SSA Exceptional Service Award

Year

Recipient

Description

2021 Mr Ronald N Ridenour For decades Ron has been an important contributor to soaring, soaring safety and aviation education. For many years he has served as a Trustee and Treasurer of the Soaring Safety Foundation. He is a regular contributor to Soaring magazine, authoring frequent articles on soaring safety issues. He also participates in SSF site visits to evaluate and make recommendations for improvement in local soaring safety. Ron is an active contest pilot. And a number of times he has given up the opportunity to compete in a contest in order to serve as competition director. One example was the 2018 Region 6 North contest at Adrian, Michigan. Ron arrived with his glider expecting to fly as a contestant. When he learned that the individual who had agreed to serve as CD was unavailable due to an unexpected last-minute issue, he gave up the opportunity to compete and took on the CD’s task. He did an excellent job, resulting in a good contest with many safe flights. In addition to competing in soaring contests and his work with SSF, Ron is a regular contributor to safety talks at contests. Ron serves currently as President of the Chicago Glider Club. He has previously served as treasurer and in many other positions. As a flight instructor for gliders and airplanes, he is involved in training club instructors, and in flight training generally. He recently took on responsibility to train the two teenage sons of a deceased friend and glider pilot, in addition to his many other responsibilities. As an aircraft mechanic with inspector authorization Ron also plays a leading role in maintaining and inspecting the Club’s airplanes and gliders. As the principal designated pilot examiner for gliders in the Chicago area Ron is responsible for evaluating for the FAA most applicants for glider ratings in the area. He also serves as a DPE for airplane, airplane instrument and more advanced ratings. Ron is a retired United Airlines captain, where he served as line-check airman responsible for training and evaluating line pilots. By Mike Shakman
2021 Mr Walter A. Rogers The US Team Committee would like to nominate: Walt Rogers for an SSA Exceptional Service Award for his remote weather support for the US Teams during the following contests: 2014 World Gliding Championships at Leszno, Poland, 2017 World Gliding Championships at Benalla, Australia, 2020 Women’s World Gliding Championships at Lake Keepit, Australia, 2021 World Gliding Championships at Montlucon, France. This support required Walt to spend 2 - 3 hours per day or evening to gather the weather information and package it up, and send it to the team at their overseas locations. This support was provided during the official practice days through the end of the contest which is about 17 days long. Here's a sample from Friday, August 20th for the 2021 WGC in Montlucon, France: click here The feedback from all pilots on these US Teams found it very helpful and it provided a different perspective compared to the information provided by the contest weather team. At times, the contest wx information was not very complete or helpful. By Pete Alexander
2021 Mr John Seaborn The SSA relies heavily upon volunteers to service its members and to support and grow our great sport. The number of SSA members has been declining for many years and we have desperately needed an effective marketing campaign and strategy that can better make use of current digital marketing tools. John Seaborn has stepped forward and “taken ownership” of a project to develop and implement a new SSA Digital Marketing Campaign. His expertise and efforts exemplify the type of Exceptional Service that will help the SSA thrive. Thank you, John. By Ken Sorenson
2021 Ms. Ann Lafford Ever since she joined the Finger Lake Soaring Club back in 1991, Ann Lafford's contribution to soaring has been tremendous. She has and continues to make an impact on the Finger Lakes Soaring Club. She has been on the club‘s board serving as a Receiving Treasury for 3 terms, (term is 3 years each). Ann also was instrumental on putting a strategic plan together for the club by doing workshops to get all members involved. She put two of these plans together over the years. Ann coordinates the Region 3 contest in Dansville, NY since she joined the club which is a significant effort given the size of the club. Successfully managing the role as the Contest Manger for over 24 years and has made the Region 3 contest a large success. If this was not enough, she became the SSA Director of Region 1 & 3 for 2 terms along with becoming Vice Chair from 2015-2018. She also served on the SSA Awards Committee from 2015-2018. In January of 2019, she was appointed as the SSA Chairman for two years. During her term as SSA Chairman, she put in place procedures and programs which assisted the team along with supporting the CEO and management structure. She organized the committee for the new Website and helped see it through until the day the SSA launched the project. Her commitment is unwavering. Currently she is now on the board of the National Soaring Museum. Ann is very dedicated to the sport of soaring and we could not find anyone more deserving of this award. By Linda Evenski
2020 Mr. Bruno Vassel IV The SSA Webinar Series, which began in 2018, is now being hosted by David Lessnick, Bruno Vassel, and Cindy Brickner. This team puts forth a tremendous effort that benefits the SSA. The webinars continue to be an effective means to showcase soaring-related and flight training topics to our SSA membership and to potential new members. Attendance at the webinars has been excellent. The webinars are incorporated into the FAA WINGS training program and have been promoted by the FAA to an even larger audience. The webinars are recorded and available as an SSA member benefit on the SSA website. The SSA would like to recognize this team for their ongoing commitment to and production of the educational webinar series.
