Frank J. Beafore / WS8B – Michael Kalter / W8CI
The Hamvention Awards committee is very excited and pleased to announce the winners of the four Hamvention 2018 awards. Co-chairs Michael Kalter, W8CI, and Frank Beafore, WS8B, said, “We would like to thank everyone who nominated a candidate. The process is always difficult and the Awards Committee reached agreement on the following winners. Please join us in congratulating these outstanding 2018 winners.”

Club of the Year:

The Portage County Amateur Radio Service

The Portage County Amateur Radio Service (PCARS) was established in November of 2005.  It is an ARRL Affiliated Club and an ARRL Special Service Club.

PCARS has an average of 43 hours of club activities per month including special interest groups, license training, contests run from our club site, 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.  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.

We have created our own contests and events including our annual Freeze Your Acorns Off in February and Ohio State Parks on the Air that was used as a model for the ARRL’s™ NPOTA contest.  We have also donated time and money to our community including over $6,000 in 2017.

We have several   “Build Days” each year where we have projects covering home built transceivers, antennas, and digital equipment to allow members to inexpensively grow into new areas of the hobby.  Each month we have at least one GOTA (Get On the Air Day) where members and non-members can use club site equipment to learn about HF and new modes of operation.  It is all about building our hobby, helping our community, building our skills and most of all having fun.

 Amateur of The Year:
Valerie Hotzfeld, NV9L

Valerie Hotzfeld NV9L, was first licensed in 2006. After being very active in her local amateur radio clubs and ARES, she discovered HF. This is when 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 is a co-host on the show “Ham Nation” and has created several “how to” videos on YouTube for the ham radio community. She also enjoys delivering various presentations via Skype to amateur radio clubs across the U.S. She’s been the pilot or lead pilot for four major Dxpeditions.

She is currently the treasurer for her contest club and the prize chairman for W9DXCC and SMC-fest. In 2017, she became very active in public service; going to Texas after hurricane Harvey to help rescue small animals as well as being deployed to Puerto Rico with the American Red Cross for 3 weeks as part of the “Force of 50” providing critical amateur radio communications after hurricane Maria. Amateur radio has enriched her life, because of the challenges and great friends this hobby brings.

Technical Achievement Award:
Chip Cohen, W1YW

Chip Cohen, W1YW has been a radio amateur for 52 years. Bitten by the antenna bug, he became a professional radio astronomer and astrophysicist, using the world’s biggest antennas at Arecibo, VLA, Haystack, NRAO, and many others. While a professor at Boston University, he connected fractal geometry with antennas, pioneering a paradigm shift on how antennas are designed, what they make possible, and has seen fractal antennas enable millions, save lives, and make life easier.

Starting with simple flea market treasures 30 years ago, W1YW bootstrapped fractal antennas with modest gear and employed ham radio exclusively to prove out and report this new technology. Fractal antennas are ham-grown. He started Fractal Antenna Systems, Inc. with WA1ZWT (SK) in 1995, and is presently CEO. An inventor with 41 US patent, W1YW is also known for inventing the invisibility cloak, using fractal antenna techniques to make it possible.

Chip is an avid DXer with 355 countries , DXCC Top of the Honor Roll, and is a strong cheerleader for technical ‘innovation culture’ through ham radio. He is a Life Member of the ARRL, and Fellow of the Radio Club of America, where he served as Vice President and presently as Director.

Special Achievement Award:
Heriberto Perez, KK4DCX; Victor Torres, WP4SD and Emilio Ortiz JR, WP4KEY.

Left: Heriberto Perez, KK4DCX; center, Victor Torres, WP4SD and right, Emilio Ortiz JR. WP4KEY.

Puerto Rico was devastated by hurricane Maria, a powerful category 4 storm, the strongest to make landfall in PR in 85 years. It came ashore on September 20th 2017 with 155 mph winds. All the communication services and utilities collapsed.

On September 21st 2017, Ham Radio operator Herb Perez KK4DCX mobilized his radio equipment to the local public broadcasting station Radio Sol in San German, along with Ham Radio Operators Victor Torres WP4SD and Emilio Ortiz JR. WP4KEY. The team immediately set up the gear and began the extraordinary mission of health and welfare traffic to thousands of family members across the continental USA.

Thanks to the support and help of more than 45 Ham Operators across the USA more than 4000 messages were effectively delivered via phone calls to family members in the United States, bringing tearful joy between family love ones.