The award was presented on March 10 at the 2010 Supreme Evening of Jazz hosted by the O'Connor House at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Berman received a plaque and a $1,000 stipend.
"Your service to Arizona has inspired us," wrote Paula Hilby, Interim Executive Director of the O'Connor House, in a letter announcing the award. "You were selected because your contribution was selfless and because your work provided a solid knowledge base to move O'Connor House Programs from civic talk to civic actions."
The O'Connor House Project was established in 2008 to preserve the original adobe home of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor (ret.), and her husband, John.
As the first woman elected majority leader of the Arizona State Senate in 1972, Justice O'Connor and her husband brought many decision makers home, where they were treated to Western hospitality that often included an informal, home-cooked meal. In a relaxed and convivial atmosphere, senators were encouraged to reach consensus on issues vital to the state, even reaching across party lines to write Senate bills.
Nationally, the house had significance as Justice O'Connor was interviewed there for the U.S. Supreme Court. It also played a world role because the O'Connors introduced many international luminaries to Arizona while living there.
Once it became apparent that the house could be reassembled and relocated in Tempe's Papago Park, Justice O'Connor envisioned that it once again could become a place for people to gather to solve problems affecting Arizona and the nation.