SSA Certificate of Appreciation




2022 Mr. Clement A. Smolder II Tony Smolder is recognized for his continuing efforts within the SSA and the sport of soaring to support clubs, youth, cross-county soaring, and racing. He established and manages the Texas XC Soaring Series as an opportunity for the larger clubs in Texas to host a “travelling” series of local XC races. He continues to organize and promote youth programs, cross-country training programs, and local glider racing at the Soaring Club of Houston (SCOH) and has recently served as SCOH club president. Thank you Tony for your enthusiastic support of our great sport.
2022 Ms Catherine A Williams
2021 Mr. Daniel Sazhin See his nomination letter here
2021 Mr. Orrin Beckham I would like to nominate Orrin Beckham, the current president of Sandhill Soaring Club, for an SSA Certificate of Appreciation for his leadership and years of service to the club and to growing the sport of soaring in Michigan. Orrin works tirelessly for the club keeping all the moving pieces and people doing what they need to do to run a successful operation. On several occasions, Orrin successfully raised funds that were instrumental to upgrading the Club's fleet.  Orrin has served as President for a dozen or more years over the past two decades and navigated the club through some difficult times. Despite Covid, the club has experienced steady growth under his leadership resulting in nearly a 50% increase in active membership since 2017.  Orrin is a natural salesman and has promoted soaring in the community and used his connections in the Greater Detroit Metro, Ann Arbor, and Lansing aviation communities to promote gliding and recruit new members. One of the first voices a prospective member hears is Orrin's as he returns calls (usually responding to inquiries about gift certificates and discovery rides) and talks with people and prospective members about the club. That said, Orrin is a dedicated commercial pilot and facilitates group outings and discovery flights all the time at Sandhill. Over the years Orrin has also supported Junior Gliding initiatives and spearheaded fundraising efforts that paid for scholarships awarded by the club to youth members who pulled their weight around the airfield and demonstrated a burning desire to learn to fly gliders.  In sum, Orrin has been a spark plug and catalyst for Sandhill Soaring Club and soaring in Southeast Michigan. He has contributed countless hours and significant personal resources to help grow and make improvements to the club. The growth I'm talking about isn't just measured in numbers but in the quality of flight instruction, the camaraderie among members, and the makeup of the fleet. Chris Schrader
2021 Mr. Dan Colton Dan Colton has been a leading influence in Region 11 for at least 5 years. He has been the Secretary for the Pacific Soaring Council (PASCO) as well as its most recent President. He has spearheaded efforts to increase soaring education in the region through annual seminars. He fully supported the regional effort to install a network of OGN receivers to keep track of gliders flying nearby. His enthusiastic efforts and untiring leadership have made soaring in Region 11 much safer.
2021 Mr. Keith Hilton See his nomination letter here
2021 Mr. James D. Martin Jim Martin has spent the vast majority of his life in the Soaring Community and works tirelessly to promote Soaring. Originally, becoming a member of Rochester Soaring in 1962, Jim has promoted Soaring wherever he has been, including being instrumental in starting the soaring program for the United States Air Force Academy. Jim has been serving on the Finger Lakes Soaring Board of Directors as the Club Vice President for over 10 years. Jim is also the FLSC’s Chief Flight Instructor, and is one of the club’s Tow Pilots. Of particular note, Jim successfully spearheaded FLSC’s efforts to resolve a tax dispute with the town of Dansville and local county government. This entailed countless phone calls, emails and conferences with lawyers. Jim serves the broader gliding and aviation community as the local DPE and typically provides either free or discounted practical examinations for the gliding community within Region 3.
2021 Mr. James Staniforth Jim Staniforth is hereby nominated for the Region 12 SSA Certificate of Appreciation for his advocacy and contagious inspiration to other glider pilots since joining the SSA in 1977. Besides being an avid cross country pilot and owner of multiple high performance sailplanes, Jim has strongly supported new glider pilots. He is one of those unsung individuals who has a great love of soaring and selflessly works to introduce aspiring pilots. This includes cross country flights in a Duo-Discus glider introducing pilots to Sierra Nevada and Owens Valley regions. Based out of Mountain Valley airport, Tehachapi, California Jim’s influence extends far and wide to many regions of the U.S. and the World. He is an incredible resource for technical information about gliders including the incredible ability to find equipment of solutions to pilots from his world wide contacts. Jim exudes this enthusiasm and adventure of cross country gliding. Other noteworthy activities: * Maintainer of the Southwestern U.S. waypoint and landout database * Posts reminders on the status of TFRs across a wide area of California and Nevada * Emails weather and soaring weather outlooks including suggested routes based on Skysight to encourage cross country flying * Enthusiastic supporter of the U.S. Soaring Teams … especially the WWGC from 2018 to 2020. This includes generous donations of his time by crewing, finding equipment, gliders and offering financial assistance.
