2018 Golden Service Award Recipients

BLAIK MATTHEWS (FLO)

Blaik has been a member of FLO for the past six years and on the FLO Board of Directors since 2014. He was instrumental in hurling FLO into the 21st century with his technical knowledge of computer hardware and software relative to electronic timing and participant tracking within the realm of orienteering. Blaik has devoted countless hours developing one-of-a-kind equipment and software for use by FLO and, more importantly, JROTC competitions throughout the Southeastern U.S. involving several of their designated ‘Areas’. Blaik has created custom computer programs enabling on-site, real-time monitoring of competitor’s status as well as live up-to-the-minute web results. His dedication to constantly improving the system and its responsiveness has been commendable and beyond the ‘call of duty.’ In 2016, Blaik introduced LiveLox to FLO and to the JROTC contingent of FLO not only as an exciting added bonus to enhance orienteers’ interest, excitement, and competitiveness, but also to serve as another layer of safety backup for all. Much emphasis, driven personally by Blaik, has been placed on the use of LiveLox as a SAFETY and tracking tool, and he has produced training videos to aid all orienteers, volunteers and JROTC Leaders in the proper setup and use of LiveLox. Blaik has been instrumental in conducting annual Southeast Regional JROTC Training camps at Camp Blanding in north Florida for the past several years. He was the driving force behind the fully electronic on-line and real-time results handling, including LiveLox, for the 2018 NJROTC National Championships hosted by FLO, setting a new and fabulously high standard for all future JROTC national competitions. Blaik’s selfless technical contributions to FLO and the entire national orienteering community, the JROTC in particular, should be recognized and rewarded.

KIM PINCUS (LAOC)

Kim has been an active member of LAOC’s board for many years including a stint as President. Kim is always a huge supporter of any LAOC National events. This includes serving as Volunteer Meet Director for our recent NRE at Mt. Pinos and for last year’s Trail-O and Relay Champs. In a club that has few Nationally oriented members, Kim stands out as someone who truly gives herself to the sport and not just to the club.

WALTER SIEGENTHALER (COK)

For decades, Walter has been an avid champion of orienteering—locally, nationally, and internationally.  He is well-regarded in the orienteering community for both his navigational skills and his deep commitment to the sport.  He readily participates in many national meets and has steadfastly supported OUSA.

During the past years, Walter has been considered the "bedrock" of the COK for his tireless support and consistent willingness to help out with all aspects of managing the club. He has served as past president and continues to provide leadership to club officers. With his vast experience, he has helped educate countless local participants and is always available to help JROTC and scout organizations with special events.  His knowledge of orienteering has also benefited club officers who rely on him for advice and support.

Through his leadership and expertise, a brand new map was created in 2017 for a Boy Scout Camp (Bud Schiele) using the latest technology. This effort enables future generations the opportunity to obtain orienteering skills and the associated merit badge.

Walter provides expertise in designing courses and giving counsel to meet directors which ensures the club adheres to national orienteering standards. His skills with OCAD are invaluable in keeping COK maps up-to-date and he prepares pre-printed maps for all meets on his own time.  The hours he has willingly provided in keeping the club going are countless.

Mr. Siegenthaler is highly deserving of this prestigious award for his many years of advocacy and participation in orienteering.

GENE WEE (OK)

Gene Wee has been volunteering and serving orienteers since 1977. Besides founding Orienteer Kansas, Gene organized the University of Kansas Intercollegiate O' Team (the only college other than USMA to win the title between 1978 and 1991). He created maps and set courses for the 1981 U.S. Team Trials at Leavenworth and produced a 58-page event program with bios and pictures of 80 elite competitors for his first-ever three-day Class A meet. He was course setter for the Rockcrusher A meet in 1989. He was national (age) champion in 1983, 1985, and 1991. He served on the USOF (OUSA) Board form 1982-1985, and was on the USOF committees for membership, nominations, and ski-O'. Gene drafted maps (free of charge) c. 1982 for BOK (Backwoods OK, NC), for BAOC in 1981, and for QOC 1979-80.

Most importantly, Gene was the editor of Orienteering USA magazine from 1981 to 1984, making great strides in both content and style during that period. OUSA was the national orienteering magazine starting in 1973, in addition to the 1971-78 newsletter, and pre-dated the present Orienteering North America (ONA) magazine.

DAVID WILLIAMS (OCIN)

David came to Orienteering Cincinnati because his daughter, Katie, is such an enthusiastic orienteer and fierce competitor. When no one else answers the call, David has run local events when other volunteers have conflicts. He learned course setting and the use of Condes. But he has become a vital volunteer at the Flying Pig and Winter Pig. Every year, he calls van rental agencies and finds the best deals, then arranges to pick up the van, often with intricate price-reducing strategies, and drives to Mike's house to pick up gear. Then he goes non-stop for the whole weekend. Shuttling gear to different event sites, taking bags of runner gear left at the start to the finish, and generally doing whatever needs to be done. On Sunday, after a weekend of increasing van entropy, the van is piled completely full of dirty, wet, and sometimes gas-soaked items, where it achieves maximum entropy, and David drives it back to Mike's house. David is usually the last person there after all the other volunteers have gone home. He catches some sleep and is up before dark for the long drive to return the van before the rental agency opens to avoid an additional day's fee. It might not sound like a big deal, but David's presence greatly contributes to the success of OCIN's A-Meets and the satisfaction of all orienteers who attend our events. David does whatever needs to be done and lets the event director and course setters and download team have just a little bit less to do. And it makes all the difference.

David has also already indicated he will be available to drive and volunteer for 2018 U.S. Nationals this October. The last two summers he has returned to Cincinnati and taught orienteering as a team-building activity at his fraternity's reunions at Woodland Lakes camp. David continues to stay involved even though his daughter has long ago graduated and moved away from Cincinnati, and that David himself now lives 4.5 hours away. He also volunteers for Orienteering Illini.

We hope this award makes all the work and hassle and drama just a little easier to swallow. Thanks so much, David. We are glad you do what you do.

posted 7 September 2018