NACRO Recognition & Awards

NACRO is pleased to announce its annual awards to recognize and celebrate outstanding individuals in our field. The winners will be announced at the Annual Conference in July. 

NACRO's success is dependent on our engaged and involved members who volunteer their time and talent to advance our profession and the organization. Our volunteers are recognized through our NACRO Impact Program and through our annual awards.

Below you will find more information on each of the awards and previous winners.

2023 Award Recipients

From left to right: Rashmi Tenneti, Mark Nolan, Priya Baboo, Audrey Metcalf, and Adam Bear

Mary Beth Maddox Lifetime Service Award

Mary Beth Maddox Lifetime Service Award: This award honors a NACRO member or past member who exemplifies servant leadership and NACRO values as a volunteer-led organization. The award focuses attention on individuals who personify the profession’s highest standards, and in so doing, elevates academic corporate relations overall.



  • 5 years or more as an active NACRO member
  • Made a significant and lasting impact on the field, serving the profession over an extended period of ten years or more
  • Serves NACRO as an ambassador, telling the NACRO story throughout the field
  • Demonstrated service to the organization through two or more of the following or comparable over a period of three or more years:
    • Committee participation
    • Committee Chair
    • Subcommittee Chair
    • Conference presenter/moderator
    • Ad hoc committee participation
    • Board member
    • Professional development activities:
      • Webinar delivery
      • Bootcamp presenter
Past Recipients:
2023 - Mark Nolan
2022 - Alexa Hansen
2021 - Roger Van Hoy
2020 - Mona Ellerbock
2019 - Mary Beth Maddox (awarded posthumously)

Rising Star Award

Rising Star Award: This award honors an early career NACRO member who is an emerging leader in academic corporate relations. Rising Stars have shown growth in contribution to the profession and increased levels of leadership and responsibility.



  • 2 years or more as an active NACRO member
  • Early career professional with 5 years or less in the field
  • Stands out in energy and dedication on committee or professional development activity in which he/she is involved at NACRO
  • Receives high praise from committee chairs and/or session review for presentations given
  • Demonstrated passion for the profession
Past Recipients:
2023 - Adam Bear
2022 - Sara Garvey
2021 - Ben Miller
2020 - Jill Abele
2019 - David Ortendahl

Volunteer of the Year Award

Volunteer of the Year Award: Established in 2020, this award honors a NACRO member who has demonstrated exceptional service to the organization in the current year. The award honors individuals that have reached out to meet others in the organization, demonstrated exceptional work as a NACRO volunteer, unselfishly worked with others to improve the organization, its mission, and/or performed services or tasks that are not part of their normal assignments.

  • Currently serving as an active NACRO member on at least one committee
  • Participation required at Midwinter
  • Demonstrated leadership abilities and knowledge of operations and priorities
  • Significant contributions to the strategic goals of a committee. Additional effort beyond standard committee work (building educational content, session presenter at conference or via webinars, volunteering at events, etc.)
    • ownership of a project, process, subcommittee
    • going above and beyond to move work forward
    • customer service oriented at all levels (leadership / membership)
  • Serving as a natural spokesperson for the value of NACRO volunteerism - a NACRO Champion

Past Recipients:
2023 - Audrey Metcalf
2022 - Ashley Chan
2021 - Joseph Huang
2020 - Roxana Ryan

President's Award

The President’s Award seeks to recognize and honor a member of the current board of directors who has provided exceptional service to the organization. This is a discretionary award, and will be selected by the NACRO Co-Presidents if there is a notable honoree.

Past Recipients:
2023 - Priya Baboo & Rashmi Tenneti
2022 - Joseph Huang & Dave Ortendahl


For questions or additional information, please email [email protected].