RCA Announces 2022 Award Winners, Fellows
Friday, August 26, 2022 | Comments

The Radio Club of America (RCA) announced its 2022 annual award recipients and its incoming class of fellows. Since 1935 RCA has recognized major contributors to wireless communications through its awards program. Eight awards were made, and five members were elevated to fellow status.

The 2022 awards and fellows ceremonies will be held at the RCA Awards Banquet in the Atlanta Georgia Hyatt Regency on November 19.

The awards recipients are announced each year. Nominations are accepted from anyone in the wireless industry, and the awards are in two broad categories: awards for anyone involved in wireless, and awards restricted to RCA members. At the same event, RCA elevates members to fellow status by invitation based on their contributions to RCA and to the arts and sciences of wireless or broadcast communications.

Past award recipients include dozens of legends who helped created the wireless industry including Edwin Armstrong, Martin Cooper, Jay Kitchen, Fred Link, Ted Rappaport, Henry Richter, Ulrich Rohde and Joseph Taylor.

RCA’s 2022 award recipients join a proud tradition of wireless legends. Each practitioner has dedicated significant time and talent toward the advancement or preservation of skills that advance the wireless industry.

The Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognizes very significant achievements and a major body of work accomplished over a lifetime that has advanced the art and science of wireless technology, went to Professor Akhlesh Lakhtakia. Lakhtakia has had a 40-plus year career in wireless. Currently, he is an Evan Pugh and Charles Godfrey Binder Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Pennsylvania State University. He is an expert in materials and electromagnetic wave modeling that are used in RF stealth applications, as well as in lasers, green engineering and biologically inspired design. He has received 43 honors and awards, is a U.S. State Department Jefferson Science Fellow, has authored or edited 27 books and refereed more than 940 journal papers.

The Wireless Innovation Award went to Arlene Harris. This award recognizes innovative concepts or products in use in the wireless industry. Harris is an accomplished entrepreneur, inventor, investor and policy advocate in the telecommunications industry. Harris is the president and co-founder of Dyna, an incubator and supporter of wireless ventures. She founded several wireless companies, including GreatCall that developed the Jitterbug cellphone for seniors. She has been awarded several patents and earned many awards. While a long time RCA fellow, she also co-founded the Wireless History Foundation.

Patti Ryg received the excellence in sales and marketing award. This award recognizes an individual who exhibits the “esprit de corps” of sales, marketing and promoting in the wireless industry. Ryg is a national dealer manager for Diga-Talk Plus, a nationwide provider of push-to-talk (PTT) over cellular (PoC) service. Her 38-year career has included sales positions in distribution with over 30 years with Hutton Communications in various roles, as well as Tait Communications as midwest territory manager.

Donald Root received the RCA Special Recognition Award . This award recognizes dedicated service to the Radio Club of America. Root has 47-plus years in emergency management and public-safety wireless communications. He is experienced in disaster and planned incident response and support. This award recognizes his service to RCA in the Membership Committee, the Member Services Senior and Retired Committee, and his work on the RCA website.

Evan Rolek also received the Special Recognition Award, which is presented to an individual who has worked tirelessly to support the Radio Club of America. For decades, Rolek has supported the RCA Youth Activities Program. His support provides resources for the various youth activity programs, and consequently to the future of wireless: our young people.

Edward M. Gable, K2MP, received the Barry Goldwater Amateur Radio Award. This award recognizes significant achievements of excellence in the engineering and manufacturing of radio equipment. Gable spent most of his career at Harris Corporation working on HF transmitters, receivers and antenna couplers. During the Apollo moon flight program, he worked on NASA’s unified S-band communications. Gable has made significant contributions to the Antique Wireless Association (AWA), American Radio Relay League (ARRL), Army Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) Program, and RCA, supporting amateur radio education and amateur operations.

Ellen O’Hara received the RCA Special Services Award. This award was established to recognize those RCA members who have performed significant work to advance the goals and objectives of the club. For decades O’Hara has held senior management and C- suite positions in the LMR industry, including the Industry Council for Emergency Technologies (iCERT), Zetron, EF Johnson Technologies, Motorola Solutions and GE Mobile Communications, now L3Harris. This award recognizes O’Hara’s work in leading multiple virtual RCA networking sessions for women in wireless.

Jim and Felicia Kreuzer received the Ralph Batcher Memorial Award. This award is presented to an RCA member for their significant work in preserving the history of radio and electronic communications. Jim and Felicia Kreuzer have made numerous contributions to historical preservation and educational efforts at the AWA and to RCA that include many exhibits, publications and programs. They generously provide resources to museums and libraries around the world on wireless history, specializing in Marconi and other early wireless topics. In 2022, they curated a new exhibit about RCA’s history at the AWA Museum.

Paul Scutieri received the President’s Award. This award recognizes the demonstration of unselfish dedication to the RCA’s work. Scutieri is a public-safety communications professional with more than 25 years of experience providing public-safety solutions at the federal, state, and local government levels. This award recognizes Mr. Scutieri’s leadership in bringing the RCA Mentor/Mentee Program to fruition and for his prior work on the RCA Banquet Committee.

This year’s RCA fellows are Lynn Bisha, Professor James Breakall, Neil Horden, Jason Kern and Pete Varounis. Elevation to Fellow is made by invitation to members who are in good standing for at least five years, in recognition of their contributions to the art and science of radio communications, broadcast, or to RCA.

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