2020 Mr. Rolland K. Nakashima See his nomination letter here
2020 Mr Martin Opitz Marty tirelessly provides glider instruction throughout the season and has done so for over 30 years. He is and has been a major contributor to the ongoing success of Nutmeg Soaring Association and responsible for many student pilots achieving their private pilot certifications. Marty always makes time to mentor and instruct students as well as seasoned pilots needing annual reviews or checkouts usually to the detriment of flying his own glider. Marty also serves on Nutmeg’s Board of Directors where he has held the post of President numerous times and is a key advisor on all matters facing the club. In short, Nutmeg Soaring and the Soaring community have benefited by Marty’s dedication to the sport of Soaring and his many years developing safe, enthusiastic pilots of all ages.
2020 Mr. M. A. Takallu See his nomination letter here
2020 Mr. Walter Striedieck The Board of Directors of New England Soaring Association nominates Walter Striedieck for the SSA Certificate of Appreciation. For many years Walter was a Board Member of NESA and provided thousands of tows in his Piper Pawnee N4736Y. He organized and conducted the annual FAA Aviation Careers Education Camp (ACE Camp) at Hartness State Airport, introducing more than 100 youths to soaring, powered flight, and future careers in aviation. He provided tows at the Region 1 Soaring Contest at Hartness (KVSF) in 2016 and 2018, and annually at the Mt. Washington Wave Camp. He participated annually, with his brother Karl, at the Senior Nationals in Seminole, FL. He has over 20 years of superb service to Region 1.
2020 Mr. Leon Zeug I would like to nominate Leon Zeug for a Certificate of Appreciation to recognize the tireless effort he has put into organizing and running the Region 7 contest, for over 5 years, as the Contest Manager. His organizational skills and attention to detail are outstanding. He always puts together a great contest in Albert Lea, Minnesota, at which the contestants enjoy flying and socializing at the end of the day. Region 7 had gone without a contest for 15 years when Leon came forward and volunteered to restart, organize and host the event. He is an excellent nominee for this Certificate. Geoff Weck
2019 Mr. Piet E. Barber The SSA Certificate of Appreciation goes to Piet Barber from Region 2. Piet is a glider instructor and FAA Designated Pilot Examiner. In both of these roles, he has strongly supported the efforts of sailplane pilots to obtain the FAA ratings in region 2 and at his home club, Skyline Soaring. Piet has been a member of the SSA since 1987, and is one of those unsung people in our sport who has a great love of soaring and selflessly works to provide instruction, guidance, and support to clubs and multiple pilots on the East Coast.
2019 Mr. Ramy Yanetz Ramy Yanetz is hereby awarded the Region 11 SSA Certificate of Appreciation. For the last 12 years Ramy has been active in the region as the Awards Committee chairman for the Pacific Soaring Council (PASCO). He has collected information and helped with the selection of regional pilots to be recognized at PASCO's annual awards banquet. During this time he has also participated in many PASCO Board discussions and has been a voice supporting soaring in all aspects throughout the region. His exploits on the OLC online competition are well known across the country. He is always willing to help others with advice on cross-country soaring wherever he goes.
2019 Mr Eric Lambert The SSA Certificate of Appreciation is awarded to Eric Lambert. Eric has earned this award because of his 13 years of dedication to Soaring with the Merlin Soaring Association culminating in the purchase of the Merlin Aerodrome for the club. In 2018 Eric took the extraordinary step of buying the airport himself, formed an LLC with his own money and began improving the facility. His vision was to provide a home for the Merlin Soaring Association and allow it to become a highly successful operation. At the same time Eric has improved the Merlin Aerodome immensely and is just getting started. Eric has great enthusiasm for soaring combined with a buoyant optimism for the sport.
2019 Mr Fred Huenl Fred Huenl is nominated for an SSA Certificate of Appreciation for his decades of service to various local soaring clubs in Michigan. While Fred may be best known to some for routinely flying his LS-8 past 7:00 PM in the summer months (and to old-timers for soaring his Std. Cirrus from Ionia to Cumberland, Maryland), his countless acts of service include among other things fabricating dollies, building custom tools, work benches, helping remodel a clubhouse, helping secure a set of wings to restore an ASK-13, mentoring pilots in cross-country soaring, and generally speaking giving anywhere he see's a need. Thank you for your lifetime of service!
2019 Mr Richard M. Lafford The SSA Certificate of Appreciation is awarded to Rick Lafford. Rick is currently the Club Secretary, Chief Tow Pilot, and instructor for Finger Lakes Soaring. Rick has been an SSA member since 1977, became a CFIG in 1987, and has served as an SSA governor since 2005. He is instrumental in the operations of the Region 3 contests and coordinating special events to promote the club. He is a key liaison with the Town and Airport management, assisting in building a good relationship with the Soaring Club. Very few people have dedicated the same effort that Rick Lafford does on behalf of Finger Lakes Soaring, Region 3, and the SSA itself.
