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SPECIAL ANNUAL AWARDS

Special-Annual-Awards for Kiting

Do you know someone in the kite community who should be recognized?

We are starting to collect nominations for the various awards the AKA hands out at the Annual Convention in October. Help us out and let us know who you think should be recognized.  

These are the highest awards given by our association, recognizing kitefliers who have made significant and inspirational contributions to the AKA and kiting in general. Many of these individuals have helped to shape the face of kiting in North America and around the world.

  • Presidential Awards
  • Volunteer of the Year

    Volunteer of the Year

  • Regional Director of the Year

    Regional Director of the Year

  • Kite Club of the Year

    Kite Club of the Year

  • Shining Star Award

    Shining Star Award

STEVE EDEIKEN KITEFLIER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Whereas Steve Edeiken was amongst the best-loved, most respected, and most active members of the American Kitefliers Association and, Whereas, Steve Edeiken died in a tragic kiting accident on September 24, 1983; Therefore, the American Kitefliers Association does establish the ‘STEVE EDEIKEN MEMORIAL KITEFLIER OF THE YEAR AWARD”.

The award will be presented at the American Kitefliers Association (AKA) annual convention (AKA) to a member who will be selected and announced as “The Kiteflier of the Year.” The award recipient will be presented a traveling trophy for one year being returned to AKA in time for the next annual convention.

The trophy will be inscribed with each recipient’s name, providing at least twenty names thereon. The recipient will also receive a suitable plaque that will remain permanently in possession of each recipient.

The Kiteflier of the Year will be a person who, during their lifetime, will have shown friendly, loving, fair, and even-handed concern for:

  • People in general, but kitefliers in particular.
  • Kiteflying in general, but for craftsmanship and technical developments in particular.
  • Communication in general, but for leading and participating in kite events in particular.

It is the American Kitefliers Association’s opinion that these criteria best exemplify the character of Steve Edeiken. The Selection Committee will weigh their choice 25% to nominee’s activities during the latest twelve months and 75% to past activities.

The committee shall consist of seven members:

  1. Erin Edeiken
  2. The current and two most recent past presidents of the AKA
  3. The three most recent past recipients of the award.

The current President of the AKA will chair the Committee. Under no circumstances may any individual occupy more than one position or cast more than one vote on this committee.

Substitutions will take place as follows:

  1. If Erin Edeiken cannot or chooses not to participate in a given year, the president will appoint a well-respected substitute from the ranks of the membership.
  2. If a past president is unavailable, ineligible, or is the current president, the next preceding past president will substitute.
  3. If a past recipient is unavailable, ineligible, or already occupying a presidential seat on the committee, the next preceding past recipient will substitute.
  4. If a vacancy still exists, the President shall appoint a well-respected substitute from the membership ranks.

An invitation to nominate will be announced to the membership at large. The chair will designate a schedule for nominations and committee review to allow selection and an announcement during the annual convention.

Nominations will be accepted from members of the AKA and must be seconded and signed by (2) other AKA members. Members may submit or second only one nomination in any given year. Nominations shall be in writing and include specific examples of the nominee’s kiting activities.

Each committee member shall rank the nominations in his/her preference (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) and return his/her ranking to the chairperson no later than one week before the first day of the convention. The chairperson shall total the place-finish numbers of the nominees. The selectee will be the nominee with the lowest number. In the event of a tie, the chairperson shall cast a tie-breaking vote. This award doesn’t need to be conferred every year if, in the committee’s judgment, no person nominated meets the standards for this award. 

The details of voting and the results thereof will be shared with the committee members before inscribing the permanent and traveling trophies. The committee will not disclose the name of the selectee until the proper time. The details of voting will not be disseminated beyond the members of the committee. The final selection must be communicated to those with an organizational need to know no later than three weeks before the convention’s first day.

At the proper time during the AKA national convention awards banquet, the chairperson or their designate will announce the nominees and the selectee’s names.

Recent Winners of the Steve Edeiken Kiteflier of the Year Award (click on name to see full nomination)

ROBERT M INGRAHAM VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD

Robert Ingraham founded the AKA in 1964. Until his passing in 1994, he was an avid kiteflier, kite maker, and above all, a promoter of the fellowship of kite flying. This award was originally given by Bob personally to outstanding kitefliers from the Southwest and presented in Bob’s hometown at the Silver City, New Mexico, kite festival. After Bob’s death, the AKA decided to continue the tradition of presenting this award but changed it to commemorate and honor the Founder of the AKA by presenting the award to:

Kitefliers, who, during their lifetime career in kiting, have exemplified outstanding volunteerism and service to the American Kitefliers Association, and who, in the true spirit of Robert Ingraham, have given unselfishly of their time to help the AKA and promote kiting in general.

