NV9L, is 'Amateur of The Year,' as Hamvention Announces Award Winners:
The ARRL Letter
March 8, 2018
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Valerie Hotzfeld, NV9L, is 'Amateur of The Year,' as Hamvention Announces Award Winners:
Valerie Hotzfeld, NV9L, of Crescent City, Illinois, is the 2018
Hamvention "Amateur of the Year." The Hamvention Awards Committee --
chaired by Michael Kalter, W8CI, and Frank Beafore, WS8B -- this week
announced its 2018 award recipients for Club of the Year, Technical
Achievement, and Special Achievement.
"I am extremely honored to even be nominated for Amateur of the
Year, let alone to win this award," Hotzfeld told ARRL. "I would like
to thank the Hamvention Awards Committee. Their decision must have been
a tough one, as I am certain the other nominees have done an
outstanding job representing this hobby too. I would also like to thank
those who mentored me throughout my different learning phases of this
hobby. Not only has Amateur Radio been a life-changing experience for
me, there are so many helpful hams in this hobby that it just feels
natural to give back."
First licensed in 2006, Hotzfeld has been very active in local Amateur
Radio clubs and in ARES. Once she "discovered" HF, she became obsessed
with DXing and contesting. In the past few years, she has enjoyed
inviting new hams to her station to DX or contest. She has been the
pilot or lead pilot for four major DXpeditions. Hotzfeld also is a
co-host of the Ham Nation webcast and has created how-to videos on
YouTube for the ham radio community.
In 2017, Hotzfeld became engaged in public service, first traveling to
Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey to help rescue small animals. She
subsequently was deployed to Puerto Rico with the American Red Cross
for 3 weeks as part of an Amateur Radio volunteer contingent,
facilitating critical communications after Hurricane Maria.
Club of the Year
The Portage County Amateur Radio Service (PCARS
http://www.portcars.org/) of Ravenna, Ohio, is Hamvention's 2018 Club
of the Year. PCARS was established in November 2005, and it is an
ARRL-Affiliated Special Service Club. PCARS members average more than
40 hours of club activities each month, including special interest
groups, license training, contesting run from the club site (K8BF), and
club social events.
"Our members cover a wide range of interests that allow us to support
public safety organizations, student outreach programs, and activities
focused on growing our hobby," the club told the Hamvention Awards
Committee. "We love to share our experiences and have a requirement
that our events be filled with a lot of fun. Members have joined PCARS
because of all the activities and fun we have."
The club donated more than $6,000 in time and money to the community
last year. It has created its own contests and events, including the
annual Freeze Your Acorns Off in February and Ohio State Parks on the
Air, which was used as a model for ARRL's year-long National Parks on
the Air event in 2016.
PCARS sponsors several "Build Days" each year, with projects including
home-built transceivers, antennas, and digital equipment to allow
members to expand their horizons into new areas of Amateur Radio. A
monthly "Get on the Air Day" lets members and non-members use club site
equipment to learn about HF and new operating modes. "It is all about
building our hobby, helping our community, building our skills, and,
most of all, having fun," PCARS said.
Technical Achievement Award
Chip Cohen, W1YW, of Belmont, Massachusetts, has received the
Hamvention 2018 Technical Achievement Award. Licensed for 52 years and
bitten by the antenna bug, Cohen became a radio astronomer and
astrophysicist, working at Arecibo, the National Radio Astronomy
Observatory (NRAO), the Very Large Array (VLA), and others. While a
professor at Boston University, Cohen connected fractal geometry with
antennas, pioneering a paradigm shift in the design of fractal antennas
and what they make possible. The holder of 41 US patents, Cohen is
known for inventing the invisibility cloak using fractal antenna
Starting 30 years ago with simple flea market treasures, W1YW
bootstrapped fractal antennas with modest gear and employed ham radio
to report on the success of his new technology. He started Fractal
Antenna Systems, Inc. with WA1ZWT (SK) in 1995, and is presently its
Cohen is a DXCC Top of the Honor Roll DXer and a strong advocate for
technical "innovation culture" through Amateur Radio. He is a Life
Member of ARRL and a Fellow of the Radio Club of America, where he has
served as vice president and director.
Special Achievement Award
Heriberto Perez, KK4DCX; Victor Torres, WP4SD, and Emilio Ortiz Jr.,
WP4KEY, are Hamvention's 2018 Special Achievement Award winners. In the
wake of Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico last September,
Perez mobilized his radio equipment to Radio Sol in San Germán, the
local public broadcasting station, accompanied by Torres and Ortiz. The
team handled health-and-welfare traffic to thousands of families across
the continental US. Thanks to the support of more than 45 radio
amateurs across the US, more than 4,000 messages were delivered via
telephone to anxious families.
"We would like to thank everyone who nominated a candidate," the
committee said in announcing the award recipients. "The process is
always difficult." A formal awards presentation will take place this
May at Hamvention 2018 in Xenia, Ohio.
The ARRL Letter
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