2020 Mr. David Lessnick The SSA Webinar Series, which began in 2018, is now being hosted by David Lessnick, Bruno Vassel, and Cindy Brickner. This team puts forth a tremendous effort that benefits the SSA. The webinars continue to be an effective means to showcase soaring-related and flight training topics to our SSA membership and to potential new members. Attendance at the webinars has been excellent. The webinars are incorporated into the FAA WINGS training program and have been promoted by the FAA to an even larger audience. The webinars are recorded and available as an SSA member benefit on the SSA website. The SSA would like to recognize this team for their ongoing commitment to and production of the educational webinar series.
2020 Cindy Brickner The SSA Webinar Series, which began in 2018, is now being hosted by David Lessnick, Bruno Vassel, and Cindy Brickner. This team puts forth a tremendous effort that benefits the SSA. The webinars continue to be an effective means to showcase soaring-related and flight training topics to our SSA membership and to potential new members. Attendance at the webinars has been excellent. The webinars are incorporated into the FAA WINGS training program and have been promoted by the FAA to an even larger audience. The webinars are recorded and available as an SSA member benefit on the SSA website. The SSA would like to recognize this team for their ongoing commitment to and production of the educational webinar series.
2019 Mr. Garret I. Willat The SSA Exceptional Service Award is presented to Garret Willat for his many years of service to the SSA as a US Junior/Team coach. In addition, his excellent articles in Soaring magazine and in his Wings & Wheels columns have provided insightful, informative, and entertaining information on a wide range of topics. These writings have worked to both promote safe practices and to encourage and develop more and better cross-country soaring skills.
2019 Mr Colin Mead The SSA Exceptional Service Award is presented to Colin Mead for his exemplary service as US Team Captain at the 1st FAI Pan American Gliding Championships, at the 2018 World Gliding Championships at Ostrow, Poland, and at the 3rd FAI Pan American Gliding Championships. Each of the projects involved major logistical and organizational challenges. Most recently, he managed an unusually large team with a total of seventeen(!) US Team pilots at the 3rd FAI PAGC in Canada. This was especially challenging.
2018 Mr. David Lessnick David M. Lessnick conceived, planned, organized, and implemented an SSA Webinar Series focused on cross-country soaring techniques, glider flight training, and other topics of interest to sailplane pilots. The webinar presenters have included experienced and knowledgeable pilots from a variety of soaring interest groups. Attendance at the webinars has been spectacular – so good that some webinars were oversubscribed. Many of the webinars have been incorporated into the FAA WINGS training program and have been promoted by the FAA to an audience beyond the SSA membership and current sailplane pilots. The webinars have supported SSA’s ongoing membership growth effort -- some lapsed SSA members have been prompted to rejoin, some wavering members have been retained, and interest in soaring has been promoted among pilots who are not (yet) sailplane pilots. The webinars are recorded and available as an SSA member benefit on the SSA website. David’s contribution to the sport of soaring and to the SSA has been truly exceptional.
2018 Mr Peter T Alexander Pete Alexander exemplifies what it means to give back to the sport of soaring. Pete has been an active sailplane pilot since the 1970s. He became an avid contest pilot in 1986 and as soon as his career allowed him to do so, he became an active SSA volunteer. He has served on the Contest Site Selection Committee since 2010. He has served on the US Team Committee since 2014 and has been Chairman of that committee since 2015. During his tenure as US Team Committee chairman he led the effort to update the process used to select and train US Team pilots. He has served the SSA as a Director at Large since 2017. In 2018 he supported the US Team at the World Gliding Championships in the Czech Republic as Team Captain. Thank you Pete for all you have done for us.