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The committee shall consist of seven members:

  1. The current and three most recent past presidents of the AKA
  2. The three most recent past recipients of the award.

The current President of the AKA will chair the Committee. Under no circumstances may any individual occupy more than one position or cast more than one vote on this committee.

 

Substitutions will take place as follows:

  1. If a past president is unavailable, ineligible, or is the current president, the next preceding past president will substitute.
  2. If a past recipient is unavailable, ineligible, or already occupying a presidential seat on the committee, the next preceding past recipient will substitute.
  3. If a vacancy still exists, the President shall appoint a well-respected substitute from the membership ranks.

An invitation to nominate will be announced to the membership at large. The chair will designate a schedule for nominations and committee review to allow selection and an announcement during the annual convention.

Nominations will be accepted from the AKA members and must be seconded and signed by (2) other AKA members. Members may submit or second only one nomination in any given year. Nominations shall be in writing and include specific examples of the nominee’s activities.

Each committee member shall rank the nominations in his/her preference (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) and return his/her ranking to the chairperson no later than one week before the first day of the convention. The chairperson shall total the place-finish numbers of the nominees. The selectee will be the nominee with the lowest number. In the event of a tie, the chairperson shall cast a tie-breaking vote. This award doesn’t need to be conferred every year if, in the committee’s judgment, no person nominated meets the standards for this award.

 

The details of voting and the results thereof will be shared with the committee members before inscribing the permanent and traveling trophies. The committee will not disclose the name of the selectee until the proper time. The details of voting will not be disseminated beyond the members of the committee. The final selection must be communicated to those with an organizational need to know no later than three weeks before the first day of the convention.

At the proper time during the AKA national convention awards banquet, the chairperson or their designate will announce the nominees and the selectee’s names.

Recent Winners of the ROBERT M INGRAHAM VOLUNTEER of the Year Award (click on title to see full nomination)

LEE TOY KITE ARTIST OF THE YEAR AWARD

Kite vagabond, author, artist, and beloved kiter, Lee Toy, filled the world with his creative energies, enormous talent, kindness, good humor, and zest for life. Born in California and raised there and in Wisconsin, Lee worked in several artistic mediums and kite styles emphasizing fighter kites.

Viewing kite flying as a metaphor for life, he promoted the joy of kiting around the world. His true gift inspired others to explore the wide world of kites and see them as authentic art forms. Lee built kites as a kid, became an architect along the way, and helped lead the kite scene at Marina Green in San Francisco in the 1970s. In the 1980s, he relocated to his ultimate kite workshop/home in Scottsdale. His small book, Flight Patterns, gave wise insights with several excellent plans. Lee passed away in late 1992 and is still missed terribly by his family and many kite friends.

The American Kitefliers Association (AKA) establishes the LEE TOY MEMORIAL KITE ARTIST.

AWARD. The award will be presented at the annual convention of the AKA to a member selected as the Kite Artist of the Year. The recipient will receive a traveling award to be held by the recipient for one year and returned for the following convention. The award will be inscribed with the name of each past recipient. Each recipient will receive a plaque that will remain with them.

The Kite Artist of the Year recognizes an artist s body of original work or their commitment to kites as an art and their ability to inspire others in recognizing the uniqueness of kites as art. The Artist of the Year demonstrates a willingness to teach, explore, and innovate to promote kites within the AKA membership or the broader community. The recipient also shows a clear generosity of spirit and willingness to share their energies in promoting kites as an art form. The recipient must be a member of the AKA.

The AKA believes the above criteria best exemplifies the character of Lee Toy.

The selection committee shall consist of seven members who shall all be AKA members:

  1. Sunny Toy or another member of the Toy family
  2. The two most recent past recipients of the Lee Toy Memorial award
  3. The current and most recent past president of the AKA.
  4. Two current members of AKA s Kite Art Committee.

The committee will be chaired by the current president of the AKA. No person may occupy more than one position or cast more than one vote on the committee.

 

Substitutions will be made as follows:

  1. If Sunny Toy or a member of the Toy family is unavailable, they may appoint a substitute for that year.
  2. If the past president is unavailable, the next preceding past president will substitute.
  3. If a past recipient is unavailable, ineligible or already occupying another seat on the committee, the next preceding past recipient will substitute.
  4. The chair of the Kite Art Committee shall appoint the two committee members.
  5. If a vacancy still exists, the AKA president shall appoint a knowledgeable substitute.

An invitation to nominate award recipients will be announced to the membership at large. A schedule for close of nominations and selection committee review will be designated by the committee chair to ensure timely selection and announcement at the annual convention.

Nominations will be accepted from AKA members and must be seconded and signed by at least two other AKA members. Members may submit or second only one nomination in any given year. 

Nominations shall be in writing and include specific examples of how the nominee’s kite activities fit the award criteria.