2019 Southern Calif Soaring Academy Southern California Soaring Academy was nominated for the SSA Certificate of Appreciation because of their STEM and Flying Injured Veteran Programs. For the STEM program, members of the club trailer a glider to a school in region 12, assemble it and set up a static display. Pilots and instructors are present around the airplane to explain various aspects of the glider and answer questions. A few weeks later children and their parents are invited to the airfield for an instructional flight in a glider with a CFIG. The Flying Injured Veterans program is extraordinarily special. Veteran Hospitals and Veterans Care Facilities from around Southern California bring patients, who have been cleared by their doctors, to the airfield for a ride in a glider. While the therapeutic aspects and camaraderie with veterans is what drives these events, it is interesting to note the number of them who return on their own, with supervision of their therapist, to do more flying. Several of the “first timers” tell of hearing from those who have flown giving evidence that the interest in aviation is kept alive well beyond the confines of the gliderport.
2019 Mr. Tony Condon Tony Condon is presented the 2019 Certificate of Appreciation from Region 10. Since coming to Kansas in 2009 as "The Cherokee Kid", he has become an unstoppable force for promoting soaring. Tony has been an active towpilot, instructor, ride giver, and private glider owner/pilot with the Kansas Soaring Association for over 10 years. He has been the President of the Kansas Soaring Association since 2015, and has been the focal, providing labor and shop space, for re-finishing the club's Grob Twin Astir. He has been involved with community outreach educating people on soaring, how we use weather, and how we operate. Tony is also one of the founding members of the Board of Directors of the Sunflower Soaring Foundation. This organization is the owner and operator of Sunflower Gliderport, that was generously provided by Bill Seed. With Tony's vision and a long term plan, Kansas Soaring Association has begun hosting a series of contests, with a long range goal of hosting a Pan American Gliding Championships at Sunflower. Because of the knowledge, enthusiasm, and drive of Tony, the Kansas Soaring Association and Sunflower Gliderport are moving from a period of stagnation to a time of growth and ever increasing activity.
2018 Mr. Roy A. Bourgeois Roy has given generously of his time and ability to clubs across New England for many years. Roy's history includes: • 45 year New England glider pilot, tow pilot and CFI-G • 40 year Member of Franconia Soaring Association • Past SSA Director • Past member and instructor at Sugarbush Soaring • Past President of four New England clubs • Competition Director for the SSA Region 1 Contests held in 2016 and 2018 • Currently Chief Pilot for Greater Boston Soaring Club I have known Roy since I joined GBSC in 2012 and took my first flying lesson. Roy has a wealth of experience and knowledge and shares it generously with all. He encouraged me as a student and later advised me during my glider purchase. Recently I became the club's President, and Roy has helped the board with operational improvements, provided direction for tow plane maintenance, and advised us on legal issues. He has also been effective at resolving interpersonal issues in the club. At the recent Region 1 contests, Roy's direction and leadership allowed us all to enjoy safe and fun competition.
2018 Mr Ronald N Ridenour Ron has served the soaring community for many years. He has served on the Board of his local club Chicago Glider Club, he has been serving on the SSF for many years, he is a DPE, an active contest pilot, and most recently he had signed up as a contestant but stepped in to act as the Region 6N Contest Director this past July when the scheduled CD had a family emergency and was unable to attend the contest.
2018 Mr. Robert V. Sallada
2018 Ms. Sue Martin Sue has managed the ground ops and provided other contest support for many years at various SSA contests. Her excellent work each year at the Seniors Contest is well known and recognized by pilots from around the country. Sue is also instrumental in the Southeast Region Civil Air Patrol Glider Academy held each year in Tennessee.
2018 Mr. Safdar Nana Safu was instrumental in seeing that five commercial rated pilots we're trained and prepared for their CFI-G exams in 2017. All five passed with flying colors and four others received their PPG or Commercial Glider ratings as well, and he continues to prepare student members for their written and PPG checkrides. Safu has donated countless hours as a CFI-G and tow-pilot to our chapter and has mentored/instructed many more. Lastly, Safu does a lot behind the scenes for the club much of which goes unnoticed. He's also helped to encourage members to embrace advanced training and he's supported the club's recent efforts to encourage badge work and xc instruction recognizing such training is vital to the growth of a club.
2017 Mr. Sean Fidler I would like to nominate Sean & Tiffany Fidler for a Regional Certificate of Appreciation for organizing and promoting the Sailplane Grand Prix in Ionia, MI, and for generally promoting cross-country soaring activities and racing in Michigan, including several SSA sanctioned R6N contests over the past decade (there was no one else in Michigan willing or able to pick up the ball and keep competitive soaring going here in Michigan). Sean and Tiffany were also instrumental in seeing that the story featured recently in AOPA's magazine about sailplane racing not only promoted the sport, it likened it to sailing, and described it in a way non-glider pilots could understand and could potentially gravitate to. IMHO, their involvement in the design/illustration process (and story concept), was key to its success, and brought great visual appeal to the story.
