Exerpted from my speech from the 2013 Inkwell Awards live awards ceremony at Heroes Con, June 8, 2013:
We have two Special Recognition awards to announce this year. It is very challenging to get volunteers every year for our separate and independent Nomination Committee so we added an incentive. For those members who return to serve for five years we offer one of our special silver inkwell trophies. This year the first recipient of this is the former associate director of the Joe Schuster Awards, Robert Haines. Robert is not here today but I will make sure that he get’s his deserved award.
Robert made the following statement:
“As far as an Inkwell Award being presented to me…That is so cool! I am quite honoured to receive this recognition from the Inkwell Awards, this is much more than a token; I am quite impressed! (and I had forgotten that this acknowledgement existed.)
When we originally connected all those years ago, we were exchanging ideas about ‘comic awards programmes’; I will say that this is something the Shusters should think about, and I’ll mention that. Frankly, the unsung volunteers are the lifeblood of the awards, I’m sure the same holds for the Inkwells. Yet people burn out, this is what we find, and to those tireless volunteers, a recognition can mean a lot… And I say this as someone who wasn’t looking for recognition, but I always had pride in participating on the nominating committee member (I mentioned this fact in The Dragon’s 2012 Will Eisner Spirit of Retailing video and we won, so let’s give the Inkwell Awards some thanks in that!) as it was an opportunity to hopefully shine a light on creators that were/are doing great work, in my opinion, and are overlooked by so many. And I always took pride in seeing someone I placed on my ballot make the final cut.
Thank you to the Inkwell group for acknowledging my small role in the annual awards process.”
The other recipient was a special member of the team. Stacey Aragon starting out as a contributor back in 2009 handling our social networks and assisting with fundraising. In 2011 she agreed to join the core committee and took on such duties as updating our site’s Inking Resources section, she was our first Nomination Committee Liaison, adding more volunteers to that group than almost anyone else previously, and became our Volunteer Network Coordinator which set up volunteers at shows that we didn’t officially attend and communicated with the artist guests of those shows in advance to request donations. She was even in the early stages of developing a multi-tiered membership program. These positions sadly came to a temporary halt with her departure in the summer of last year due to personal matters and a serious health status. Stacey was debatably the most ambitious, multi-faceted and professional member that I have ever had on the team, setting a high bar for excellence. So like the many dedicated core committee members before her who retired on good standing, we present the silver inkwell to her and her exceptional performance.