Amateurs involved in last year's hurricane relief efforts in the Caribbean dominated the Dayton Hamvention® awards for 2018. A longtime cutting-edge antenna innovator and a very active radio club were also honored.
The 2018 Special Achievement Award is shared by three hams, Herb Perez, KK4DCX; Victor Torres, WP4SD, and Emilio Ortiz, Jr., WP4KEY. After Hurricane Maria wiped out Puerto Rico's electric and telecommunications infrastructure, Perez brought his ham gear to the studios of a local public radio station. Working with Torres and Ortiz, along with nearly four dozen hams in the continental U.S., the group generated and delivered more than 4000 health-and-welfare messages to worried family members.
The Amateur of the Year Award winner was part of the "Force of 50" group deployed to Puerto Rico after Maria by the ARRL. Valerie Holtzfield, NV9L, had also gone to Texas after Hurricane Harvey to help rescue small animals, according to the Hamvention announcement. She is also an avid contester and DXer, has been on four major DXpeditions and is a co-host of the "Ham Nation" video podcast.
Chip Cohen, W1YW, is being honored with the 2018 Technical Achievement Award. Chip invented fractal antennas 30 years ago and recently received a patent for using fractal antenna techniques to develop an "invisibility cloak" for aircraft and other large objects.
Finally, Dayton's Club of the Year honors go to the Portage County (Ohio) Amateur Radio Service. This very busy club says it has over 40 hours of activities each month, including public service, student outreach, periodic "Build Days" for working on projects together and monthly "Get On The Air" days when the club station is open for members and guests to learn about HF and different modes of operation.
The honors will be presented at the 2018 Dayton Hamvention awards banquet in May.