2017 Mr Mike Havener CFI for over ten years and promoter of soaring, SSA and continued learning. Brand new Designated Pilot Examiner for Riverside FSDO district. Watchdog on airport access and County relations for over ten years.
2017 Ms. Anne Mongiovi The SSA recognizes the 4 volunteers that allow us to be at Oshkosh each year (since 2006): Anne Mongiovi, Gene Franklin, Scott Manley, and Lee Murray. Yes, they have all been involved in this effort for more than 5 years. Gene and Anne received this in 2013 but their continuing presence warrants another this year. All 4 spend the entire week (8 days) working the exhibit and Scott has been providing his sailplane for the exhibit the past 3 years.
2017 Mr Peter Deane Peter has served Region 11 for at least 20 years as an advisor and board member of the Pacific Soaring Council (PASCO). Peter has always been a fabulous resource in our region as well as nationally. His involvement with the WestWind newsletter, the PASCO League racing and various contests in the region have contributed to the safety and support of our sport. Even after he formally left the PASCO Board he has always been willing to consult, provide his house for meetings, lend a hand at Seminars, etc. He has also been a ubiquitous speaker at PASCO and SSA Seminars and is strongly committed to education and safety in the sport. Beyond that he represented the USA in world glider competitions with skill and exemplary sportsmanship.
2017 Mr. James C. Simmons Jim Simmons is awarded the SSA Certificate of Appreciation for his long-standing contributions to soaring in the Pacific Northwest. For almost 4 decades Jim has served the glider community in a variety of capacities, including as a Director for the Seattle Glider Council (SGC) for many years and before that the Boeing Soaring Club. He was a towpilot, volunteered for many seasons as the Operations Director for the Region 8 Contest and the Dustup X-C seminars, and served as the facility coordinator for the SGC’s training facility at Ephrata. Jim was awarded the SGC Honor award on 3 separate occasions and continues to serve in an advisory capacity to the clubs in the Puget Sound area.
2017 Mr. Lee Murray The SSA recognizes the 4 volunteers that allow us to be at Oshkosh each year (since 2006): Anne Mongiovi, Gene Franklin, Scott Manley, and Lee Murray. Yes, they have all been involved in this effort for more than 5 years. Gene and Anne received this in 2013 but their continuing presence warrants another this year. All 4 spend the entire week (8 days) working the exhibit and Scott has been providing his sailplane for the exhibit the past 3 years.
2017 Ms. Imelda Koptonak A few months ago, Imelda Koptonak, Connecticut Soaring Association's long-time administratrix, felt that the time had come to direct her focus and wisdom toward areas beyond our association, and that her duties as CSA Secretary/Treasurer should be passed to other hands. Her departure made many in CSA feel like youngsters about to be thrown into the deep end of the pool, but while the steadying hand with which she steered the club that is CSA, was no longer just a phone-call or an e-mail away, the system she created, and more importantly the confidence that we gained from her example and diligence, has contributed greatly to CSA transitioning from being a minor entity to a noted presence in New England soaring. Imelda served us well during her many years as not only a combined secretary/treasurer, but as the Voice of CSA as she advised and encouraged would-be members and occasional visitors. While her influence has been far-reaching, most members of CSA have never actually met Imelda, which may be a bit surprising as she has been involved with the club for almost as long as past CSA President and husband John, which is to say since 2009, back in the days of the club's forerunner, Danielson Soaring Association. Her preference was to maintain a distance from the sometimes hectic pace of club week-end operations, but she was able to guide the club's administration and finances, as well as frequent visitor contacts and inquiries, with a smooth efficiency, and handled with aplomb the recent period of rapid growth and constantly fluctuating finances, particularly during the recent towplane engine rebuild. Through the years, her voice carried the same confident tone during times when a calm confident voice was most needed. Imelda: finally, after years of taking your dedication and skills for granted, the beneficiaries of your dedicated efforts say "Thank You." Thank you for your Can Do spirit. Thank you for your no-nonsense approach. Thank you for helping us to keep our eyes on the near horizon, while our heads are often 500-feet below the clouds. Our best wishes for your next endeavor. Those who will work with you are lucky indeed.
2017 Mr. Linwood P. Stevenson Linwood has been a state record keeper for almost 10 years. He served as a State Governor previously and recently agreed to accept that role again. He set a number of state and national records and was the first pilot to obtain the FAI 1250km diploma in the US. He is an active ridge pilot on the Southern Appalachian Mountains and has chartered many of the key points for other pilots.
2017 Mr. Edwin Funk Edwin Funk served as President of the Harris Hill Soaring Corporation for several years, during which HHSC benefited greatly from his strong leadership and organizational skills. As a CFIG, he has given many hours of instruction on Wednesday nights and weekends, giving up many opportunities to fly his Discus or recently acquired ASW-27 to do so. More recently, Ed took on fundraising and project management responsibility to renovate and expand HHSC’s Flight Center, an over $250,000 project to begin this October and be completed before the 2018 season begins. He has devoted countless hours to this project and continues to do so. It is unlikely that it would have been undertaken without Ed’s drive and determination. Ed Funk is one of HHSC’s most devoted and hard working members, and the club is much the better from his efforts.
