2021 ILOTA Awards

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The 2021 Awards recipients were honored on October 16, 2021 during ILOTA's virtual Annual Business Meeting & Awards Ceremony. You can see this year's winners below in bold. Congratulations to our 2021 award winners!

Honorary Lifetime Members

Description of Honor: Shall have all the rights and privileges of the membership category for which they are qualified and shall pay no dues.

Past Honorary Lifetime Members: 

  • Ruth Hadra, OTR
  • Beatrice Wade, OTR
  • Fred Sammons, OTR
  • Barbara Loomis, OTR
  • 2017 – Catherine Brady, OTR, Kathryn Melin Eberhardt, MAEd, COTA/L, ROH & Melanie Ellexson, OTR
  • 2019 – Mae Brandon, OTR & Nancy Richman, OTR
  • 2020 – Clem Carder, COTA/L, LMT, CKTI & Gail Fisher, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
  • 2021 - Elizabeth Cada, OTR/L

 Award of Appreciation

Description of Award: Expresses appreciation to individuals who are not occupational therapy practitioners who have contributed significantly to the advancement of occupational therapy in Illinois.

 Past Award Recipients:

  • 1980 – Senator John D’Arco & Saul Morse
  • 1981 – Edward Lis, MD & Dianne Kolzow
  • 1984 – Charles Chevillon
  • 1990 – Paschal Panio, MD & Wendy Meltzer
  • 1992 – Subash Shah, MD
  • 1994 – Catherin Meyer, MD
  • 1995 – Janet Hogan
  • 1997 – Elizabeth Coulson
  • 1999 – Michelle Henderson
  • 2001 – Elizabeth Coulson
  • 2018 – Louis Fogg
  • 2021 - Maureen Mulhall

 Award of Merit (Historian's Award)

Description of Award: Honors a member of ILOTA whose actions have shaped the course of occupational therapy or contributed significantly to its growth and development in Illinois.

 Past Award Recipients:

  • 1980 – Beatrice Wade, OTR
  • 1982 – Marian Gilpin, OTR
  • 1983 – Margaret Hollowell, OTR
  • 1984 – Lynette Barnes, OTR
  • 1988 – Fred Sammons, OTR
  • 1989 – Eva McCormick, OTR
  • 1990 – Sarah Skinner, OTR
  • 2001 – Patrick Bloom, OTR
  • 2003 – Deanna Sava, OTR
  • 2006 – Christine Helfrich, PhD., OTR, FAOTA
  • 2010 – Elizabeth Wittbrodt, OTR
  • 2012 – Kim Bryze, OTD, OTR
  • 2013 – Ruth Bixby, OTR
  • 2014 – Mary Lou Ross, OTR
  • 2019 – Nancy Richman, OTR
  • 2020 – Linda Olson, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
  • 2021 - Leslie Roundtree, DHS, MBA, OTR/L

 Board Award of Merit

Description of Award: Recognizes members of the ILOTA Board who have made outstanding contributions toward facilitating the board business.

 Past Award Recipients:

  • 1980 – Pamela Silverman – OTR
  • 1981 – Marilyn Karim, OTR
  • 1982 – Claudia Papke, OTR
  • 1983 – Carolyn Yoss, OTR
  • 1984 – Gail Fisher, OTR & Kathryn Melin Eberhardt, COTA
  • 1985 – Barbara Townsend, OTR
  • 1986 – Nancy Richman, OTR
  • 1987 – Debbie Walens, OTR
  • 1989 – Katie Chrystal-Piazzi, OTR & Carolyn Yoss, OTR
  • 1990 – Karen Gableson, OTR
  • 1991 – Clementine Carder, COTA
  • 1992 – Mary Andree Darnall, OTR & Elaine Novak, OTR
  • 1993 – Linda Moran, OTR
  • 1997 – Paula Jo Belice, OTR, Letty Sargant, OTR, & Ruth Ann Watkins, OTR
  • 1998 – Coralie Glantz, OTR
  • 2001 – Mae Brandon, OTR & Letty Sargant, OTR
  • 2006 – Laura Obara, OTR & Alma Tan Torres PhD, OTR
  • 2007 – Rachel Galant, OTR, Angelica Barraza, OTR, Veronica Llerena, OTS, Carrie Nutter, OTR, & Judith Abelenda, OTR
  • 2008 – Kathryn Melin Eberhardt, MAEd, COTA/L, ROH
  • 2009 – Monika Robinson, OTR
  • 2011 – Carolyn Calamia, OTR
  • 2014 – Peggy Nelson, OTR
  • 2019 – Lisa Mahaffey, OTR
  • 2021 - Janet Adcox, OTR/L, C/NDT, CSRS, CKTP; Lisa Iffland, OTR/L

 OTA of the Year Award

Description of Award: Recognizes the outstanding contributions of an occupational therapy assistant to the advancement of occupational therapy in Illinois.

