NAI Awards Programs

Professional Awards

Deadline: May 31, 2017

Through its awards program, NAI recognizes outstanding achievements and showcases the successes of NAI members and others working to advance the profession of interpretation. NAI members are exposed to outstanding and inspiring programs and professionals. Please nominate someone you know and respect.

Download complete nomination information.

Past Award Recipients


NAI Fellow Award
Note: In the 1990s the NAI Board of Directors chose to honor all previous AIN/WIA Fellows as NAI Fellows.

2016 - Ron Zimmerman
2015 - Mike Gross
2014 - John Veverka
2013 - Jon K. Hooper, Ph.D.
2012 - Dr. Will LaPage
2011 - Dr. Larry Beck
2010 - John Luzader
2009 - Alan Leftridge
2008 - Jean L. Kinnear
2007 - Douglas Knudson
2006 - Donna Pozzi
2005 - Paul H. Risk
2004 - Bob Jennings
2003 - Tom Mullin
2002 - Bob Hinkle
2001 - Cem Basman
2000 - Ted Cable
1999 - Gail Vander Stoep
1998 - Mike Legg
1997 - Jim Covel
1996 - Jim Goss
1995 - James Gale
1994 - Lisa Brochu
1993 - Gary Mullins
1992 - Mike Link
1991 - Paul Fransden
1990 - Sam Ham
1989 - Ron Russo
1988 - William Lewis
1987 - Tim Merriman
1985 - Dave Patterson
1981 - Gabriel Cherem, Elizabeth Horn, Frank Podriznik, John Hanna, Roland Nagel
1980 - Walter Jones, Ben Mahaffey
1979 - Robert Young
1978 - Jerold Elliot
1977 - Harold Gilluame
1976 - Nelson Bernard, Carl Holcomb, Patricia Eising Carlson, Arthur Wilcox
1975 - John Brainerd, Donald Robinson
1974 - Grant Sharpe
1973 - Paul Goff, Paul Knapp Jr.
1972 - Bryon Ashbaugh Stanton Ernst Sr., Charles Mohr, Howard Weaver, Roland Eisenbeis, Robert Kelly, Wiliam Colpitts, Kenneth Hunt, Bertalan Szabo, Frank Bunce, William Hopkins
1969 - C. Kenny Dale, Alan Helmsley, Harold Wallin
1968 - Robert Mann, Sigurd Olson
1967 - Reynold Carlson, Walter Tucker, Garrett Eppley

President's Award
2015 - Jane Beattie
2014 - Kye-Joong Cho
2013 - Chuck Lennox
2012 - Tim Merriman & Lisa Brochu
2011 - David Larsen
2010 - Ray Novotny
2009 - Amy Galperin
2008 - Corky Mayo
2006 - Roger Conant
2005 - Mickey Willis
2003 - Faith Duncan
2001 - Enda Mills Kiley
2000 - K.C. DenDooven

Master Interpretive Manager Award
2016 - John Miller, Ray Novotny
2015 - Ira Bletz, Vicki Basman
2014 - Skot Latona, Bill McGowan
2013 - Lezlie Murray, Siah L. St. Clair 
2012 - Jim Fitzpatrick, Michael R. McCaffrey
2011 - Neil Curry, Rachel J. Garren
2010 - Kelly Farrell, Jenn Wright
2009 - Kathy McPherson, Travis Williams
2008 - Dan Best, James W. O’Neill
2007 - Bradley Block, Ann Bugeda
2006 - Karen Green, Jay Miller
2005 - Debra McRae, Donna Scheeter
2004 - Robert Wittersheim, Denise Gehring
2003 - Marianne Mills, Mona Enquist-Johnston
2002 - Ken Gober
2001 - Patrick Barry
2000 - John Schaust
1999 - Nancy Herwig, Ginger Murphy
1998 - Jim Smith, Sarah Reding

Master Front-line Interpreter Award
2016 - Cyndi Cogbill, Trent Redfield
2015 - Bruce Beerbower, Janet Price
2014 - Doug Elliot, Dorothy McLeer
2013 - Pamela Machuga, Sara Lustbader
2012 - Michael J. Moran, Mark D. Szabo
2011 - Daniel Keto, Patty Wren Smith
2010 - Molly Postlewait, Pat Silovsky
2009 - Bill Lindemann, Jay Schneider
2008 - Jody Moats, Rick Zenn
2007 - Bob Dispenza, Tim Krynak
2006 - Joanie Cahill, Wil Reding
2005 - Foster Brown, Linda M. Yemoto
2004 - Don R. Simons
2003 - Scott Mair, Mary Bonnell
2002 - Jason Neumann
2001 - David Stokes
2000 - Brian Cahill
1999 - Ralph Naess
1998 - Katie Ellis