2017 Mr. Scott Manley The SSA recognizes the 4 volunteers that allow us to be at Oshkosh each year (since 2006): Anne Mongiovi, Gene Franklin, Scott Manley, and Lee Murray. Yes, they have all been involved in this effort for more than 5 years. Gene and Anne received this in 2013 but their continuing presence warrants another this year. All 4 spend the entire week (8 days) working the exhibit and Scott has been providing his sailplane for the exhibit the past 3 years.
2016 Mr. Morgan R. Hall Morgan works hard for soaring in Region 11 as the President of the Central California Soaring Club based in Avenal California, and as a strong member of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Soaring Council (PASCO). He is a relentless promoter of soaring giving numerous rides and cross country flights to pilots and friends in his personal two seat glider. He has made great progress in getting young pilots into soaring via a program affiliated with California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. Morgan is a strong advocate of soaring in Region 11 and exudes this enthusiasm wherever he goes in the region.
2016 Melanie Nichols Awarded to Melanie Nichols for her contributions to the SSA Website Initiative and the US Soaring Team’s website/blog. A good club website is critical to drawing in new club members and to servicing existing members. Melanie, and her team at Peak Digital Media, developed and implemented a web-based procedure that allows soaring clubs to easily create a modern, professional, and mobile-friendly website. Following the successful launch of the Website Initiative, she went on to create a new US Soaring Team website/blog which has allowed SSA members, and others, to follow our US Teams at World Gliding Championships, as well as throughout the year as they train and prepare. Keeping the SSA membership connected to our Soaring Teams promotes improved Team performance and draws the SSA membership into the excitement of international soaring competition.
2016 Leigh Zimmerman Awarded to Leigh Zimmerman for her contributions to promoting the SSA and the US Soaring Teams using social media such as Facebook. Leigh has tirelessly solicited interesting photographs and comments in order to “feed” the SSA and US Team Facebook pages and the US Soaring Teams website/blog. Her efforts have been instrumental in keeping the SSA and US Teams news and photo postings up to date and fresh.
2016 Stallion 51 Awarded to Stallion 51 for their generous support of the US Soaring Teams through their donation of P-51 orientation flights in both 2014 and 2016. These two flights were offered as the winning prize for raffles, the proceeds of which provided major contributions to help fund US Soaring Team participation at World Gliding Championships. Thank you for your support!
2016 Ms. Andreea Alexandrescu Andreea has exhibited exemplary service to the SSA. During her tenure as Chairman of the Growth and Retention Committee she continually implemented programs to aid in the growth of the SSA membership rolls. Andreea successfully organized and staffed many airshow events and assisted with booths at additional events for the sole purpose of introducing soaring to a new audience. Andreea has traveled to SSA contests for the purpose of promoting upcoming events and informing participants of membership programs. She tirelessly promotes soaring while taking on additional duties such as contest manager.
2016 Mr Mark Huffstutler This SSA Certificate of Appreciation is awarded to Mark Huffstutler for his generous support of the US Soaring Teams through his donation of two P-51 flights in 2016 and previous flight donations over the past 10 years. These flights were offered as the winning prize for raffles, the proceeds of which provided major contributions to help fund US Soaring Team participation at World Gliding Championships. Thank you for your support!
2016 Mr. John Koptonak In 2001, John Koptonak was serving his first term as President of the Danielson Soaring Association - a grand name for a very small bunch of soaring enthusiasts - when business took him to California for four years, and when he returned to Connecticut in 2006, he again became President of possibly the smallest soaring group in the country, flying only a single 2-33, (which John owned and transferred to DSA) and buying its occasional tow from a banner-towing operation or, if his arm was twisted enough, a member's Cessna 172. During these lean years, as John kept his eyes on membership growth, the stars rewarded his diligence, coming into a reasonable alignment in 2010, when membership reached double figures and a tow plane was leased. Soon a 1-26 came onto the property, and by the time Danielson Soaring became Connecticut Soaring Association in 2012, the stars had realigned further and membership had doubled again. When CSA was operating, John spent most of his time coordinating the gliding operations, only rarely taking his own glider out of the box to fly for a few hours, preferring, it seemed, to serve officially as field manager but often doubling up as line boy or glider retriever or wing runner. What needed doing John did. What needed saying, John said, usually in a gentle and understanding and empathetic way, which, if you know John, you know that is his way. John oversaw the transition of CSA from a monetarily unprofitable club to an IRS non-profit organization, and as membership burgeoned and FAST flights became more numerous, in 2013 CSA purchased the towplane it had been leasing, and John became an integral part of the campaign to acquire a second two-place glider. It is not hyperbole to say that without John's vision and dedication, there would be no Connecticut Soaring Association, and as John steps down from his ten-plus years as President, he leaves to those that follow a thriving organization which serves pilots and would-be pilots from Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. He also leaves his mark on soaring and on the people who have been fortunate enough to serve with him, who wish him fair winds and strong thermals, and who wish him to stay nearby.
