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NAPO-CT “Above and Beyond” Founder’s Award presented by Judith Ann Kirk

Thank you, past recipients, especially those that continue to be a part of NAPO-CT. Along with all NAPO-CT members, I wish to express how grateful we are for all you have done to keep NAPO-CT alive and active. You have been, and continue to be a positive impact — Above and Beyond our expectations and well deserving of the honor.  ~~Judith Ann Kirk, Founder of NAPO-CT Informal Group in 1995 and chapter in 2003

2022 – Bonnie Maya

In the beginning of 2020, NAPO-CT members felt like we were launched into outer space – floating around aimlessly. We had no idea what was ahead for us during the pandemic or how long it would last. It is truly comforting to know that someone is willing to step up, do the research, take over the controls and glide this spaceship to its docking station.  Bonnie certainly went Above and Beyond when confronted with the uncertainty of handling monthly meetings and NERCPO. She was willing to do the research, to learn and to set the wheels in motion. All of us benefited from having Bonnie on our team.

2021 – Jan Baltrush

2021 was a time to honor Jan Baltrush for her quiet, unassuming volunteer service over the years. Jan joined NAPO-CT in 2010 and became an integral part of every NAPO-CT outreach program from GO Month, IKEA, Contests and Journey Home Warehouse Makeover. In 2018, she accepted the request to serve on the Board as Membership Director, a position she held for three years. She re-established the Ask the Organizer Panel for new members, resurrected the Mentoring Program, devoted time and energy to connecting with guests, and always willing to chat with potential members. As we look back over the years, NAPO-CT is truly thankful for the chance to get to know Jan personally and professionally, and we appreciate all she does to exhibit the inclusiveness of NAPO-CT.

2020 Founder's Award Recipient Leslie Raycraft with founder Judith Ann Kirk2020 – Leslie Raycraft

2020 recipient, Leslie Raycraft, is no stranger to hard work and lots of learning. After only a few years as a member Leslie volunteered to be on the Board of Directors taking on the role of Treasurer even though she knew nothing about keeping the finances in order on QuickBooks. She learned and continues to learn. In 2019 she also took on the huge challenge of organizing the community outreach program, Journey Home — from helping to come up with a good recipient to soliciting sponsors, to designing the floor plan and flow of the warehouse, to organizing everything from beginning to end, even the great after-work party! Of course, she’s also a lot of fun to be with and always willing to help anyone with anything.

2019 – Seana Turner

2019 Founder’s Award went to Seana Turner. What can I say? Just googled her name and you will get over 325,000 results which go on and on, page after page. Many of these pages are directly about our Seana and her organizing business and contributions to NAPO-CT. And many are responses made on other peoples’ blogs. Seana is a spark plug that ignites all of us into action. She was the instigator of NERCPO back in 2015. It is a pleasure to honor Seana. She is a strong part of NAPO-CT’s success.

2018 – Tom Larson

In 2018, Business Partner, Tom Larson of Just Dump It was honored with this year’s Founder’s Award. Tom has been an integral part of every NAPO-CT event from regular meetings, to Vendor Fair, to GO Month, to NERCPO, to contests makeovers, and to summer and holiday socials. He was the first Business Partner to serve on the Board of Directors from 2014-16. Tom is the first to say, “I’ll be a part of that!” And, we love the orange shirt and truck which is always visible at all NAPO-CT outreach projects.

2017 – Susan O’Connell

The 2017 Founder’s Award goes to Susan O’Connell for her continuous commitment to NAPO-CT as Director of Marketing and her unfailing dedication to the Northeast Regional Conference for Productivity and Organizing Professionals. NERCPO has been and continues to be a solid outreach program geared to bringing together professionals for education, networking and just plain fun. The huge success of NERCPO is directly attributed to Susan’s unfailing energy and go-get-them attitude. She really knows what she is doing and she keeps on giving.

2016 – Matt Baier

2016 Founder’s Award honors our esteemed Past President, Matt Baier. Over the years Matt has become a leading example of taking his business beyond a solo entrepreneur and teaching team approach to anyone who chooses to learn about the struggles and rewards of employing a team of organizers. We are most grateful to Matt for sharing his graphic talents by producing the entertaining and informative clip on our website home page. For those who have been a part of the summer contest that Matt orchestrated, you know that when he blows his whistle, we all jump into action.

2015 – Beth Schlater

2015, Beth Schlater was honored for her commitment as Communication Director. Beth took control of our website out of the costly hands of the developer, reconstructed its layout and content, made it possible to relinquish the expense of outsourcing our database, and established an electronic communication system to benefit all of us. She set the stage for our present-day website and communication system. Beth has since taken a full-time position with one of her clients and is no longer a NAPO member.

2014 – Jennifer Burke

In 2014, Jen Burke, NAPO-CT long-standing secretary, was recognized. Many years ago, Jen picked up the legacy left behind when two prominent members passed away and two other board members resigned mid-term and moved away. Huge gaps were left on NAPO-CT Board. It was a sad and an exceedingly difficult time, yet Jen confidently grasped the baton and tightly held on keeping everything straight during monthly meetings and Board of Directors meetings. With Jen’s guidance we were able to begin the process of a records repository keeping the permanent records mandated by national and important documents for future reference. Thank you, Jen for all your hard work and commitment to NAPO-CT.

2013 – Sandra Wheeler

In 2013, Sandra Wheeler received the accolade. Sandra gave much to the growth of NAPO-CT throughout the years. She has held multiple Board positions–Director of Communications, Vice President, President, Past President and again Vice President to fill the void. Sandra also shared her knowledge on Feng Shui at a regular meeting and NERCPO. She has a quick smile and helping hand for anyone who asks.

2012 – Karen Bryant

The first recipient of the Founder’s Award was Karen Bryant – better known as KB. She was a powerhouse to our chapter as she took over the reins of revamping an archaic website on a non-existing budget. KB is no longer a part of our association as she took a full-time position with a past client. She is still friends with many of us and will always be remembered for her dedication to NAPO-CT.

How it all began

As the founder of the CT Organizer’s Informal Group in 1995 and eventually NAPO-CT chapter in 2003, I wanted to establish an annual honor to an individual who had gone Above and Beyond in commitment to NAPO-CT. Choosing one individual is not easy. It had to be someone who took a huge step forward in his/her contribution to the growth of NAPO-CT. Each recipient has outstanding qualities of compassion and commitment. I am proud to be able to showcase their contributions.  ~Judith Ann Kirk.

What does it take to be the recipient of the NAPO-CT Founder’s Award?

  • A desire to give back to others
  • A spirit of gratitude
  • A person who knows how to grasp the moment and contribute in unique ways that makes things easier for others
  • A willingness to step up and take on a task that you may not be particularly skilled at doing, but know it has to be done

Criteria for NAPO-CT Founder’s Award

  1. Active member for a minimum of  3 years
  2. Attends meeting regularly
  3. Gone “Above and Beyond” in contribution to the growth of NAPO-CT
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