36112,
31
August
2017
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06:36 PM
America/Chicago

Southeast Region PAO Honored with Balsem Awards Best in Show

Hurricane Matthew Response Nets Top Recognition for Oppmann; Middle East Region's Holley Also Recognized

Civil Air Patrol’s top public affairs officers were recognized Wednesday at the eighth annual PAO Academy, held in San Antonio in conjunction with the 2017 National Conference.

Top honors in the Maj. Howell Balsem Civil Air Patrol Public Affairs Exceptional Achievement Awards went to a pair of region directors of public affairs for their work during and after Hurricane Matthew’s assault on the South Atlantic Coast last fall.

Lt. Col. Andrew J. Oppmann of the Southeast Region was recognized with the Lt. Col. Al Pabon Best in Show Balsem Award for his work coordinating PAO coverage across his region in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew last October. “Oppmann ensured that media and national headquarters received timely, informative updates of various wings’ hurricane missions, complete with photos,” judges said.

 

 

Also this year, for the first time judges chose an Honorable Mention Best in Show, awarding it to Maj. Julie Holley of the Middle East Region. The judges praised Holley’s “outstanding job of securing exceptional coverage,” particularly of the Maryland Wing’s role in assisting wings farther south directly affected by the hurricane.

The Balsem awards program is named for CAP’s first PAO, who served as an Army Air Forces officer during World War II and then as the organization's PAO from 1949-1956. The awards competition provides CAP PAOs with the opportunity for recognition for outstanding achievement in up to nine categories.

The highest honor is the Best in Show Balsem Award, named for Pabon, former director of public affairs for the North Central Region and former national volunteer team leader for public affairs. He was named National PAO of the Year for 2006, and his newsletter and website were recognized with Balsem Awards in 2007 at the first National PAO Academy in Atlanta, when the inaugural Balsems were presented. He passed away unexpectedly from natural causes at age 46 on July 22, 2011.

Judges in the competition chose first-place Balsem Awards, second-place Awards of Excellence and third-place Certificates of Merit for each category, with the option of not presenting an award in any category. More than one first-, second- or third-place award were selected in some categories.

This year's field of submissions consisted of more than 70 entries of public affairs work from 25 members in 19 wings and seven regions. Along with Oppmann and Holley, multiple awards went to Lt. Col. Jonathan Lartigue of Georgia Wing Headquarters, Maj. Matthew Congrove of the Texas Wing’s David Lee (Tex) Hill Composite Squadron and 1st Lt. Ilse House of the Kentucky Wing’s Frankfort Composite Squadron.

Judges awarded 13 balsem awards, 10 awards of excellence and nine certificates of merit. Combined with the Best in Show and Honorable Mention Best in Show, a total of 33 awards were selected for the competition.

The following awards were presented in eight categories:

Brochure/Poster/Flyer
Balsem Award

  • 1st Lt. Ilse House, Frankfort Composite Squadron, Kentucky Wing, “KY058 Squadron 5x7 Postcards” and “KY058 Squadron Pull-Up Banner”

Certificate of Merit

  • 1st Lt. Maryan Tooker, Nevada Wing Headquarters, “Anniversary Display”

Event Promotion
Balsem Award

  • Lt. Col. Jonathan Lartigue, Georgia Wing Headquarters, “Rome Airshow/Thunderbirds Performance”
     
  • Lt. Col. Andrew Oppmann, Southeast Region Headquarters. “Tennessee Wing Partnership with Middle Tennessee State University”

External Media Coverage of CAP
Balsem Award

  • Lt. Col. Andrew Oppmann, Southeast Region Headquarters, “Southeast Region Media Relations Response to Hurricane Matthew”
     
  • Maj. Julie Holley, Middle East Region Headquarters, “Maryland Wing Hurricane Matthew Coverage”

Award of Excellence

  • Lt. Col. Malcolm Webb, Monroe County Composite Squadron, Indiana Wing, “WISH TV Segment ‘Inside a CAP Training Exercise’”
     
  • 2nd Lt. James Chamberland, “South Lakeland Composite Squadron, Florida Wing, “Putting a CAP on Civil Service”

Certificate of Merit

  • Lt. Col. David Finley, Socorro Composite Squadron, New Mexico Wing, "Squadron Cadet Earns Spaatz Award"
     
  • Maj. Wesley Flannell, Shawnee Composite Squadron, Illinois Wing, “Cadet Pilot”
     
  • 1st Lt. Morgan Torp-Pedersen, Murfreesboro Composite Squadron, Tennessee Wing, "Tennessee Wildfires"

Magazine
Award of Excellence

  • Capt. Linda Parker, Vance Brand Cadet Squadron, Colorado Wing, “75th Anniversary Year-Long Celebration”

Photography
Balsem Award

  • Maj. Daren Jaeger, Kansas Wing Headquarters, “National Blue Beret – Public Affairs”

Award of Excellence

  • Maj. Matthew Congrove, David Lee (Tex) Hill Composite Squadron, Texas Wing, “TX Wing Aircrew Competition”

Certificate of Merit

  • Lt. Col. Paul Creed III. Group III Headquarters, Ohio Wing, “Total Force”
     
  • Capt. Gregory Hoffeditz, Group 1 Headquarters, Illinois Wing, “2016 Legislative Days”

Slide/PowerPoint Presentation
Balsem Award

  • Lt. Col. Jonathan Lartigue, Georgia Wing Headquarters, “Targeted Recruiting of Aerospace Education Members”

Social Media
Balsem Award

  • Maj. Barbara Buckner, Thunder Composite Squadron, Illinois Wing, “Local Volunteers Train for Community Readiness”
     
  • Maj. Matthew Congrove, David Lee (Tex) Hill Composite Squadron, Texas Wing, “Falcon Virgo Super Bowl 51”
     
  • 1st Lt. Ilse House, Frankfort Composite Squadron, Kentucky Wing, “CAP Frankfort Glider Flying”
     
  • Capt. Jessica Jerwa, Washington Wing Headquarters, “Washington Wing Celebrates CAP’s 75th Anniversary”
     
  • Senior Member Cole Oakland, Southeast Cadet Squadron, Kansas Wing, “National Blue Beret Social Media”

Award of Excellence

  • Maj. Julie Holley, Middle East Region Headquarters, “75th Anniversary Presentation to CAP”

Certificate of Merit

  • Lt. Col. David Miller, Missouri Wing Group 2, “MO Wing Facebook Group Page”
     
  • Maj. Kenny Loui, San Francisco Cadet Squadron 86, California Wing, “San Francisco Cadet Squadron 86 Facebook Page”
     
  • 1st Lt. Ilse House, Frankfort Composite Squadron, Kentucky Wing, “CAP Frankfort Facebook”
     
  • Senior Member Cole Oakland, Southeast Cadet Squadron, Kansas Wing, “Official Twitter Page for PIO/PAO Events”

Website
Certificate of Merit

  • Lt. Col. Christopher Roche, Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron, Maryland Wing, “Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron Website”
     
  • Capt. Lynne Albert, Orange County Composite Squadron, North Carolina Wing, “North Carolina Wing Website Enhancement”