2018 Mr John F Good John Good has provided exceptional service to the soaring community and to the SSA for many years. His most recent contributions have focused on the support and management of SSA contests and US Teams participating at World Gliding Championships (WGCs). He served us as Contest Committee Chairman from late 2014 through 2017. He had previously served in this position in the 1990s. He has served as US Team Captain at several recent WGCs, including Junior World Gliding Championships and Women’s World Gliding Champio.nships. He has also served as crew for a number of pilots competing at WGCs, and did an outstanding job of posting interesting and entertaining reports and blogs during the events. Thank you John for all you have done for us.
2017 Mr. John T. Molumphy III I am writing to nominate Mr. John T. Molumphy of the Blue Ridge Soaring Society for a SSA Exceptional Service Award. The rational for the award is recognition of his efforts to support soaring, sailplane pilots and the Blue Ridge Soaring Society over a very long period. John 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 for all of us. John has been a member of the Soaring Society of America for over 30 years (he earned his A and B badges in 1985) and is recognized throughout our area for his accomplishments in many arenas.
2017 Mr. Marion S. Griffith Jr. Marion S Griffith is hereby nominated for the Exceptional Service Award for his many contributions to the Soaring Society of America and the sport of soaring. Marion served as SSA President, was the principal organizer of the first SSA convention, was a founder of the Dallas Gliding Association which started and funded the Johnson Flight Tests, was a director of Southwest Soaring (a commercial Texas soaring center), state and national open class record holder, and regional and national open class competitor. His career with the USAF, Braniff, and Rediffusion Visual Systems brought a wealth of experience in flight training, training management and philosophy, flight simulation, and interfacing with regulatory agencies to the SSA and sport of soaring.
2017 Ms Sarah Arnold Sarah Arnold is recognized with the SSA Exceptional Service Award for her dedicated service to the sport of soaring and her on going work, leadership, and dedication to the US Team Committee. Sarah has been a member of the US Team Committee for over 5 years continuing to serve as the US Team Committee Treasurer for over 4 years. She managed and organized the 2012 US Team Training Camp at Chilhowee arranging for Brian Spreckley (from the UK) to coach the US Team pilots going to 2012 WGC at Uvalde and arranging sailplanes from a couple of the local Chilhowee pilots for some of the pilots coming from the west coast for the 5 day camp. Sarah organized and managed the 1st Pan American Gliding Championships (PAGC) in 2015 at Chilhowee Gliderport in Chilhowee, TN. She continues to manage the creation and distribution of the US Team WGC and PAGC uniforms which she has done for the 10 US Teams during the following years: 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. She also managed the creation of two unique US Team logos for the uniforms and patches for the WGCs in Pociunai, Lithuania and Benalla, Australia. Finally, Sarah’s 2nd place finish at the 2017 9th Women’s World Gliding Championships in Zbraslavice, Czech Republic serves as an inspiration to us all.
2017 Mr. Fernando B. Silva Fernando has been soaring for more than 25 years, holds a number of state records, and has won a number of Regional contests. He was 2015 15-meter National Champion and the 2017 Seniors Champion. He serves as weatherman for many of the Regional and National contests. He is always glad to help other contest pilots and recently conducted the US Team Camp at Cordele, GA. He is currently serving as the Team Captain for the US Junior Team in Lithuania.
2016 WSPA At a time when soaring in general and the SSA in this country are losing members at an alarming rate, WSPA is thriving and its membership is on the rise. The organization has about 250 members in about 10 countries. In 2001 WSPA began reaching out over the borders. In the past 7 years three seminars were held outside the US: 2009 in Slovenia, 2014 in Canada, and 2016 in Italy. At the 2016 seminar, 39 participants (with the largest group coming from the US) from 9 countries attended. The participants came from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland and the USA. WSPA began with only women members but by adding several membership categories has now evolved into an organization of which 25% of its members are men ( “Associated Members” not eligible to vote). WSPA, a Division of the SSA, is continuing its mission to promote and support women in soaring and doing so by reaching out to women world wide.
