Awards

How We Recognize Outstanding Achievement

AFPAAA Awards


Mike McRaney
Distinguished Service Award

Each year since 2000, AFPAAA has presented its highest honor to an individual who has provided extraordinary and distinguished service to the Association.

In honor of the Distinguished Service Award's first recipient, Brig. Gen. Mike McRaney, the Association's founding President and Board Chairman and former director of SAF/PA, the award was renamed the "Mike McRaney Distinguished Service Award" in 2001.

To receive the award, awardees must receive unanimous approval from the Association's Board of Directors.

Award nominations can be made by any AFPAAA member following these guidelines.

See the list of award winners.

Read Gen. McRaney's official Air Force biography.

Brig. Gen. James W. Hart, Jr.
Best of the Best Award

Since 1995, AFPAAA has teamed with SAF/PA to recognize one outstanding individual as the "Best of the Best" from all nominated bandsmen, broadcasters, multimedia, and PA professionals. In 2017, the award was renamed the "Brig. Gen. James W. Hart, Jr. Best of the Best Award" in honor of AFPAAA founder, long time treasurer, and board member Jim Hart.

Selected on the basis of professional excellence and significant contributions to the Air Force misson, the winner receives an engraved trophy and $1,000 from AFPAAA.

See the list of award winners.

Read about 2019's "Best of the Best" - TSgt Laura Beckley - and all of the Air Force's 2019 Public Affairs Award winners.

Read Gen. Hart's official Air Force biography.

AFPAAA President's
Award

The "AFPAAA President's Award" is presented to individuals who are leaders in their particular field or who developed pioneering programs and policies that impact Air Force Public Affairs.

An individual does not have to be an AFPAAA member to be considered for the President's Award.

Whether the person is active, retired, a civilian employee, or a community leader, what counts is the contribution he or she has made to the Public Affairs community.

To be selected, an individual must be nominated by the sitting AFPAAA President, and then receive unanimous approval from all past-Presidents.

See the list of award winners.

Mike McRaney
Distinguished Service Award Recipients

  • 2000

  • Mike McRaney
  • 2001

  • Pete Alexandrakos
  • 2002

  • Alice Price
  • 2003

  • Neil Buttimer
  • 2004

  • David Shea
  • 2005

  • John Gura
  • 2006

  • David Schillerstrom
  • 2007

  • Joe Purka
  • 2008

  • John Terino
  • 2009

  • Linda Arnold
  • 2010

  • Ron Rand
  • 2011

  • David Smith
  • 2012

  • Sam Giammo
  • 2013

  • Hal Smarkola
  • 2014

  • Bud Ross
  • 2015

  • Jim McGuire and Hank Hufnagel
  • 2016

  • Mark Foutch
  • 2017

  • Jim Hart
  • 2018

  • Phil Ratliff
  • 2019

  • Judy Bivens

Brig. Gen. James W. Hart, Jr.
Best of the Best Award Recipients

  • 1994

  • Senior Airman James H. Cunningham III
  • 1995

  • Captain Brett E. Morris
  • 1996

  • Captain Michael J. Paoli
  • 1997

  • Staff Sergeant Anthony Jacob
  • 1998

  • Staff Sergeant William M. Hickman, Jr.
  • 1999

  • Major Frank Smolinsky
  • 2000

  • Captain John S. Haynes
  • 2001

  • Master Sergeant Kenneth E. Fidler
  • 2002

  • Lieutenant Colonel Stephen D. Clutter
  • 2003

  • Lieutenant Colonel Jon K. Anderson
  • 2004

  • Lieutenant Colonel Roger S. Murray
  • 2005

  • Senior Master Sergeant Stefan Alford
  • 2006

  • Technical Sergeant Tara A. O'Brien
  • 2007

  • Lieutenant Colonel John J. Thomas
  • 2008

  • Technical Sergeant Sean M. Worrell
  • 2009

  • Captain Joseph A. Coslett
  • 2010

  • Staff Sergeant Julianne M. Showalter
  • 2011

  • First Lieutenant Belena S. Marquez
  • 2012

  • Senior Master Sergeant Timothy W. Cook
  • 2013

  • Staff Sergeant Roidan A. Carlson
  • 2014

  • Ms. Ann M. Stefanek
  • 2015

  • Mr. Anthony D. Roake
  • 2016

  • Major Bryan Bouchard
  • 2017

  • Senior Airman Nicolas Myers
  • 2018

  • Master Sergeant David A. Salanitri
  • 2019

  • Technical Sergeant Laura J. Beckley

AFPAAA President's
Award Recipients

  • 2001

  • Frank W. Jennings
  • William I. Greener
  • John T. Correll

  • 2002

  • H. J. "Jerry" Dalton
  • Chuck Lucas
  • Terry Hemeyer

  • 2003

  • Reed Switzer
  • Carroll V. "CV" Glines
  • Keith Ferris


  • 2004

  • Thomas C. Reed
  • David O. Schillerstrom

  • 2005

  • James W. Hart, Jr.
  • William T. Coleman, Jr.