Excellence in Interpretation Award
1997 - Christine Revelas
1996 - Maggie Hachmeister
1995 - Richard Pawling
1994 - Althea Roberson

Master of Interpretation
1997 - John Luzader
1996 - Ted Cable
1995 - Bob Jennings
1994 - Jim Pease

NAI Meritorious Service Award
2016 - Lori Spencer, Sara M. Skinner, Angela Yau
2015 - Faith Duncan
2014 - Marvin McNew, Ray Novotny
2013 - Todd Bridgewater
2012 - Linda Jean Strand
2009 - Sarah Keating, Eric Andersen, Larry Beck, Julie Ernst, Jonetta Holt, Alan Kaplan, Doug Knapp, Sara Lustbader, Jolene Redvale
2008 - Susan Boggs
2007 - Brian Cahill
2006 - Cathy Meyer, Jerry Bauer
2005 - Chris Brabander, 2005 NIW Planning Team
2003 - Ray Novotny, Carol Leasure, Susan Williams, Debbie Tewell, 2003 NIW Planning Team
2002 - Diantha Martin, Vern Fish, NIW 2002 Planning Team
2001 - Pamela Rout, Heidi Kortright, NIW 2001--Des Moines Planning Team, Spring Training Hawaii Planning Team
2000 - Mary Ann Best, Amy Galperin, Dr. John Burde, Sue Benson, Sarah Blodgett, James Heitzman, Deb McRae, Vicky Wachtler, Gary Warshefski, Doug Weeks, Linda Yemoto, NIW 1999 - Syracuse Planning Team, Spring Training Duluth Planning Team, NIW 2000 - Tucson Planning Team
1999 - Gary Stolz, John Morris, Diane Jung, Kristi Kantola, Jean Kinnear, Dominic Canale, Amy Galperin, Costa Dillon
1998 - Chan Biggs, Lisa Brochu, Alan Capelle, Carol Cole, Bob Valen
1997 - Rick Magee, Marsha Knittig
1996 - Vem Fish, Sandy Lyons, Roy Geiger, Gail Vander Stoep, Debra Erickson
1995 - Corky McReynolds, Broc Stenman, NAI Region 4 NIW Planning Team
1994 - Brett Wright, Tom Mullin, Sarah Blodgett, John Baines, Julie Carrol, Wil Reding, John Schaust
1993 - Karin Hostetter, Alan Leftridge, Mike Nicholson, Paul Ferreira
1992 - Duncan Rollo, Debbie Tewell, Ray Tabata, Gabe Cherum, Robert Schneider
1991 - GeorgeTabb, Mike Legg, Dave Kulhavy, Evie Kirkwood, Ann Wright, Larry Contri, Michael Watson, Bob Budlinger
1990 - Bob Jennings, Tom Mullin, Lee Westerburg, Jim Malkowski, Fred Wooley, Siah St. Clair
1989 - Jann Young, Karin Hostetter, William Randall, Gail Vander Stoep, Doug Ruth, Dick Namba
1988- Tom Christensen, Ann Wright, Rich Koopman, Dave Vincent, Jim Tuck, Donna Pozzi, Paul Nelson, Lisa Brochu, Mark Parmalee
1987 - Tom Christensen, Ann Wright, Rich Koopman, Cem Basman, Mike Legg

Outstanding New Interpreter Award
2016 - Kylie Starck
2015 - Jessica Goodrich
2014 - Heather Horstman
2013 - Rachel Diersen
2012 - Lydia L. Austin
2011 - Elizabeth Rochow
2010 - Randy Pearson
2009 - Mary Anne Parker
2008 - Paula Zamiatowski
2007 - Kara Haas
2005 - Kelli English
2004 - Janet L. Stoffer
2003 - Jody Heaston
2002 - Ginger Cox
2001 - Leslie Witkowski
2000 - Andrea Haslage
1999 - Pete Stobie
1998 - Jodi Morris
1997 - Maria Daly
1996 - Jon Spiels
1994 - Mike Greene
1993 - Craig Kirkwood
1992 - Jennifer Emery
1991 - Tim Cook
1990 - Ken Bowald

