ARRL Board Names Angel Santana, WP3GW, Winner of Silver Antenna Award
Angel Santana, WP3GW, has been named the winner of the 2011 Philip J. McGan Memorial Silver Antenna Award for his volunteer public relations work on behalf of Amateur Radio. Santana was recognized for his work and recommended for the award by the ARRL Public Relations Committee; the ARRL Board of Directors conveyed the award at their 2011 Second Meeting last month.
“It came as a surprise when ARRL Southeastern Division Director Greg Sarratt, W4OZK, sent me the notification about winning the 2011 Philip J. McGan Award,” Santana said. “I had about two hours of shock before landing again to Earth!” ARRL Media and Public Relations Manager Allen Pitts, W1AGP, called Santana a “sparkplug for a major surge of good publicity” in Puerto Rico.
“In recognizing my work, you have acknowledged that Puerto Rico has much and equal activities, just like our colleague hams around the US and the world,” Santana said. “Before, you only learned of us when you saw an article on the Arecibo Observatory or in the results of contests. But in the past few years, Puerto Rican amateurs have participated in many special events. The Puerto Rico Amateur Radio Operator Day -- celebrated the second Tuesday of May -- has been promoted on the ARRL website. And now, with the ARRL Field Day rules in Spanish, it makes it easier here in Puerto Rico to develop and promote this annual event. We see at least five Field Day activations here on the island now, compared to only two 10 years ago. We have realized the public relations side of Field Day is more than the competitive side.”
Santana said that with receiving the Silver Antenna Award, “I feel the responsibility and have more of a reason to let all amateurs learn more about this island in the Caribbean. We have more than 4000 active hams, and each month, no less than 10 new ones are made.”
The McGan award is named for Philip J. McGan, WA2MBQ (SK), a journalist who served as the first chairman of the ARRL’s Public Relations Committee. After his death, friends in the New Hampshire Amateur Radio Association joined with the ARRL Board of Directors to pay a lasting tribute to the important contributions McGan made on behalf of Amateur Radio. The Silver Antenna Award goes to that ham who has demonstrated success in Amateur Radio public relations and best exemplifies the volunteer spirit of Phil McGan.
Public Relations activities for which the McGan Award is presented include efforts specifically directed at bringing Amateur Radio to the public’s attention (and most often the media’s) in a positive light. This may include traditional methods, like news releases, or non-traditional methods, such as hosting a radio show or being an active public speaker.