Irving Diener Award

The Irving Diener Award is presented each year to the BVA member who has made an outstanding contribution to the growth and development of his or her regional group.  The award, established in 1962, takes its name from the late Irving Diener — a former member of the BVA National Advisory Committee who demonstra­ted a keen interest in our association over the years.

The Diener Award is awarded to the veteran who contributes in an outstanding way to the BVA as an organization rather than for personal achievement in rehabilitation and in the field of employment.

The Diener Award consists of a $50 stipend and a scroll.  The award will be presented to the recipient at our 74th National Convention at the Marriott Tulsa Hotel Southern Hills, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Each nomination must include detailed written justification concerning the contributions the veteran has made, and the service rendered, to his or her regional group.  Additionally, the nomination must include a biographical sketch of the blinded veteran, including data about his or her military service, education, job status, family life, community service and contributions, hobbies and pastimes.  Please ensure that the nomination is accompanied by a nomination cover letter signed by an officer of the regional group or by the individual submitting the nomination.

The information should be prepared in its FINAL FORM and submitted by the person making the nomina­tion, NOT by the person being nominated.

A person may receive the Irving Diener Award only once!  Please bear in mind that BVA employees are NOT eligible for the award.

Members of your regional group who have devoted much time and effort to the betterment of their regional groups certainly deserve to be recognized on the national level and honored at the BVA National Convention.  There is no limit to the number of nominations anyone can make.  Please send FOUR COPIES OF EACH NOMINATION ‑‑ one for each of the three judges and one for the BVA National Office files.

Your nominations for the Irving Diener Award should be forwarded to the BVA National Office (Attn: Administrative Director) to arrive NO LATER THAN FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019.

It is important that the deadline be met in order to provide sufficient time for the nominations to be mailed to, and considered by, the BVA Irving Diener Award panel of judges, which traditionally has consisted of the three most recent immediate past BVA National Presidents. Additionally, time must be allowed to prepare the award scroll for presentation at the 74th BVA National Convention. Accordingly, nominations arriving after the April 19 deadline will not be considered.


1962  David L. Schnair 

1963  George M. Gillispie

1964  William F. Hughes

1965  Stephen Sivacek

1966  Simon Gerbush

1967  Robert C. Ward

1968  Leonard E. Shelhammer

1969  Robert Bescoe

1970  Clyde W. Waugh

1971  Jerry R. Monroe

1972  Harrison W. Gilpin

1973  George M. Mitchell

1974  Julius D. Morris

1975  Frank J. Yagel, Jr.

1976  Dennis R. Wyant

1977  George E. Stocking

1978  Harold L. Rogers

1979  Walter O. Powell

1980  Henry J. Berube

1981  John Fales, Jr.

1982  Ronald L. Miller

1983  Harry C. Quiles

1984  Rev. Jack W. Kinley

1985  David M. Szumowski

1986  No award given

1987  Troy B. McKenzie

1988  Urban Miyares

1989  Bobby G. Ridener

1990  Elizabeth R. Carr

1991  Russell A. Gage

1992  Bryan K. Burnett 

1993  Larry R. Belote

1994  Cornelius J. Appleby

1995  C. Caroline Maas

1996  Frank J. Scarcella

1997  Gerard M. McDonnell

1998  Keith Marshall

1999  Larry Grant                                  

2000    Mark Cornell

2001    Harold Powell

2002    Jimmy R. Hutcherson

2003 Eldon Pugh

2004  Terry King

2005    Gene Lowery

2006    Don R. Haynes

2008   Roy E. Young

2009  Bill Case

2010  Dennis O’Connell

2011  VACANT

2012 Randall Durrigan


2014 Charles Register

2015  Ruth Klein

2016  Ruben Sanchez-Burgos

2017  Leonard Pope

2018  Floyd Everett