2014 Philip J. McGan Silver Antenna Award

From the minutes of the July 2015 meeting of the Board of Directors of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL):

29. On motion of Mr. Norris, seconded by Dr. Boehner, the following resolution was ADOPTED (with applause):


WHEREAS, Randy Thompson, K5ZD, has demonstrated outstanding volunteer public relations success on behalf of Amateur Radio for many years at the local, regional, and national levels as an active contester and Elmer; and


WHEREAS, he has fostered an environment that significantly increases public awareness of Amateur Radio, including through his association with the World Radiosport Team Championship (“WRTC”) event in 2014; and


WHEREAS, his active promotion of the WRTC2014 event, and Amateur Radio in general, encompasses several years of effort promoting the WRTC2014 event as “the Olympics of Ham Radio”; and


WHEREAS, his efforts in promoting WRTC2014 resulted in national-level coverage of Amateur Radio in the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio’s “Only A Game” program and many local and regional media outlets where WRTC2014 participants lived;


THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED the ARRL Board of Directors, at the recommendation of the ARRL Public Relations Committee, awards the 2015 Philip J McGan Silver Antenna Award to Randy Thompson, K5ZD.

More about the award: http://www.arrl.org/phil-mcgan-award

I was the leader of marketing and communications for the World Radiosport Team Championship 2014 (WRTC2014) that was held in Boston during July 2014. With the help of Michelle McGrath we were able to receive press attention for the event in numerous local newspapers, the Wall Street Journal, and the NPR show Only a Game. We also did a campaign to get press in the hometown newspapers of some of the USA and Canadian competitors.  Check out some of the results on the WRTC2014 site In the Media page.

I was very surprised to receive this honor.  Thanks to Doug K1DG for nominating me and to ARRL for the recognition of our efforts.  It is always hard to measure the results of such activities. It was our hope that WRTC2014 and the concept of radio as a sport would provide a potential point of interest for people outside the hobby to become interested in amateur radio.