National Staff Organization

United to Lead, to Promote, to Secure, and to Defend

United to Lead, to Promote, to Secure, and to Defend


The National Staff Organization’s awards program recognizes individuals who embody the spirit and values of those who have made significant contributions to NSO or the broader labor movement. Named in honor of these influential figures, the awards celebrate members who demonstrate the exemplary characteristics associated with each award’s namesake. This tradition highlights the importance of advocacy, leadership, and commitment within our community, ensuring that the legacy of our union’s champions continues to inspire and guide future generations.

Emil Oxfeld Advocacy Award

Details

Emil Oxfeld was a New Jersey attorney and a labor relations consultant. He worked for NSO pro bono for many years as he loved unions and to advocate for union members. When he would give his reports to the RA delegates, he would break out into a chorus of “Solidarity Forever” and other union related songs. Those who knew him best speak of his great legal mind and his ability to remember cases and transcripts off the top of his head like no other person. This award was established in 2000.

Criteria:

The nominee should embody these skills: advocate, knowledge, tenacity, courage, wisdom, integrity, compassion, mentor, dignity, and honor.

Eligibility:

Any current or past NSO member that has worked to advocate defend, or protect the rights of NSO members.

Nomination Process:

Any NSO member who wishes to nominate a deserving person of the Emil Oxford Advocacy Award should write a narrative (no longer than two pages) describing how the nominee encompasses the spirit of Emil Oxford (advocate, knowledge, tenacity, courage, wisdom, integrity, compassion, mentor, dignity, and honor) and send that to the NSO President (president@nationalstaff.org) before March 1st. The NSO Executive Committee will review all nominations.

Award Winners

Year

Winner

2023 Tal Hutchins (Ohio)
2022 Joseph DiVincenzo (New York)
2018 Butch Santicola (Pennsylvania) – awarded posthumously
2016 Jesse Morre (Louisiana)
2015 Marius Ambrose (Maryland)
2013 Jeanne Beyer (Colorado)
2012 Gerry Lange (New Jersey)
2010 Bernadette Lange (New Jersey)
2009 Diane Thompson (Nebraska)
2008 Bonnie LePage (Massachusetts)
2007 Dennis Krueger (Iowa)
2006 John Reilly (Massachusetts)
2005 Jack Schamel (NSO advocate)
2004 Chuck Lieberknight (Ohio) – awarded posthumously
2002 Ginnie Ross (Region 6 Director)
2001 John Warms (New Jersey)
2000 Emil Oxfeld (NSO labor relations consultant)


Nomination Form


NSO Contact Person

Dawn Basurto
Secretary

California Staff Organization

John Warms Legend Award

Details

In 2010, the NSO Executive Committee established the John Warms Legend Award.  This award was named after John Warms, NSO President from 1976-1998, who was responsible for many of the current programs within NSO.   During Warms leadership, NSO established the NSO Coordinated Bargaining Councils, the Charlie Love Crisis Fund and the Harvard Trade Union Scholarship program. He reaffirmed that NSO’s primary duty was to protect, defend, secure and advocate for members’ rights. In the late 70s and early 80s, he supported changes in the NSO Constitution and Bylaws that enabled associate staff to become NSO members.

Eligibility:

The National Staff Organization established the John Warms Legend Award for an exceptional NSO member whose contributions in advocacy, union service and commitment to union serves as a model and a tribute to the spirit of John Warms. All members of the National Staff Organization, including all retired members, are eligible.

Award Criteria:

The recipient of the John Warms Legend Award should demonstrate the ideals and union values of John Warms and the qualities he most admired in union advocates: service, vision, pragmatism and tenacity in advocating for the members of the National Staff Organization.

Emphasis will be placed on accomplishments that showcase the relevance of union advocacy and engagement as a means to constructive change within our union.

Completed nomination forms and supporting documents must be received by the NSO Secretary by March 1st of each year.