2015 Mr John D. Godfrey John exemplifies the type of service to the SSA that keeps our organization alive. John is currently Chairman of the SSA Foundation as well as chairman of the Contest Rules Committee. He has served SSA contest pilots many times as Competition Director and as Scorer and has developed a system for remotely scoring contests. He served as a Scorer at the 2012 World Gliding championships in Uvalde, Texas and at the 2015 Pan American Gliding championships. He has also served as the U.S. Team Captain at international competitions. Thank you, John for all you have done and continue to do for the SSA.
2015 Mr Stephen A Northcraft Steve received this award for his work in drafting the SSA’s response to the FAA Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making regarding the proposed abrogation of the glider transponder exemption. Steve’s unique expertise, historical knowledge and writing ability as the primary drifter of SSA’s response was of the utmost value to SSA and to the gliding community in the United States and resulted in a powerful argument against any changes to the existing rules.
2015 Mr Pendleton Smith Penn was given this award for his years of leadership and guidance of the SSA Foundation. Penn’s stewardship of the SSA Foundation has resulted in a professionally managed, low overhead, consolidated investment portfolio worth over $3 million dollars today that is governed consistently with the best practices of foundation management. In addition, his unselfish assistance in guiding and assisting local soaring organizations in achieving 501(c)3 public charity status has advanced the interests of the soaring community.
2015 Mr Phillip Umphres Phil received this award for all of his work in helping to draft a response to the FAA Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making regarding the proposed abrogation of the glider transponder exemption. This is a serious issue concerning the glider community and Phil’s help in drafting the response on behalf of SSA was of the utmost importance. His expertise as a long time SSA Director as well as his law background, was a valuable asset to the committee working on this matter.
2013 Mr. David R. Larson Mr. David Larson, the Chief Tow Pilot for the World Championships last year, is hereby awarded the SSA Exceptional Service Award for his work that organized and ran an excellent towing operation for the 2012 World Championships in Uvalde.
2013 Mr Pedja Bogdanovich Pedja has freely given to the SSA the use of a game-changing application, the SSA's online Sailplane Tracker. Through his application, spouses, friends and crew can now track and enjoy flights online as they unfold.
2013 Mr Douglas J. Easton In addition to all the volunteer work he has done in the past several years, 2013 was again a year in which Doug went above and beyond for the benefit of the SSA. Taking the initiative, he completely overhauled the SSA website. The new website is fresher, more accessible and packed with more features that ever before. As if overhauling the entire website was not enough, he worked to provide data feed to enable our new sailplane tracker to fully integrate with the SSA web.
2013 Mr Allison H. Tyler Jr. Al was commended for his service on numerous committees as an SSA Director, and as Chairman of the SSA. He has been an absolute gentleman, competitor and leader of the SSA. He has provided years of service and has advocated a healthy vision for the direction of the Society, which will serve the organization well for years to come.
2012 Ms. Karin A Schlosser Karin Schlosser has been awarded the SSA Exceptional Service Award for her years of service on the Soaring magazine task force, and her efforts to document the stories of soaring including compiling and editing the stories of Charlie Spratt, Kai Gertsen, and Wally Scott. Karin also served as a National Soaring Museum Trustee for several years.
2011 Mr Douglas L. Jacobs For his dedicated service to the sport of soaring and his leadership in the US competition organization.
2010 Mr Stephen A Northcraft For his tireless and patient efforts in obtaining a favorable interpretation from the FAA of rules governing operations by gliders off grass strips parallel of paved runways.
2010 Ms. Cindy Brickner For her untiring work as the Airspace Chair, service above and beyond the call of duty while serving as interim "Badge Lady" during the year 2010, all while continuing an exemplary job as director of Region 12.
2010 Mr Richard A Carlson For exemplary service to the soaring community while serving on the Soaring Safety Foundation board of trustees and conducting numerous FAA approved, glider-specific Flight Instructor Refresher Clinics across the country.
2010 Mr Francis L. Whiteley For his tireless work since 2007 as Chairman of the SSA State Governors and Recordkeepers Committee. During Frank's tenure the Committee was revitalized and strengthened to an exceptional level of support to the soaring community.