Outstanding Senior Interpreter Award
2016 - Anthony Ingraham
2015 - Ken Gober
2014 - Bob Wittersheim
2013 - Alan Kaplan
2012 - Diantha Naylor Martin
2011 - Ranger Steve Mueller
2010 - Neil Garrison
2009 - Stanton Ernst
2008 - O. Christian Nelson
2006 - Robert Stebbins
2005 - Ralph Ramey
2004 - Howard E. Weaver
2003 - Donald Altemus
2002 - Bertlan Szabo
2000 - Forest Buchanan
1999 - William Whitehouse
1998 - Robert Hakala

Outstanding Interpretive Volunteer
2016 - Shawna Skinner
2015 - William "Bill" Whitehouse
2014 - Bert Szabo
2012 - James F. Kerr
2010 - Jim Hawes
2009 - Kathy Miller
2008 - David Gates
2007 - Jerome Bridges
2005 - Lori Spencer
2004 - Mary Keefer Bloom
2002 - Angel Gochee

Outstanding NAI Product Award
2011 - “Whisper on the Wind” CD, NAI Region 6
2000 - Region 5 ("Interpretive Undercurrents" book)
1998 - Region 4

Excellence in Interpretive Support Award
2016 - Friends of Great Plains Nature Center
2015 - Friends of Spruce Woods, Beaver Creek Wildlife Education Center Volunteers Association
2014 - Friends of Jackson County Conservation (Iowa)
2011 - Friends of Beaver Lake, Friends of the Mines of Spain
2009 - Lee & Rose Warner Foundation
2008 - Alaska Geographic History Institute, Death Valley Natural History Association
2007 - Dick Taylor, Calaveras Big Trees Association
2006 - Friends of Wehr, White Mountain Interpretive Association
2005 - Friends of Algonquin Park;Theresa Coble, Mike Legg, and Pat Stephens Williams
2004 - Friends of Hearst Castle
2003 - Friends of Santa Cruz
2000 - Friends of Sabino Canyon, USFS, Tucson, AZ; Friends of Great Smoky Mountains & Great Smoky Mountains Natural History Association, Gallatin, TN; Bruce Stebbins and Onondaga County Parks, NY
1999 - Clarksville Riverfront Development Foundation,Indiana; Los Compadres de San Antonio Missions, Texas
1998 - Friends of Holliday Park, Indianapolis, Indiana; Arkansas Departrnent of Parks and Tourism
1997 - Hamilton County Parks, Cincinnati, Ohio
1996 - KDSM Fox 17/Dan Nannen, Des Moines, Iowa
1995 - Oxley Nature Center Association, Oklahoma
1994 - Red Rocks Canyon Interpretive Association, Las Vegas, Nevada

Community Interpretive Service Award
2010 - Melanie Flamme
2005 - McKay Lodge Conservation Laboratory, Inc.
2004 - Lake Champlain Basin Program Steering Committee, Connexus Energy
2003 - Friends of Crawford Park Dist.
2000 - Susan Grace Stoltz, Friends of Creamer's Field, AK; Donald Pendergrast, Alaska Interpretive Services, AK
1999 - Jill DiMauro, MNCPPC Montgomery Co., Brookside Nature Center, Maryland; Buckman Elementary School, Portland, Oregon; South Bend Audubon Society, Indiana; Friends of Huntley Meadows Park, Virginia; Barbara Norton, Wagon Wheel Natural History Association, California
1998 - Friends of Bendix Woods and Spicer Lake, St. Joseph County, Indiana; Mike Edmonds, Dean of Students, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Pacific Gas and Electric Co, San Luis Obispo, California; Archeological Support Team (PAST), Arkansas

NAI Special Award
2000 - Bruce McHenry, Bruce Stebbins & Onodaga County Parks, KC DenDooven
Prior to 2000 - James Eddy, Mary Lou Ferbert, Sharon Frandsen, John Hanna, Wendy King, Ron Parker, Jim Peters, St. Joseph County Parks-Indiana, San Diego County Parks, Philip Tedesco, Edward Thomas

Lifetime Meritorious Service Award
2000 - D. Bruce McHenry

NAI Award of Distinction
2015 - Kevin Damstra, Jim Peters, Bill Weldon, Travis Williams