Chapter Award Winners

From 2008 to Present

FSA Joachim de Posada CSP, Lifetime Achievement Award

About the Lifetime Achievement Award: To qualify for the Lifetime Achievement Award a member of the Florida Speakers Association must:

  • Speak professionally
  • Display high ethical standards and values
  • Show exemplary service to the speaking industry
  • Contribute exceptional dedication, and outstanding leadership and service to the Florida Speakers Association
  • Be a member of both the Florida and National Speakers Associations

2019 – Gayle Carson, CSP
2018 – Dr. Helen Turnbull, CSP
2017 – Rita Craig, CSP
2016 – 
Joachim de Posada CSP


(Note: This award replaces the Sam Edward’s Award of Excellence, the Bill Gove Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Jim Barber Leadership Award)

This award is presented in honor of our founding members and significant members who have passed on. These include: Sam Edwards, David Stanley, Ray Pelletier, and Bill Gove. Our current living legends include Gayle Carson, Conni Gordon, Jim Barber and Carolyn Stein.  The criteria for this award is a current chapter member who demonstrates:

  • Dedication and service for the Chapter’s Success over many years.
  • Active Participation in Chapter and NSA activities
  • High ethical standards and values
  • Demonstrated contribution to our industry
  • Mentoring and encouragement to other speakers



Gary Greenfield

Gary Greenfield



Rebecca Staton-Reinstein




Conni Gordon, CSP




Marsha Freedman



This award is presented to the Member who has demonstrated outstanding service to the chapter.



Mark Levit


Marsha Freedman

Marsha Freedman




Ken Okel




Rita Barreto Craig




Rebecca Staton-Reinstein




Robert Stack




Ken Okel



Debbie Benami-Rahm




Gary Greenfield



This award is presented to a New Member who has demonstrated outstanding service to the chapter.



Heather Christie



Mark Levit

2015 Special Recognition


Mark Levit
Round of Applause – Mark Levit
Bob Frare
Above & Beyond – Bob Frare

Chapter Award Winners Prior to 2008

Sam Edwards’ Award of Excellence

Sam Edwards, CSP, CPAE, left a lasting legacy to the Florida Speakers Association. Although he was acknowledged for his wit and humor, he was a man who gave his love and affection generously to our Chapter. The criteria for this award are:

  • Sense of Humor
  • Dedication to the Chapter
  • Regular attendance over a period of time (3-5 years)
  • Participation in Chapter activities
  • Speaks professionally
  • High ethical standards and values
  • Maintains membership in FSA/NSA
  • Regularly attends National Conferences

This award is at the sole discretion of the President of the Florida Speakers Association. This is not necessarily an annual award. It’s a view of contribution and attributes over a period of time that maintains the dignity and honor or the award. The award is a Waterford paperweight, conical in shape. The significance of this is that no matter how you look at it, the light will reflect the glow and is a metaphor of the inner light that came from Sam whenever you looked his way at a meeting. There is no inscription.

1993 Carolyn Stein
1994 Bob Collins
1995 Arnie Warren
1996 Jim Barber
1997 Gayle Carson, CSP, CPCM
2000 Conni Gordon, CSP
2002 David Stanley
2003 Randy Gage
2004 Heidi Richards

Bill Gove Lifetime Achievement Award

The first award was made to Bill Gove at the May 1997 general meeting honoring Bill’s 50 year anniversary in the speaking business. This award is to be given to future recipients on an “as achieved” basis to persons who have displayed the quality of exemplary service to the industry similar to Bill Gove’s service to the speaking industry for 50 years.

1997 Bill Gove, CSP, CPAE
1998 Ray Pelletier, CSP, CPAE
1999 Randy Gage
2002 Gayle Carson
2003 Carolyn Stein
2004 Conni Gordon
2005 Jim Barber
2006 Heidi Richards

Jim Barber Leadership Award

The first award was given to Jim Barber at the June 2003 Installation and Awards Ceremony in honor of his exceptional dedication, and outstanding leadership and service to the Florida Speakers Association.  This award will be given at the discretion of the President and Board of Directors to recipients who meet the following criteria:

  • Member in good standing for seven consecutive years
  • Past Chapter Officer
  • Active member of the Board of Directors at least four years.
  • Consistent attendance at Chapter and National meetings
  • High personal standards and professional ethics
  • Promotion of the speaking profession to non-members
  • Promoting ongoing learning to members of the association
  • Overall impact of contributions to the Florida Speakers Association

2002-2003 Jim Barber
2003-2004 Allison Blankenship
2005-2006 Gayle Carson

Member of the Year Award

1989-1990 Anne Rouseau
1990-1991 Arnie Warren
1991-1992 Terry Lubotski
1992-1993 Jim Barber
1993-1994 Jim Barber
1994-1995 Nikki Sweet
1995-1996 Randy Gage
1996-1997 Lisa Jimenez
1997-1998 Lisa Jimenez
1997-1998 Mike Crosa
1998-1999 David Stanley
1999-2000 Kip Barkley
2000-2001 Lisa Bell
2001-2002 Stu Needel
2002-2003 Allison Blankenship
2003-2004 Sid Weigner
2004-2005 Gary Roberts
2005-2006 Marsha Freedman
2006-2007 Debbie Benami-Rahm

New Member of the Year Award

1992-1993 Mark Hansen
1993-1994 Fred Schiavo
1994-1995 Barbara Udell
1995-1996 Diane Schuster
1996-1997 Barbara Montes
1997-1998 Brian Norris
1998-1999 Sid Weigner
2000-2001 Bhetty Waldron
2001-2002 Phyllis May
2002-2003 Linda Sherwin
2004-2005 Robert Stack
2005-2006 Mary Lou Williams
2006-2007 Karla Scott