2015 Mr. Daryl Smith Daryl joined the Connecticut Soaring Association in 2007. He was a key player in developing a training program for the club including a training syllabus. He has also served on their Board and provides the club with a teleconference service free of charge. Much of the growth of the club is based on Daryl's relentless work and dedication.
2015 Mr. Clement A. Smolder II This certificate awarded to Tony Smolder for his long-term efforts in promoting the SSA and the sport of soaring by developing new cross-country and racing pilots. Tony has organized social activities, pilot briefings, training sessions, races and OLC flight posting in order to share and grow our sport. He has made similar contributions at clubs in Arizona and Pennsylvania.
2015 Mr. James L. Wallis Jim was awarded this certificate for his hard work promoting soaring in Region 11. He has been a strong voice on the Board of Directors of the Pacific Soaring Counsel (PASCO). For several years, Jim has participated fully and with great insights in PASCO's projects. Now that he is the president, his level-headed approach to each task keeps PASCO running well with a fully motivated board.
2014 Mr. Robert D. Stone Jr. Robert D. Stone Jr. is awarded the SSA Certificate of Appreciation for his significant contributions to the Reno area soaring community as well as nationwide through his support of The Soaring Society of America’s programs and events. Rob joined Air Sailing Inc. and Nevada Soaring Association in 2005 equipped with a dormant commercial glider license and a renewed interest in soaring flight. He became a much needed club instructor in 2007. He progressed to become an SSA instructor, and was recognized in 2009 as the most active instructor for Region 11. Over the years, he has soloed scores of potential pilots and has successfully instructed individuals who have achieved private through instructor ratings.
2014 Mr. Ron Bellamy Ron Bellamy is awarded the SSA Certificate of Appreciation for his efforts to advance soaring in the Pacific Northwest. Over the past several years Ron has served the gliding community in many capacities, including: the CD for the Region 8 contest (also the 2009 18M Nationals), assisting in managing and coordinating the annual Dustup Crosscountry Camp at Ephrata, is an active towpilot/checkpilot and instructor with both the Seattle Glider Council and the Evergreen club, has assisted the local FIRCs when run by the SSF, and is currently serving as a Director for the Seattle Glider Council.
2014 Mr Howard A Banks Howard Banks is awarded the SSA Certificate of Appreciation. For the past 4 years Howard has been heavily involved in supporting the publication of Soaring magazine. He has worked very closely with: the board, the editor, the SSA Hobbs staff and the many Soaring contributors to help improve the quality and content of the magazine. In addition, he has worked countless hours to help improve the SSA's finances related to the publication of the magazine. Howard's publishing expertise, and his extensive industry knowledge and experience, has been a major factor in the improvement of Soaring magazine over the past few years. In addition to being Soaring's publisher since February of 2012, Howard has been a Director-at Large for the past three years and has supported several important committees including: the SSA Merchandising committee and the SSA HQ Location committee.
2013 Mr. Keith R. Miller A Region 10 certificate of appreciation went to Keith Miller, who exemplifies the volunteer spirit and enthusiasm which is essential for the continued health and growth of the SSA. Keith has serves the Soaring Club of Houston as chief flight operations officer and as president. He has conducted ground school sessions and has taken a lead role in conducting special safety training sessions for club members.
2013 Mr John E Gill Corky Gill, for his outstanding service to the Harris Hill Soaring Club and the National Soaring Museum over the past 39 years.
2013 Ms Janice Armstrong Janice Armstrong was honored for her service in communicating development threats to navigable airspace and most notably to soaring in Kern County, California. She has marshaled letter writing and meeting attendance and helped pilots and non-pilots alike preserve the natural scenery and safe approaches and departures for Region 12 pilots.
2013 Mr. Gene O Franklin Anne Mongiovi and husband Gene Franklin for their unwavering dedication to the SSA/EAA Air Venture presence. They are very dedicated volunteers.
2013 Mr. Lynn Alley Lynn Alley who has voluntarily provided current FAA airspace, airport and sectionals converted to digital file formats to the soaring community. These greatly assist soaring pilots with flight planning and fulfillment. Lynn deserves the recognition and appreciation for his commitment to the sport.
2013 Mr. Hartley L. Falbaum Pat & Hartley Falbaum, for their efforts in running Region 5 South contest in Cordele, Georgia. Due to their efforts this contest continues to be a success and has resulted in many contestants returning year after year.
2013 Ms. Anne Mongiovi Anne Mongiovi and husband Gene Franklin for their unwavering dedication to the SSA/EAA Air Venture presence. They are very dedicated volunteers.
