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.


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.


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.

Past Award Recipients:

2011: Chuck Agerstand (Michigan)

2014:  Emmitt Jimmar (Alabama)

2018:  Lynn Adler (Illinois)

2019: The Writing Team for Organizing for Power (Janet Beck, Mike Horner, Bob Linquist, Steve Pulkkinen & Jeff Wahlquest)

Nomination Form