Advocates’ Staff Member Receives Public Interest Award

  • November 28, 2018
150 150 Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety


November 28, 2018

Contact: Eric Naing 202-408-1711, cell: 217-493-8294,

Cathy Barzey, Advocates’ Dedicated and Invaluable Staff Member, Receives the Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Award

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) is proud to announce that Cathy Barzey, our long-time Administrative Assistant, is being honored as the recipient of this year’s Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Award.  The award, created by Public Citizen in 2003, is given each year to a dedicated member of the public interest movement whose contributions, while not always visible to those outside the organization, are critical to the success of the mission.  An indispensable member of Advocates’ team since 2002, Cathy works tirelessly to support Advocates’ mission to prevent motor vehicle crashes, save lives and reduce injuries by enacting state and federal highway and auto safety laws.  As the initial point of contact for anyone visiting or calling, Cathy is always responsive, welcoming and willing to help.  These traits frequently are acknowledged by Members of Congress and their staff, Advocates’ board members, government officials, media professionals and families of crash victims who attest to her outstanding interpersonal skills and abilities.  Behind the scenes, Cathy deftly handles a broad and challenging range of responsibilities such as assisting in the organization of media events, board meetings and legislative briefings, managing schedules and overseeing office needs, as well as assembling vast amounts of materials for distribution to Capitol Hill.  Her dedication and contributions have been critical to the safety successes of Advocates.

Cathy Chase, President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, said, “I know I speak for the staff and board in congratulating Cathy Barzey for receiving this prestigious and well-deserved award in recognition of her contributions.  On any given day at Advocates, staff is working to advance numerous highway and auto safety issues on the state, federal legislative and federal regulatory levels.  Each person has an integral role in these efforts and Cathy is the glue that keeps us all together.  She both inspires us and ensures that we have the support we need to do our jobs well.  Cathy always keeps calm and focused no matter how busy or difficult the daily challenges are and she never gets rattled, no matter how much pressure she is under.  Advocates’ staff and I have the deepest respect and admiration for Cathy and offer her our gratitude and congratulations on being selected to receive the Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Award.  There is no question that Cathy’s contributions to Advocates over the years have resulted in lives being saved and our roads made safer for everyone.”

Jackie Gillan, Advocates’ President Emeritus, stated, “I nominated Cathy Barzey because she embodies the commitment and resolve that typified Phyllis McCarthy and her numerous contributions to Public Citizen, particularly the Health Research Group.  Cathy is more than just an employee of Advocates.  She is a passionate supporter of Advocates’ safety mission and a loyal friend to our staff and board members.  Her warmth and joyful personality and her extraordinary work ethic are the perfect and essential antidote for the stressful, taxing and exacting demands on all of us working in the public interest movement.  I can’t think of anyone more deserving to be recognized by the public interest community and honored by receiving the Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Award.”

Joan Claybrook, President Emeritus of Public Citizen, former Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Advocates’ board member, added, “Cathy’s interpersonal and organizational skills and can-do spirit make her Advocates’ secret weapon.  She is an amazing jack-of-all trades who can always be counted on to get any job, big or small, done with excellence and efficiency.  Throughout Cathy’s sixteen-year tenure at Advocates, she has deftly handled numerous tasks and responsibilities while always maintaining her trademark poise.  I am thrilled that Cathy has been selected to receive the well-deserved honor of the Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest award.”