2010 Mr. James B Short For outstanding service to the soaring community as the Chariman of the Aircraft Certification Committee and work on membership issues with aircraft certification.
2009 Mr Kenneth G. Sorenson For service on the SSA Rules Committee.
2009 Mr. Steve G. Hines For service as the Art Director for Soaring Magazine for several years.
2009 Mr Karl H. Striedieck For service on the SSA Rules Committee.
2009 Mr. Kenneth J. Kochanski For maintenance of the Sailplane Racing Association website over ten years.
2009 WSPA
2009 Mr John F Good For service on the SSA Rules Committee.
2009 Mr Henry M Nixon Jr For service on the SSA Rules Committee.
2009 Mr. James C. Kellett For service as the Region 4 Director for many years. He worked with the FAA and Potomac Consolidated TRACON to establish a glider-specific transponder code for the area surrounding Washington, DC airspace.
2007 Mr Douglas L. Jacobs
2007 Mr Kenneth G. Sorenson
2007 Mr. Ray Johnson
2007 Dr. Gary B. Fogel
2006 Mr John Seaborn
2006 Mr. James B Short
2006 John Sharp
2005 Mr Karl H. Striedieck
2005 Mr David R. Volkmann
2004 Mr Peter A Williams In the late-80's, Pete Williams was one of the founding members of the Auxiliary-Powered Sailplane Association (formerly the Self-Launched Sailplane Association), a Division of the SSA. His efforts made a substantial contribution to the development of the organization to reach what it is today. He has been Chairman and President at different times, and is the long-time editor of the association's newsletter APS News. He has been a frequent contributor on motor glider subjects to Soaring magazine, and is the author of Self Launch! Retractable Engine Sailplanes.
2004 Bud Copeland For his tireless efforts in aiding the SSA staff with the day to day operations of the main office.
2004 Ms Frauke Elber For her volunteer service in managing the club news section in Soaring magazine.
2004 Ms. Judy Ruprecht For her services in government liaison work.
2004 Mr Douglas L. Jacobs For services as treasurer of the Soaring Society of America.
2004 Mr Stephen A Northcraft For his many years as Vice Chair, 1 st Vice Chair and Executive Committee member of the SSA Board of Directors, and his leadership of the Government Relations Committee.
2004 Mr. Bill Seed Jr. For developing and making available to the soaring community Sunflower Aerodrome, Hutchison KS, home of the Kansas Soaring Association, and site of numerous national and regional contests.
2003 Mr. John Volkober
2003 Mr Stephen A Northcraft
2003 Mr James M Payne
2003 Mr. Billy J. Singleton
2003 Mr Knut Kjenslie
2003 Nancy Martin Graham
2003 Ms Karol A Hines
2003 Mark Ackerley
2003 Mike Gallagher
2003 Ingrid Kjenslie
2003 John Sharp
2003 Steve Wasilowski
2003 Mr. Tim Welles
2003 Mr. Douglas J. Donohue
2003 Mr William C. Sproull
2003 Ms. Jacqueline Payne
2003 Mr. John Murray
2003 Mr Gary Buxton
2002 Ms Janice Armstrong
2002 Mr. Daniel J. Armstrong
2002 Mr. Guy Ford Byars
2002 Mr Charles L Meason
2002 Mr Robert M Nady
2002 Mr James M. Norris
2001 Mr Larry P. Sanderson
2001 John Sharp
2001 Mr Aland B. Adams
