The role played by an organization’s honours and awards program is a significant one. It might seem like a lot of work and effort to manage an awards program, but the energy and devotion to such a program while demanding, is also very beneficial. Honours and awards promote member retention. When the organization knows how to acknowledge the important support of its members, those members tend to stay; they remain loyal to the organization. Not only do awardees and honourees stay, but the people who engage in such programs also stay. This is critical to an organization’s survival because finding one new member can cost the association six to seven times what it costs to retain one member.
When a member achieves some honour or wins an award, they are understandably proud of their achievement. Most of them are happy with the thought that others might want to know about the award decision. These aspects are important because they trace the awarding of an honour to the awardee’s increased engagement. As members engage more in the association, so too does member retention increase. An effective honours and awards program is one that is relevant to your stakeholders. In this regard, some of your major sponsors deserve an invitation to participate. At one time the RCAF Association’s honours and awards were sponsored, to some extent. For example, the J.A.D. McCurdy Trophy was sponsored by Litton Systems. The RCAF Association is exploring how best to incorporate the participation of sponsors interested in such opportunities.
The organization’s honours and awards program is actually a window into the organization’s legitimacy, reputation, and credibility. The management of an honours and awards program that recognizes the best (in aerospace industry, for example) shows the organization as a legitimate and credible leader in its field, simply because the awarding of honours to such recipients gains a great deal of public interest. Finally, properly crafted the honours and awards system managed by the organization actually reinforces the values and goals of the organization.
The National Executive Council (NEC) approved the establishment of the Order of Excellence award as the highest award to be awarded to select Regular members already held in the highest esteem by their fellow members, in recognition of their continuing outstanding service to community and country.
The Order of Excellence is bestowed upon a limited number of select Regular members in recognition of and appreciation for service of the highest quality to the Association. This service would normally qualify for recognition as distinguished and/or meritorious, but because the member may already have been so recognized for previous service, he or she is deemed eligible for the Order of Excellence. It is precisely because our highest performing members are also our most loyal, that they have been serving their association for so many years and are deserving of this ultimate recognition. The inaugural (2014) winners of the Order of Excellence are:
2014 – Brigadier-General (Ret) Ron Button, CD
2014 – Sgt (Ret) Grant E. “Ted” Mahood, CD
2014 – Don Feduck
2014 – Capt (Ret) Rita Patry, MMM, CD
2014 – John Bowser
Joining these inaugural members in subsequent years:
2015* – F/Lt (Ret) Duncan Campbell, CD (Deceased)
2015* – Evelyn Gouther-Campbell
2015 – Al Hampshire
2015 – Earl McFarland
2015 – Harold Northrup
2016 – CWO (Ret) Reginald “Reg” Daws, MMM, CD
2016 – Capt (Ret) Grant Whitson, CD
(The “Order” is currently limited to ten (10) awardees. Nominations that do not succeed may and should be resubmitted in subsequent nomination cycles)
*denotes a shared award, awarded to a couple for example