 Past Award Recipients:

  • 1980 – Maureen Massart-Reardon, COTA
  • 1981 – Kathleen Peter, COTA
  • 1982 – Robin Jones, COTA
  • 1983 – Betty Czekala, COTA & Kathleen Moylan, COTA
  • 1984 – Kathryn Melin Eberhardt, COTA
  • 1985 – Frances Lewis, COTA
  • 1986 – Cheryle Palahnuik, COTA
  • 1987 – Christine Casey, COTA
  • 1989 – Sue Lynn Hansen, COTA
  • 1990 – Peter Blazina, COTA
  • 1991 – Clementine Carder, COTA
  • 1992 – Patrica Heath, COTA
  • 1995 – Jennifer Young, COTA
  • 1997 – Michelle Zurisk, COTA
  • 1998 – Mary Jo Boehm, COTA
  • 1999 – Kate Parent, COTA
  • 2001 – Kim Packwood Navarro, COTA
  • 2004 – Mark Stojakovich, COTA
  • 2006 – Jeanne Rehr, BA COTA 
  • 2011 – Peggy Smutny, COTA
  • 2020 – Abigail Swidergal, COTA & Joni Kamstra, COTA
  • 2021 - Ray Cendejas, COTA/L

 OT of the Year Award

Description of Award: Recognizes the outstanding contributions of an occupational therapist to the advancement of occupational therapy in Illinois.

 Past Award Recipients:

  • 1980 – Lillian Parent, OTR
  • 1981 – Barbara Loomis, OTR
  • 1982 – Elizabeth Cada, OTR
  • 1983 – Norma Howat, OTR
  • 1984 – Shirley Esenther, OTR
  • 1985 – Beverly Myers, OTR
  • 1986 – Velma Reichenbach, OTR
  • 1987 – Cynthia Hughes, OTR
  • 1988 – Florence Goold, OTR
  • 1989 – Barbara Townsend, OTR
  • 1990 – Shari Intagliata, OTR
  • 1991 – Peggy Sabol, OTR
  • 1992 – Nancy Richman, OTR
  • 1993 – Batia Levy, OTR
  • 1995 – Kimberly Bryze, OTR & Elizabeth Wittbrodt, OTR
  • 1997 – Catherine Brady, OTR
  • 1998 – Coralie Glantz, OTR
  • 2003 – Cynthia Carr, OTR
  • 2006 – Mary Michaelsen, OTR
  • 2007 – Terry Giese, OTR
  • 2009 – Lisa Mahaffey, OTR
  • 2012 – Cheryl Huber Lee, OTR
  • 2013 – Bev Meyers, OTR
  • 2015 – Molly Bathje, OTR & Susanne Higgins, OTR
  • 2017 – Katharine Preissner, OTR
  • 2019 – Caren Schranz, OTR & Steven Taylor, OTR
  • 2020 – Kelsey Watters, OTR/L
  • 2021 - John Dudzik, DHS, OTR/L

Public Awareness Award

Description of Award: Recognizes members of ILOTA and non-members who have increased public awareness and understanding of occupational therapy through the media or in the political arena.

 Past Award Recipients:

  • 1980 – Barbara Loar, OTR
  • 1981 – Jeff Blackman & Mark Des Jardins
  • 1982 – K. B. Hudgens, OTR
  • 1983 – Licensure Committee: Beth Cada, Robin Jones, Jessica Presperin, Sue Cummins, and Norma Arras
  • 1985 – Terri Giese, OTR, Terrie Nolinske, OTR
  • 1987 – Mae Brandon, OTR
  • 1989 – Maggie Montejano, OTR
  • 1993 – Archives Committee
  • 1997 – Nancy Richman, OTR
  • 1998 – Katherine Burson, OTR
  • 1999 – Peggy McRoberts, OTR
  • 2000 – Barbara G. Fox, OTR
  • 2001 – Kim Marshall, OTR; Elizabeth Cada, OTR; Students: Erin Forbes, Sunny Harries, Kelly Keserich, Carolyn Krusinowski, Elaine Naranjo, Nathan Rieder, Renee Rossetti, & Cheryl Widstrand
  • 2002 – Deanie Loconte
  • 2003 – Clem Carder
  • 2007 – Laura Obara, OTR & Rhonda Schleis, OTR
  • 2010 – Nancy Daly
  • 2020 – Laura Van Pumbyrouck, PhD, OTR/L
  • 2021 - Claudia Cirrincione, OTD, OTR/L

 OT Student Award (added in 2014):

Description of Award: Recognizes an occupational therapy student who has demonstrated leadership and excellence in academic or clinical performance.

 Past Award Recipients:

  • 2014 – Justin Kaspryk (Midwestern University)
  • 2016 – Nadia Marasti (Midwestern University)
  • 2017 – Marlena Mosbacher (Rush University) & Ryan Walsh (University of Illinois at Chicago)
  • 2019 – Morgan Stasell (Rush University)
  • 2021 - Rolando Jara (University of Illinois at Chicago)

 OTA Student Award (added in 2014):

To recognize an occupational therapy student who has demonstrated leadership and excellence in academic or clinical performance. 

 Past Award Recipients: 

  • 2019 – Krecia Sweeney (McHenry County College)