Hamvention 2020 Awards Winners

The Hamvention Awards committee is pleased to announce the 2020 winners of the four annual Hamvention awards. Co-chairs Michael Kalter, W8CI, and Frank Beafore, WS8B, thanked all those who submitted nominations. They also thanked the selection committee for its efforts, “The awards team gave the applications much deliberation and thought to make sure the best were selected.”

The Club of the Year is honored for clearly demonstrating members involvement in varied aspects of Amateur Radio for the greater good of their community and/or their nation.

Club of the Year: South Canadian Amateur Radio Society (SCARS) is an ARRL Special Services Club based in the Cleveland County, Oklahoma area. No, it is not a Canadian club; the name references the South end of the Canadian River that runs west of town. Formed in 1977, the club works hard to grow and support the amateur radio operators in the area. Through their https://w5nor.org website, Facebook presence, YouTube channel, and weekly newsletter, their reach has expanded to reach thousands of hams monthly, from around the globe.For more about the club’s activities see https://hamvention.org/event-details/awards/

The Amateur of the Year Award

The amateur of the Year Award is given to a ham that has made a long-term commitment to the advancement to amateur radio. This individual will have a history of ham radio contributions and has had a dedication to service, professionalism and the advancement of the avocation of amateur radio.

Amateur of The Year: JH1AJT Yasuo Zorro MIYAZAWA

It was in 1964 when JH1AJT Yasuo MIYAZAWA —also well know as “Zorro”— obtained his first JA license for ham radio operation when he was 15 years old. As a high school student, he didn’t own good equipment, but he enjoyed operation with radios and antennas handmade by himself. At that time, there were not many operators on 10m band and many foreign DXpeditioners called Zorro every day. This experience led him to the DX world, and his international humanitarian activities as well.

He is currently Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SEISA Group, Chairperson of FGC, and Chairperson of SEISA Group’s Kokusai Gakuen Education Institute. He is also a visiting researcher at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Public Policy. For more about JH1AJT’s activities see https://hamvention.org/event-details/awards/


The Technical Achievement Award is given to a selected amateur radio operator who has achieved technical excellence in the world of amateur radio. Examples are inventions, processes, discoveries, experiments and other technical accomplishments or any other outstanding technical achievement that contributed to amateur radio.

Technical Achievement Award: The 2020 Technical Achievement Award goes to Steve Franke, K9AN, Bill Somerville, G4WJS, and Joe Taylor, K1JT.

Steve Franke, Bill Somerville, and Joe Taylor have been licensed radio amateurs for a combined total of 154 years.  Over the past seven years they’ve worked closely together on all aspects of the ham-radio software package WSJT-X — and in particular the digital protocol FT8 and its younger brother, FT4.  FT8 was introduced in July 2017, soon accounting for a large fraction of all ham radio activity on the HF bands.  FT4 is a closely related mode designed especially for digital contesting. For more about the winners’  activities see https://hamvention.org/event-details/awards/

The Special Achievement Award is given to a deserving amateur who made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the radio art and or science. This award is usually given to a respected amateur who spearheaded a single significant project.

Special Achievement Award: Jordan Sherer  KN4CRD

Jordan Sherer (KN4CRD) is an experienced software engineer by day and digital amateur radio operator by night. After becoming licensed in 2017, Jordan started his journey into ham radio exploring PSK31, JT65, and soon after FT8. Fascinated by the ability to connect with others using low power, Jordan set out to experiment with developing a protocol for weak signal mesh networking and communication. After many hours of programming while holding his newborn daughter, what resulted was JS8Call. For more about the winners’  activities see https://hamvention.org/event-details/awards/