2012 Mr. Geoffrey Ebel Weck Geoff was one of the first people my son and I met when getting involved with soaring in 2008. (Gerry Molidor) At that time he served on the SSA Board and provided a definite leadership at our local club (Sky Soaring). He serves the club as a director, past flight chair, past president and has transformed the club from a training/local flying only to include cross country/badge venues. The private ship population has tripled and he spearheads a fun contest held over Memorial Day weekend to introduce racing in a casual atmosphere. This has been a very popular event and is possibly a template that could be promoted. He is a good recruiter and delegator. He is also an active CFIG and Tow pilot at our field. More recently, he served on a committee to vet out the possible relocation of SSA Headquarters and from my perspective, he approached this assignment with a calm objectivity. I think Geoff has excellent judgment and common sense.
2012 Mr Randall Teel Presented to RANDALL ("RANDY") TEEL of the Tulsa Skyhawks Soaring Club for sustained service to his club and to the sport of soaring for a period of more than five years. RANDY has served his club as an instructor, towpilot and club officer (including club President). He has been instrumental in organizing winch training as well as expeditions to Talihina, OK for ridge and wave soaring. He has served the state of Oklahoma as official state soaring Record Keeper and continues to serve his state as SSA State Governor. His personal soaring achievements include multiple altitude and distance records for the state of Oklahoma, demonstrating to his fellow pilots the possibilities for soaring excellence in his home state. Truly, RANDY is a pilot whose selfless giving of his time so that others may enjoy soaring is in the best traditions of our sport. SSA thanks RANDY for a job well done.
2012 Mr. Chris Mannion Chris Mannion was nominated for his service in pursuing legal access for sailplane activity at Hemet-Ryan airfield in Southern California. Chris personally attended meetings with Riverside County supervisors and officials, wrote and presented correspondence with Riverside County, FAA Flight Standards personnel, California Association of Pilots and SSA representatives; acted to engage local SSA members in public meetings, correspondence and lobbying efforts to re-establish access to this public use airport. Chris's effort strengthened the image of soaring as a valued economic and recreational factor in the community, built networking value with the general aviation community, and re-established the right of soaring activity to return to the airport. SSA thanks Chris for his service since 2006 to soaring pilots in Region 12.
2012 Mr. Graham Pitsenberger
2012 Mr. Paul Searles To PAUL SEARLES for his outstanding efforts in advising SSA on legal issues and, in particular, for his help in revising SSAs contest waiver form. Pauls willingness to provide his legal services to SSA have been of great assistance to the soaring community. SSA expresses its appreciation to Paul for the generous donation of his time and abilities.
2012 Mr Robert Caldwell From 2007 through 2012, Bob Caldwell worked selflessly and diligently to organize the Colorado Soaring Seminars under themes of soaring safety, performance soaring, and cross country soaring. Bobs personal involvement in soaring, competition, OLC participation, and recognition of others enabled him to command the presence of top pilots, US Team members, and soaring experts who shared their personal knowledge and experiences with both the local and regional soaring community, in addition to the to the national soaring community through web casting the seminars. Post seminar comments from attendees and viewers have been commendable. Without Bobs efforts and dedication, these seminars would not have been possible.
2012 Mr. Lane Bush Lane demonstrated exemplary service to the SSA. Lane, without being asked, on numerous occasions volunteered in various areas and made excellent suggestions to improve the value of the Society to its members. Lane made a major contribution to the efforts of the Growth and Promotion Committee, he was instrumental in organizing and securing the addendum to the CAP MOA that resulted in the newly formed SSA \ CAP National cooperative effort. Lane also worked to provide integration of an improved Spot tracking site into the SSA website. All of this is on top of his deep involvement in his local club and Region Five activities.
2012 Mr. Scott Manley Scott is a retired college professor and has been instrumental in the SSA efforts at Kid Venture at Oshkosh. For the last two years, he has organized and run the Soaring Flight Booth (and a previous year to a lesser scale). This has evolved into a huge effort, with 3 simulators operating simultaneously and his involvement is crucial to SSA's presence at this EAA Air Venture venue. He was on site both years on his own time/dime (8 days) and completely manages his volunteer involvement. His career in education is evident while observing how he interacts with young people. Scott is also a CFIG and contributes regularly to the Condor Column in Soaring Magazine. He is an active instructor at Sylvania Soaring Adventures in Beloit, Wisconsin.
2010 Mrs. Rhonda Tyler For raising the bar on how contests should be run in budget, accurate recordkeeping, paperwork submitted on time. Rhonda has made the Perry contest THE contest to attend each spring. The organization is beyond compare, and again she does it all seemingly without effort though we all know how much effort is required.
2010 Ms. Patty B. Smith The SSA Certificate of Appreciation is given to Patty Smith for outstanding organization and support of national soaring contests over a period of many years. Patty has turned the New Castle contest into yet another example of how it should be done.
2010 Mr. Leo P Buckley Jr. For working tirelessly to mentor scorers in various regions and for the years of work as a volunteer scoring contests. Leo also worked to modify our current contest scoring program to make it better and easier to use for regional and national contests.