  • 2006

  • Willis L. "Bill" Helmantoler
  • Betty Jane Williams

  • 2007

  • Linda A. Arnold
  • Larry McCracken

  • 2008

  • Richard F. Abel
  • Charles H. Powers
  • David E. Smith

  • 2009

  • David J. Shea
  • Michael G. Caldwell

  • 2010

  • Neil J. Buttimer
  • Salvatore "Sam" J. Giammo

  • 2011

  • Foy S. McNaughton


  • 2012

  • Michael I. Burch
  • William A. Barksdale

  • 2013

  • John A. Worthington
  • Curtis Bottesch

  • 2014

  • Les A. Kodlick
  • Robert G. McCullough

  • 2015

  • Louis J. Timmons
  • Arnald D. Gabriel

  • 2016

  • Brian A. Binn
  • Darren W. McDew

  • 2017

  • Kathleen A. Cook
  • Clifford H. "Cliff" Long

  • 2018

  • Ken Hackman
  • Garrett Harencak

  • 2019

  • Stacy L. Pearsall
  • Mark Bell

2019 Air Force Public Affairs
Award Winners


Best of the Best:

TSgt Laura J. Beckley, 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs, Dover AFB, Del., was named the "Best of the Best" in Air Force Public Affairs for 2019.

TSgt Laura Beckley Best of the Best 2019

TSgt. Beckley is the Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of Command Information assigned to the 436th Public Affairs office at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. She enlisted in the Air Force in 2009 and has served in a variety of positions and assignments to include wing Public Affairs, American Forces Network, Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations and Joint Information Operations.

You can read more about TSgt Beckley in her very impressive biography here.



Individual and Team Awards:

In addition to recognizing TSgt. Beckley as the "Best of the Best", SAF/PA director Brig. General Ed Thomas announced the Individual Awards for Communication Excellence winners and the Air Force Public Affairs Directors Excellence Award team winners for 2019.

Individual Awards for Communication Excellence:

Outstanding Communication Airman: SrA Collette A. Brooks, 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, Misawa AB, Japan.

Staff Sergeant Christopher S. Frost Outstanding Communication Noncommissioned Officer: TSgt Laura J. Beckley, 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs, Dover AFB, Del.

Outstanding Communication Senior Noncommissioned Officer: MSgt Jeffrey P. Curtin, 1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs, Hurlburt Field, Fla.

Airman 1st Class Darryl G. Winters Award for Combat Communication: A1C Kelly C. Walker, 1st Combat Camera Squadron, Joint Base Charleston, S.C.

Capt. Bradley R. Schuldt Outstanding Communication Company Grade Officer: Capt Lyndsey L. Horn, 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs, Travis AFB, Calif.

Outstanding Communication Field Grade Officer: Lt Col Christina R. Hoggatt, HQ Air Force Space Command Public Affairs, Peterson AFB, Colo.

Outstanding Communication Civilian Category I: Ms. Veronica A. Aceveda, 512th Airlift Wing Public Affairs, Dover AFB, Del.

Outstanding Communication Civilian Category II: Ms. Rebekah C. Mattes, 57th Wing Public Affairs, Nellis AFB, Nev.

Outstanding Communication Civilian Category III: Ms. Leslie E. Finstein, Secretary of the Air Force Office of Public Affairs, Pentagon.

Air Force Public Affairs Directors Excellence Award team winners:

Brig Gen Harry J. Dalton, Jr., Award for the most effective unit-level communication program: 48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom.

Maj Henry H. "Hap" Arnold Award for Public Affairs Communication Effectiveness: HQ Air Force Space Command Public Affairs, Peterson AFB, Colo. Small team members: Ms. Meaghan Dorroh, Mr. Jacob Mosolf, Ms. Amber Whittington, Mr. David Grim, SSgt Justin Armstrong, SSgt Dennis Hoffman II, 2Lt Kristen Shimkus, Capt Lauren Hill, Capt David Liapis, Lt Col Christina Hoggatt.

Best Crisis Communication: 18th Wing Public Affairs, Kadena AB, Japan. Small team members: Ms. Sharise Eldredge, Ms. Yolanda Pone, Capt Katy Blessing, Capt Christina Benitez, Special Agent Meggan McMains, Special Agent Michael Christmas, Lt Col Joel Foster, Lt Col Christy Stravolo, Col Theresa Goodman, Col Jason Wrachford.

Best Innovation: U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs, Colo. Small team members: Ms. Jennifer Spradlin, Mr. Raymond Bowden, TSgt Jose Rodriguez, TSgt Charles Rivezzo, MSgt Julius Delos Reyes.