Civil Air Patrol
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Maryland Wing members earn national public affairs awards

August 27, 2018 — ANAHEIM, Calif. — Top Civil Air Patrol public affairs officers, led by the Indiana Wing’s Maj. William Vendramin, were honored today at the ninth annual PAO Conference, held in Anaheim, California, in conjunction with the 2018 National Conference.

Vendramin’s April 2017 Facebook campaign to publicize CAP and the Indiana Wing’s public service in connection with National Volunteer Week was recognized with not only a Maj. Howell Balsem Civil Air Patrol Public Affairs Exceptional Achievement Award but also the Maj. Al Pabon Best in Show Balsem Award.

Balsem Award judges praised Vendramin’s work for its “excellent participation in National Volunteer Week,” citing exceptional analytics on reach and engagement” and “very, very good pictures with text – very clean and easy to read consistently throughout the campaign.”

In all, 40 CAP members and one wing were recognized for exceptional work performed during 2017.

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 11 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 82 entries of public affairs work from 40 members in 25 wings and seven regions – the highest totals in several years. Multiple awards went to nine recipients:​

  • Lt. Col. Brian Berry of the Georgia Wing’s Sandy Springs Cadet Squadron;
  • Lt. Col. David Miller of Missouri Wing Group 2, who received the first Pabon Award, given in 2012;
  • Lt. Col. Andrew Oppmann, Southeast Region PAO and recipient of the Pabon Award last year;
  • Maj. Gregory Hoffeditz of Illinois Wing Group 1;
  • Maj. Kenny Loui of San Francisco Cadet Squadron 86 in the California Wing;
  • Maj. Patrick White of the Florida Wing’s Tallahassee Composite Squadron;
  • 1st Lt. Maria Klosterman of the South Dakota Wing’s Sioux Falls Composite Squadron;
  • 2nd Lt. Nancy Flanagan of the Virginia Wing’s Hampton Roads Composite Squadron; and
  • 2nd Lt. Jillian R. Restivo of California Wing Central California Group 6.

Two cadets were honored – Cadet 1st Lts. Lydia Eudy of the South Carolina Wing’s Low Country Composite Squadron and Haseeb Khan of the National Capital Wing’s Challenger 1 Cadet Squadron.

Judges awarded 18 Balsem Awards, 16 Awards of Excellence and 14 Certificates of Merit. Combined with the Best in Show, a total of 49 awards were handed out.

The following awards were presented in 10 categories:

Brochure/Poster/Flyer
Balsem Award
“Missouri Wing Legislator eUpdate”
Lt. Col. David A. Miller
Group 2
Missouri Wing

Award of Excellence
“San Francisco Cadet Squadron 86 Recruiting Pamphlet”
Maj. Kenny Loui
San Francisco Cadet Squadron 86
California Wing

“Squadron Cards”
1st Lt. Mary Alvarado
Mount Airy Composite Squadron
Maryland Wing

Certificate of Merit
“Milwaukee Composite Squadron No. 5: Building Leaders for 65 Years
”Lt. Col. Stephen Michaels
Milwaukee Composite Squadron No. 5
Wisconsin Wing

Crisis Management
Balsem Award
“Southeast Region Coverage of Hurricanes Irma, Maria”
Southeast Region

Event Promotion
Balsem Award
“Partnership Promotion between CAP and MTSU”
Lt. Col. Andrew Oppmann
Headquarters
Southeast Region

“STEMful Night (Open House)”
1st Lt. Maria Klosterman
Sioux Falls Composite Squadron
South Dakota Wing

Award of Excellence
“Congressional Gold Medal for Frank Doolittle”
Maj. Franklin Birt
South Central Group
New York Wing

Certificate of Merit
“Snoopy Patch 50th Anniversary”
Lt. Col. Brian Berry
Sandy Springs Cadet Squadron
Georgia Wing

External Media Coverage of CAP
Balsem Award
“CAP Assists University’s Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico”
Lt. Col. Andrew Oppmann
Headquarters
Southeast Region

“Media in Flight”
Maj. Patrick White
Tallahassee Composite Squadron
Florida Wing

“Aerospace Education Outreach and AEM Recruitment”
1st Lt. Anna Filipkowski
Group 225
New Jersey Wing

“The Funeral of Capt. Albert Schlegel, WWII Flying Ace”
1st Lt. Rachael Mercer
Low Country Composite Squadron
South Carolina Wing

Certificate of Merit
“Wreaths Across St. Louis”
Lt. Col. David Miller
Group 2, Missouri Wing