2010 Mr James W. Goebel The SSA Certificate of Appreciation is presented to James W Goebel for his tireless work supporting soaring activities at the local, regional and national levels as a tow pilot, instructor and completely dedicated hard worker.
2010 Mr. Barry Muhlenberg For his substantial contributions to the safety, efficiency, and appearance of Cloudniners Glider Club and its equipment. Barry has also been a friend, mentor and instructor to many grateful members.
2010 Mr. Gary W. Van Tassel The SSA Certificate of Appreciation is given to GARY VAN TASSEL for outstanding personal service to the sport of soaring and its safe operations. He has been exceptionally effective in improving the safety of flight for his own club as well as regionally and even nationally.
2010 Mr Edward Bednarik For his substantial contributions to the safety, efficiency, and appearance of Cloudniners Glider Club and its equipment. Ed has also been a friend, mentor and instructor to many grateful members.
2009 Mr. Joshua M Randel
2009 Mr. Larry A Tuohino
2009 Mr Robert E Gaines
2009 SSA Foundation
2008 Mr. Richard M. Maleady
2007 Mr John P Dezzutti
2007 Mr Laird L Smith
2007 Mr James J Rizzo
2007 Mr. Peter W. Smith
2007 Mr Michael S. Koerner
2007 Mr. David H. Pixton
2006 Mr C Kenneth Kolstad
2006 Mr. Abraham C. Kalker
2006 Ms. Leslie Ramm
2006 Sue Fassett
2006 Mid Kolstad
2006 Mr. Oats Schwarzenberger
2006 Mr. Doug Haluza
2006 Ms. Anne Mongiovi
2006 Mr. Ian Cant
2005 Mr. Titian Scholtemeyer
2005 Mr. Todd S. Herzog
2005 Mr. John F Feldsted
2005 Mr. Larry A Tuohino
2005 Mr. Kevin Brooker
2005 Lake Elsinore Soaring Club
2005 Mr Pendleton Smith
2005 Mr. David B. Newill
2005 Mr Douglas J. Easton
2005 Dr James L Skydell
2005 Associated Glider Clubs of Southern California
2005 Valerie Keene
2005 Sierra Soaring Club
2005 Antelope Valley Soaring Club
2005 Ms. Cindy Brickner
2005 Ms Karol A Hines
2005 Phoenix Soaring Group, Inc.
2005 Orange County Soaring Assoc
2005 Long Beach Soaring, Inc.
2005 Cypress Soaring Inc.
2005 Mr Erik Mann
2005 Mr James K. (Chip) Garner
2004 Mr Sterling V. Starr
2004 Mr Malcolm D Stevenson Jr On behalf of Mid Georgia Soaring Association who sponsored the 2004 SSA Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. The efforts of all sponsors of last year's convention are appreciated.
2004 Dr Mark D Maughmer For volunteering his time to assist in reviewing technical articles for SOARING magazine.
2004 Philadelphia Glider Council
2004 Mr Mark Keene For volunteering his services as the Chairman of the Clubs and Chapters Committee.
2004 Chilhowee Soaring Association Inc.
2004 Ms. Judy Ruprecht For her services as the badge lady and her volunteer efforts as a contributing editor for Soaring Magazine.
2004 Ms Helen R Dick
2004 Mr Duane Eisenbeiss For revitalizing the World Distance Award program. Duane has poured his heat and soul into to reinstituting and revitalizing this worthy program.
2004 LMEA Soaring Club
2004 Mr Burt Compton On Behalf of Marfa Gliders is for the contributions from Marfa Gliders to the One More to Soar program.
2004 Mr Bill Bartell
2004 Robert Lacovara For his contributions to Soaring Magazine as a Contributing Editor.
2004 Charlene Richard
2004 Miami Gliders
2004 Dr James L Skydell For his assistance in establishing and operating a recruiting booth at the AOPA Convention in 2004. Jim and other region 12 volunteers graciously gave of their time to staff this booth.
2004 Ms. Karin A Schlosser For her untiring efforts as a contributing editor for Soaring magazine.
2004 Mr. Robert Wander For his time and effort in updating the Grow Book and for his support in the One More to Soar program.
2004 Mr R. Franklin Reid On behalf of The Bermuda High Soaring Club for their donations to the One More to Soar program.
2004 Mr. Chris Woods For his contribution as a contributing editor for Soaring magazine in 2004. Chris was also one of the judges in the photo contest which was presented in Soaring magazine.
2004 Knauff & Grove Soaring Supplies / Ridge Soaring Gliderport
2004 Mr. Steve G. Hines
2004 Marfa Gliders
1991 Ms. Simine Short For Support of WSC 91.
1982 Ms. Simine Short Presented in recognition of outstanding work in directing activities which successfully resulted in the soaring international postal card commemorating the Soaring Society of America's golden anniversary in 1982.