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ARRL Board Confers Awards


At its second meeting of 2019, the ARRL Board of Directors conferred several awards. The Board met July 19 – 20 in Windsor, Connecticut, with President Rick Roderick, K5UR, chairing. 

Philip J. McGan Award

The Board, with the recommendation of the Public Relations Committee and the concurrence of the Programs and Services Committee, bestowed the 2019 Philip J. McGan Silver Antenna Award on John Wells, W4CMH, of Fort Myers, Florida. The award recognizes the work of ARRL's cadre of public relations volunteers to keep Amateur Radio visible in their communities by publicizing special events, writing press releases, creating media for radio and television, and maintaining good relations with local media, among other valuable activities.

Wells was cited for encouraging media to cover stories on emergency communication during hurricanes in southwestern Florida, the quest of using Amateur Radio to search for clues in the disappearance of pilot Amelia Earhart, the engagement of youth in talking to an astronaut through the ARISS program, and the importance of Field Day as an annual event to help operators enhance their skills in emergency operations.”

“ARRL particularly appreciates a Public Information Officer who successfully promotes all aspects of Amateur Radio so both officials and the public at large can better understand the many contributions Amateur Radio makes to education, public safety and recreation,” the Board said.

ARRL Knight Distinguished Service Award

The Board designated Ohio Section Manager Scott Yonally, N8SY, to receive the 2019 ARRL Knight Distinguished Service Award, which each year recognizes a distinguished Section Manager. Yonally also has served as a Section Emergency Coordinator. The Board said Yonally is tireless in his efforts to be present and visible all over the state, representing the ARRL and Amateur Radio with a positive and forward-thinking attitude.”

The Board also noted that Yonally edits the monthly Ohio Section Journal and a weekly edition Postscript to provide Ohio Section ARRL members with the latest information on happenings throughout the League and the Ohio Section. Yonally also was at the forefront of improving ARES in his Section by identifying and initiating the early the need for FEMA NIMS training, and he’s been a valuable resource in the development and implementation of the ARES-Connect initiative, the Board said.

Technical Innovation Award

The success of the FT8 digital mode prompted the Board to grant the 2019 ARRL Technical Innovation Award to the FT8 development team, led by Joe Taylor, K1JT, and Steve Franke, K9AN. The Board said FT8 has “proven effective for all amateurs” and has “proved to be effective” in times of poor propagation, revolutionizing many aspects of ham radio.

Technical Service Award

The Board conferred the 2019 Technical Service Award jointly on Alan Applegate, K0BG; and Hector Morales, NP3IR. This award recognizes a radio amateur whose service to the Amateur Community and/or society at large is of the most exemplary nature within the framework of Amateur Radio technical activities. Applegate was honored for his expertise in mobile Amateur Radio activity. In 2004, he created “A Website for Mobile Amateur Radio Operators” that has become one of the most successful in Amateur Radio, including many articles covering every facet of mobile operation from antennas to wiring.

Affectionately referred to as “The Professor” by many of those he has helped teach and train, Morales was cited for his “legacy of providing educational, training and support activities to the amateur community in Puerto Rico” and for being instrumental in translating and developing teaching materials in Spanish for the amateurs of Puerto Rico, including training manuals. He’s also been involved in developing emergency communication training.

Doug DeMaw, W1FB, Technical Excellence Award

The Board conferred the 2019 Doug DeMaw, W1FB, Technical Excellence Award to Rudy Severns, N6LF, of Cottage Grove, Oregon. A well-known author on antenna topics and a technical resource, Severns authored the article “Insulated Wire and Antennas” for the March/April 2018 issue of QEX. The Board’s Program and Services Committee concurred with the recommendation of the ARRL editorial staff in designating Severns as the award’s recipient.

Amateur Radio Centurion Award

The Board recognized three recipients of the Amateur Radio Centurion Award. These included:

  • Reynold L. “Fritz” Nitsch, W4NTO, SK, who was saluted on the occasion of his 100th birthday for his almost half-century of continuous activity in the ARRL Field Organization as an Official Observer, an as Official Emergency Station and Official Relay Station, and as the 2012 George Hart Service Award recipient. Nitsch, the first Centurion Award recipient, died on August 5.
  • Charles “Cliff” Kayhart, W4KKP, of White Rock, South Carolina, believed to be the oldest active radio amateur in the US at age 107. He remains active in two radio clubs in his area.
  • Ted Zulkowski, K2JMY, of Poughkeepsie, New York, on the occasion of his 100th birthday, who is actively involved with several local radio clubs including the Mount Beacon Amateur Radio Club and the QSY Society and is an accomplished DXer. He participates in many events, including ARRL Field Day and always takes time to mentor new hams, the Board resolution noted. 




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