Dayton Hamvention® has announced its 2021 award winners. Hamvention Awards Committee co-Chairs Michael Kalter, W8CI, and Frank Beafore, WS8B, said that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hamvention committee elected to go forward in announcing its selection of outstanding radio amateurs and predicted that Hamvention will return in 2022.
Amateur of the Year
Angel M. Vazquez, Jr., WP3R, the head of telescope operations and Puerto Rico Coordination Zone Spectrum Manager for Puerto Rico’s famous Arecibo Observatory, was cited as Amateur of the Year for “his unswerving and diligent support of amateur radio throughout the entire territory of Puerto Rico and worldwide.”
Although he was born in Puerto Rico, Vazquez grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and returned to Puerto Rico after college in 1977, taking a job at the Arecibo Observatory. Vazquez earned his amateur radio license in 1993, and headed the 2010 moonbounce effort from the observatory, as well as multiple special events using the KP4AO club call sign. He enjoys contesting and DXing.
Vazquez helped to provide communication support in the wake of Hurricane Maria. He was named Amateur of the Year in Puerto Rico in 2018 and received the Yasme Excellence Award in 2019. He’s also a Volunteer Examiner and inaugurated the first virtual/online bilingual testing program as part of the Greater Los Angeles Amateur Radio Group (GLAARG) VEC.
Tamitha Skov, WX6SWW, is well-known as the Space Weather Woman. Calling her “a real space pioneer,” the Awards Committee said those who have seen her spaceweather forecasting shows will agree that she is energetic and excited about her work.
A credentialed spaceweather forecaster, Skov’s forecasting work is widely known on social media and has been featured in several publications, as well as on TV. Her weekly spaceweather video podcasts are frequently featured on www.qrz.com, and she regularly appears on other amateur radio-related media. Skov said she specifically got her ham license in 2018 to better understand and serve the needs of the amateur radio community. She has taught at Contest University and delivered presentations for ARRL, Dayton Hamvention, and amateur radio clubs around the world.
Professionally, Skov is a research scientist for The Aerospace Corporation. She also teaches the art of spaceweather forecasting to meteorologists at Millersville University and is working with ARRL and HamSCI to create educational materials.
Wesley Lamboley, W3WL, was nominated by his peers for his lifelong, high energy support for the science and art of amateur radio. “Not only has he supported youth coaching, membership recruiting, and technical problem assistance, he always does it with a smile and great humor,” the Awards Committee said. Lamboley spent 40 years in the aerospace industry as a technical writer, electrical and systems engineer, and manager. Introduced to amateur radio in 1955 when a friend invited him to Field Day, Lamboley credits ham radio for much of his success.
“Many mentors helped me and I try to pay it forward as best I can, especially for young people,” he said. He’s also participated in several DXpeditions, and five Southwest Ohio DX Association “DXpedition of the Year” plaques adorn his ham shack.
Club of the Year
The Hamvention Awards Committee named the ARRL-affiliated Vienna Wireless Society (VWS), K4HTA, in Virginia as the Club of the Year. “As always, it is very difficult to choose the club of the year as we receive many deserving club nominations from around the world,” the Awards Committee said. The committee shared that VWS’s 280 members focus on youth education and public service, and promote the growth of ham radio. The club is now the largest and most active in the Washington, DC, area.
“Our priorities are fostering a fun and inclusive environment, building camaraderie, and focusing on the key areas of service, education, and communication,” VWS said. “We have a mentor team that encourages and provides equipment to new hams.” The club offers licensing classes, workshops, and four educational programs a month at its meetings, and these are archived for broader use. Their annual Winterfest is host to the ARRL Virginia Section Convention. The Vienna Wireless Society operates two repeaters in the DC area, and actively supports public service communications.