrity Icon program, you may recall, is The Citizen’s ongoing partnership with the nonprofit Accountability Lab to “name and fame” City workers who go above and beyond their job descriptions, to do ethical, high-integrity work for Philadelphia.

The qualities we look for: The Icon must be a high-integrity public service employee who is respectful and caring; knows their work makes a difference to people’s lives; acts in a trustworthy and transparent way to solve problems the best they can; treats everyone equally, without regard to politics or influence; and goes above and beyond to provide good service to Philadelphians.

And now, the search is on for more City workers like Maple Hayes, who go above and beyond their job description to uplift our city.

“Integrity means everything you do right,” Maple Hayes said when she was nominated last year. “The honesty. The professionalism. The responsibility.” That ethos guided Maple Hayes as she worked her way up from intern to grounds maintenance crew to landscapes project technician, and, ultimately, landing her current leadership position. Along the way, she’s not only looked after our parks, but cultivated a network of devoted colleagues who are proud to sing her praises.

“Lori has looked out for people her whole life by using nature and horticulture as her center,” says Kim Andrews, Executive Director of Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia. “Through her work life, she has just made this park system a better, better place for everybody.”

Do you know a City worker who reminds you of Lori Maple Hayes, for their passion and dedication? For the network they’ve built, and the way they make people feel? It can be someone in any department in the city.



The process to nominate someone is simple: Fill out this form, then Accountability Lab and The Citizen will get to work learning more about each nominee before our panel of high-integrity judges — which this year includes previous winners Richard Gordon IV, principal of Paul Robeson High School, and Rebecca Lopez Kriss, a deputy commissioner in the City’s Revenue Department; Angela Val, president and CEO of Visit Philadelphia; Amy Kurland, former Inspector General of the City of Philadelphia; and SEAMAAC Executive Director Thaoi Nguyen — review the finalists and choose the winners. You’ll then have a chance to vote on one of them as the “People’s Choice” winner, too.

Come fall, we’ll celebrate all of the winners, and fête them like the true heroes they are.

You have until March 31, so get nominating, and heed the words of Lori Maple Hayes: “Integrity–once you have earned it and achieved it, no one can take it away from you.”


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