Determination:

The award will be based on an outstanding or exceptional contribution to the National Staff Organization.  Examples include an achievement, particularly high quality of work, a set of skills, a creative idea or innovation, etc., expressed in some action within the applicant’s/nominee’s work unit that can be shown to have an exceptional impact upon the National Staff Organization.

The identified contribution(s) may have resulted in a wide range of identifiable outcomes; culture-sensitive, economic well-being of our members, and improved service to members. The nominator(s) must provide evidence of the candidate’s impact on the National Staff Organization and its members.

The overarching principle in the review process is the principle of exceptional quality. This award is chiefly concerned with the quality of our work. The quantity of work may serve as a factor when appropriate. Therefore, the Committee will look for evidence of intensity and a level of focus that achieves more or better quality of our advocacy work.

Award Winners

Year

Winner

2022 Robert Blackwell (North Carolina)
2019 Org4Power Team: Janet Beck, Mike Horner, Bob Linquist, Jeff Wahlquest
2018 Lynn Adler (Illinois)
2014 Emmit Jimmar (Alabama)
2011 Chuck Agerstrand (Michigan)


Nomination Form


NSO Contact Person

Dawn Basurto
Secretary

California Staff Organization

Mother Jones Award for Outstanding Union Activism

Details

The National Staff Organization created the Mother Jones award to recognize the efforts of individual members that have gone above and beyond in their efforts to advance unionism and the labor movement in their communities. NSO believes that this recognition reinforces the preamble of its constitution, which states; “to promote public education and advance collective bargaining and unionism.”

Mary G. Harris Jones, (c. 1830-1930) known as Mother Jones was a pioneer and prominent union organizer in the early 1900’s. She was also a teacher and dress maker that organized members of the United Mine Workers to fight for better working conditions. Her persuasive and powerful speeches inspired the masses to join in on strikes and protest to protect the workers, their families and especially the children.

This well-spoken woman was also instrumental with empowering the wives and daughters to have an active voice in the movement carrying mops and brooms into battle.  She led membership drives, marches, and strikes that sometimes landed her in jail but that did not stop her from her organizing activities.

She was the co-founder of the Industrial Workers of the World and a true union activist whose undying passion drove her to fight for the common people who thought their voices did not matter.

    “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living”

                                                                          Mother Jones         

This award was established at the 2016 Representative Assembly as New Business Item #16-06. NSO has a historical relationship with Mother Jones, continues to be a contributor to the Mother Jones Museum, and it was at a NSO RA that the DVD “Mother Jones: America’s Most Dangerous Woman” was first shown.

The intent of the Mother Jones Award for Outstanding Union Activism is to recognize activism in the Labor Movement carried out by rank-and-file NSO members that extends beyond their affiliate work. This recognition of activism will also serve to promote and inspire others to become more involved in the labor movement. Award recipients will be featured on websites, newsletters, and press releases to highlight our own NSO members.

The Mother Jones Award for Outstanding Union Activism is open for all NSO members. Therefore, professional and associate staff members are eligible to participate on an equal standing.

We ask that affiliate presidents inform their membership of the Mother Jones Award for Outstanding Union Activism, distribute this document, as well as the nomination form to your membership. Each affiliate will then implement their own selection process to present an individual for national consideration.

Each affiliate nomination will be submitted to the NSO Executive Committee who will then be responsible for the selection of the national award winner. The identified recipient will receive a plaque commemorating their dedication to unionism and the labor movement.

“Goodbye boys, I’m under arrest. I may have to go to jail. I may not see you for a long time. Keep up the fight! Don’t surrender!” 

– Mother Jones

Award Winners

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Year

Winner

2019 Elizabeth Hrenda (Pennsylvania)
2017 David Rathke (Illinois)

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Nomination Form


NSO Contact Person

Rose Tapp
Region 4 Director

California Staff Organization

No documents found.

Nomination Forms

No documents found.