“On a Mission”
Capt. Becky Postma-Kegley
Weatherford Patriot Squadron
Texas Wing

“Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony”
Maj. Wesley Flannell
Shawnee Composite Squadron
Illlinois Wing

“Wreaths Across America 2017”
Maj. Patrick White
Tallahassee Composite Squadron
Florida Wing,

Magazine
Award of Excellence
Bear Facts
Lt. Col. David Oberhettinger
San Fernando Senior Squadron 35
California Wing

Online Submissions
Balsem Award
Tennessee Wing

Photography
Balsem Award
“National Blue Beret”
Lt. Col. Daren Jaeger
Kansas Wing Headquarters

“Photography from Capt. Albert Schlegel Funeral”
Cadet 1st Lt. Lydia Eudy
Low Country Composite Squadron
South Carolina Wing

Award of Excellence
“Cyber”
Lt. Col. Paul Creed
Group III
Ohio Wing

“U.S. Congressman Visits Illinois Wing Group I”
Maj. Gregory Hoffeditz
Group 1
Illinois Wing

“Cadet Wilhite’s Baptism”
1st Lt. Katie Mazos
Topeka Eagle Composite Squadron
Kansas Wing

“Encampment Photographs”
“Wreaths Across America”
2nd Lt. Jill Restivo
Central California Group 6
California Wing,

Certificate of Merit
“Octagon Barn Festival”
Lt. Col. Mark Sinicki
Cass River Composite Squadron
Michigan Wing,

“Scott AFB 100th Anniversary Air Show”
Maj. Gregory Hoffeditz
Group 1
Illinois Wing

“Squadron Photos 2017: Anthology”
Maj. Patrick White
Tallahassee Composite Squadron
Florida Wing

“National Blue Beret Honor Flight”
Capt. Klara Olcott
388th Composite Squadron
Arizona Wing

“We Will Always Remember”
2nd Lt. Nancy Flanagan
Hampton Roads Composite Squadron
Virginia Wing,

Potpourri
Balsem Award
“75th Anniversary Billboard”
Lt. Col. Morgan Torp-Pedersen
Headquarters
Tennessee Wing

Slide/PowerPoint Presentation
Balsem Award
“GA045 Snoopy Log 17”
Lt. Col. Brian Berry
Sandy Springs Cadet Squadron
Georgia Wing

“Origins of CAP and Its World War II Coastal Patrol”
1st Lt. Alysia English
Headquarters
Georgia Wing

“NatCap 2017 Year in Review”
Cadet 1st Lt. Haseeb Khan
Challenger 1 Cadet Squadron
National Capital Wing

Award of Excellence
“FAA Wing Pilot Recruiting Presentation”
Maj. Barbara Buckner
Thunder Composite Squadron
Illinois Wing

“World of Public Affairs”
Capt. Alice Raatjes
Headquarters
Maryland Wing

Certificate of Merit
“Slide Presentation – Open House”
Lt. Col. Lawrence Webster
99th Composite SquadronArkansas Wing,

Social Media
Balsem Award
“Missouri Wing Facebook Group Page”
Lt. Col. David A. Miller
Group 2
Missouri Wing

Maj. William Vendramin
“Indiana Wing National Volunteer Week”
Headquarters
Indiana Wing

“North Carolina Wing Facebook Enhancements”
Capt. Lynne Albert
Headquarters
North Carolina Wing

“Joint Dakota Encampment 2017”
1st Lt. Maria Klosterman
Sioux Falls Composite Squadron
South Dakota Wing

Award of Excellence
“San Francisco Cadet Squadron 86 Facebook”
“San Francisco Cadet Squadron 86 Instagram”
Maj. Kenny Loui
San Francisco Cadet Squadron 86
California Wing

Certificate of Merit
“Maryland Wing Cadet Programs 75th Anniversary”
Lt. Col. Brenda Reed
Headquarters 
Maryland Wing

“National Capital Memorial Day Parade 2017”
2nd Lt. Nancy Flanagan
Hampton Roads Composite Squadron
Virginia Wing

Website
Balsem Award
“Sandy Springs Cadet Squadron Website”
Lt. Col. Brian Berry
Sandy Springs Cadet Squadron
Georgia Wing

Award of Excellence
“Missouri Wing Website”
Lt. Col. David Miller
Group 2
Missouri Wing

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Original article located at https://www.cap.news/top-public-affairs-efforts-honored-with-balsem-awards/

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