 

Each member of the selection committee shall independently rank the nominations by listing their preferences (i.e. 1st, 2nd , 3rd, etc.) and returning their ranking to the chairperson within the time deadline designated by the chair.

The chairperson shall total the place finish numbers of the nominees. The award recipient will be the person with the lowest number. The chairperson shall cast a tie-breaking vote if necessary.

 

It is not necessary that this award be conferred every year if, in the judgment of the committee, no person nominated meets the criteria for the award. The details and results of the voting will be shared with members of the committee as soon as those votes are tallied and prior to an inscription on the award. The committee members may not disclose the names of the selected award recipient nor details regarding the voting. The final selection must be communicated to those with an organizational need to know, no later than three weeks before the first day of the convention.

At the appropriate time during the AKA convention awards banquet, the chairperson or designate shall announce the nominees’ names and the person selected.

Effective 2008:

The recipient will receive a traveling award to be held by the recipient for one year and returned for the following convention. The award will be inscribed with the name of each past recipient. Each recipient will receive a plaque that will remain with them.

Recent Winners of the LEE TOY KITE ARTIST of the Year Award (click on title to see full nomination)

PRESIDENTIAL AWARDS

Awarded at the discretion of the AKA President, these awards recognize individuals that have demonstrated outstanding effort within the Kiting Community.

Volunteer of the year award

This award is presented to an individual or group that embodies what it means to be a volunteer. Whether it is helping take care of other kite fliers on the field or helping out with festival set up and tear down, kids kite building, engagement with the public, and more.

2021 – Ron Miller
2019 – Marla Miller
2018 – The Nguyen Family
2017 – Cliff Quinn
2016 – Nic O’Neill
2015 – Bob Kelly
2014 – Catherine Gabrel
2014 – Bob Kelly
2012 – Directors/Officers Significant Others
2011 – Joh Gillespie and Susan Skinner
2010 – Bob Wendt
2009 – Jon Burkhardt
2008 – Bernard Fourniere
2007 – Richard Dermer
2006 – Tracy Erzin
2005 – Russ Faulk, Steve Hall, and Christine Miller
2004 – Stephanie Hiebert
2003 – Charles Stewart
2002 – Rick Lossi
2001 – Steve Ferrel
2000 – Phil Broder
1999 – Terry Sansom
1998 – Ron and Charm Lindner
1997 – Brooks Leffler
1996 – Chuck Sigal
1995 – Carolyn Moore
1994 – Darrin Skinner

Regional Director of the Year Award

This award is given to a Regional Director that has demonstrated outstanding effort in promoting kiting within their region and beyond. As the first line of contact with members in their area, the Regional Director of the Year will have distinguished themselves with open communication and representing the core values of the AKA.

2021 – Glen Rothstein
2019 – Phillip Whittaker
2018 – Brett Morris
2017 – Brett Morris
2016 – Brett Morris
2015 – Greg Lamoureux
2014 – Jack Wilson
2013 – Brett Morris
2012 – Ed Grys
2011 Will Smoot
2010 – Greg Lamourex
2009 – Marla Miller
2008 – Todd Little
2007 – Linda Sanders
2006 – Don Murphy
2005 – Marla Miller
2004 – Todd Little
2003 – Gayle Woodul
2002 – Jim Martin
2001 – Steve Santos
2000 – Alice Hayden
1999 – Troy Gunn
1998 – Robin Haas
1997 – Alan Sparling
1996 – Darrin Skinner
1995 – Robyne Gardner
1994 – Kevin Shannon
1993 – Suzanne Edison
1992 – Al Hargus
1991 – Richard Dermer

Kite Club of the Year Award

This award recognizes an AKA-affiliated kite club’s accomplishments in promoting the AKA and kites within their local communities.

2021 – South Jersey Kite Club
2019 – Tulsa Wind Riders
2018 – Kites Over New England
2017 – Wisconsin Kiters
2016 – Rogue Valley Windchasers
2015 – Washington Kitefliers Association
2014 – Wisconsin Kiters
2013 – Kiting Tampa Bay
2011 – Keystone Kites
2010 – Westport Windriders
2009 – Hoosier Kitefliers Society
2008 – Richmond Air Force
2007 – White Horse Kite Fliers
2006 – South Jersey Kite Fliers
2005 – Bay Area Sport Kite League

Shining Star Award

The Shining Star Award is intended to recognize the person or group making waves online for the kite community. This award can be awarded to any member or nonmember and is meant as a way of saying. Thank you for doing so much work online to help bring attention to our community.

2019 – Gary Mark
2018 –  John Barresi

MORE RESOURCES

Leadership

The AKA is managed by an Executive Committee and Regional Directors representing regions within the United States and Internationally.

Special Programs

The AKA manages a number of special programs to serve the Kiting Community.

ABOUT AKA

Learn more about the AKA and its Mission to share the joy of kiting.