2001 Mr. James B Short
2000 Ms Janice Armstrong
2000 Mr Delbert N Blomquist
1999 Mr Burt Compton
1999 Mr George B. Moffat Jr
1999 Mr. Robert L. Dittert
1999 Ms. Joann Dittert
1998 Mr. Mike Culver
1998 Mr George J Thelen
1998 Mr Edward F Byars
1998 Mr. Daniel R. Gudgel
1998 The Civil Air Patrol
1997 US Air Force
1997 US Air Force Academy
1997 John Campbell
1997 Mr Mark Huffstutler
1997 Mr. Robert L Semans
1997 Ms. Kerry Huffstutler
1996 Mr. Guenther Eichhorn
1996 Mr Charles Minner
1995 Mr Carl E Burson Jr
1995 Mr. Rob Sjostedt
1995 Harner Selvidge
1995 Ted Sharp
1995 Richard Schreder
1994 Cedric Vernon
1994 Mr Richard N Hall Jr
1994 Mr Robert H Wilkinson
1994 Mr. Don Engen
1993 Ms Norma Burnette
1993 Mr. James B Short
1993 Ms. Jacqueline Payne
1993 Mr C Kenneth Kolstad
1993 Mr James M Payne
1993 Mid Kolstad
1993 Mr. Alex A. Burnette
1992 Mr. Francis B Compton
1992 Johann Kuhn
1992 Mr Don Maddox
1991 Mr Jan Scott
1991 Mr Mark D Maughmer
1991 Dan Sommers
1991 Mr Bernald S Smith
1990 Ms Edre J Maier
1990 Dr. Stephen J Maier PhD
1990 Mr. E. Gene Hammond
1989 Mr. William S Ivans
1989 Mr Edgar Seymour
1989 Mr Duane Eisenbeiss
1989 Mr E J Indrebo
1989 Ms. Shirley Sliwa
1989 Mr Floyd J Sweet
1988 Prof John Hansman
1988 Mr. Les Sebald
1988 Mr Bernald S Smith
1988 Mr William C. Sproull
1988 Mr Paul Dickerson
1988 Theodore Sharp
1988 Mr Oran W Nicks
1988 Mr Carl D Herold
1988 Mr. E. Gene Hammond
1988 Ms Arleen W Coleson
1988 Mr. Hal M Lattimore
1988 Ms. Judy Ruprecht
1987 Ms. Judy Ruprecht
1987 Mr James M Payne
1987 Dick Brandt
1987 William Prescott
1987 Mr Robert P Grey
1987 Mr Sterling V. Starr
1987 Ms Bee Brandt
1986 Dr. Stephen J Maier PhD
1986 Jack Gomez
1986 Mr Richard N Hall Jr
1985 Mr. E. Gene Hammond
1985 Mr. Hannes M. Linke
1985 Mr. Alberto Negro
1985 Chris Negro
1985 Barron Hilton
1984 David C. Johnson
1984 Harry N. Perl
1984 Ms Marion I Barritt
1984 Mr Leonard R McMaster
1983 Mr. Hal M Lattimore
1983 New Mexico Junior College
1983 J.C. (Red) Wright
1982 Mr Richard H Johnson
1982 Mr Bernald S Smith
1981 Mr Emil Kissel
1981 Mr John M Brittingham
1980 Mr Charlie Spratt
1980 Mr. Hal M Lattimore
1980 Mr Stanley A Hall
1980 Mr E.J. Reeves
1980 Miss Bertha M Ryan
1979 Mr Charles V Lindsay
1979 Jean V. Doty
1979 Tom Page
1978 Mr William B Cleary
1978 Mr Charles T. McKinnie Jr.
1976 Mrs. Geraldine L. Rhine
1976 Mr Raymond Shamblen
1976 James Rhine
1976 Lawrence Wood
1975 Mr Douglas Lamont
1975 Mr Bernald S Smith
1974 Mr James S Herman
1974 Mr Carl D Herold
1974 Mr William C. Holbrook
1974 Mr Edward F Byars
1974 Mr. Marion S. Griffith Jr.
1973 Edward H. Butts
1973 Mr. George Uveges
1972 Alice S. Fuchs
1972 Thomas Page
1972 Harner Selvidge
1972 Mr William R Fuchs
1971 J.C. (Red) Wright
1970 Miles Coverdale
1970 Catherine Jones
1970 Theodore E. Sharp
1970 Mr. William S Ivans
1970 Mr Bennett M Rogers
1970 Mr Bernald S Smith
1970 Mr Sterling V. Starr
1967 Miss Bertha M Ryan
1967 Mr Lloyd M Licher
1967 S.A. (Alex) Aldott
1967 H. Marshall Claybourn
1966 Charles F. Abel
1966 Mr Paul A Schweizer
1965 Mr. William S Ivans
1965 Mr. Walter B Hausler
1965 Mr Donald A Mosher