Honoring APCO-NENA Members:



Patrick Buller, a Tacoma Power communications engineer, received one of the Radio Club of America's highest honors, the President's Award, at ceremonies on November 19, 2004 in New York City. The President's Award reflects Buller's contributions to the Radio Club of America and to the radio industry. He developed special test instruments and educational materials to locate and correct radio and television interference from power lines for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and was a contributing editor to Mobile Radio Technology magazine. He has been a Radio Club of America fellow, the highest level of membership, since 1999. The Radio Club of America is an international organization with 1,100 members. 


Buller has worked in the radio industry since 1948. He joined Tacoma Power in 2000 after retiring from the Washington State Patrol. He also worked for Utah State University, Utah Power & Light Company and Rockwell International. "Pat Buller has made significant contributions to the radio industry and to Tacoma Power," said Steve Klein, Tacoma Power superintendent. "He has an extraordinary depth and breadth of knowledge that he uses for practical applications to improve day-to-day utility operations. All of us at Tacoma Power congratulate Pat on this award." 



Weldon Joe Blair Award Recipients

Chris Fischer - 2004

Jimmie Hocutt - 2000



The Maurice Courtright Award was bestowed to the NW Chapter of APCO by his widow, so the memory of Maury should be kept alive in the organization he so loved.


This award is not about deeds, or numbers, or accomplishments, nor has it anything to do with financial successes, or chairmanships, or most anything else normally used to measure a person. The award does speak volumes about the inspiration behind those deeds, numbers, accomplishments and successes of that person’s associates. The Maurice Courtright award is bestowed upon those individuals having a positive, caring attitude who believe that to elevate and make great the individuals in an organization will make the organization vastly greater and stronger for the benefit of all. Thus making significant contributions to the NW (now Washington) Chapter of APCO through personality, persuasion, caring, and efforts of helping others outside of the normal work assignments.


For the Maurice Courtright Award, we must seek out those candidates who lead without being a leader, who influence others to accomplish great deeds via a caring attitude and who inspire others to greatness beyond the limits they themselves ever imagined. “The spark plug of life,” so to speak. Or. To put it another way, “the heart and soul” of the Washington Chapter of APCO. Those candidates are there. We have but to observe and seek them out. 

Maury Courtright was an instructor in electronics at Central Washington University when he was tapped to become the radio engineer for the Washington State Department of Transportation. He joined the NW Chapter of APCO in 1973. Those who knew Maury quickly understood that (in addition to family), he had two passions, electronics/communications and flying his airplane. Maury quickly made friends within the APCO family and added a third passion: The NW Chapter of APCO.


When Maury scheduled his work trips, he always tried to include side trips to the local agencies to promote APCO and offer his services. Often when he traveled to a chapter meeting, he would stop along with way and pick up members. Using his airplane for long trips or his DOT car for shorter trips or when inclement weather prevented safe flying, Maury became an unofficial ambassador for the NW Chapter of APCO. His easy smile and unabashed interest in his companions and their interests enabled Maury to draw members to the APCO meetings and take on chapter activities.


A conversation with Maury was an open invitation to join him in a journey to become his friend. A friend you can rely upon and trust. A friend who encourages you to excel in all things and to become a better person.


It was late at night that the accident happened. Maury and his friend, a trooper with the WSP, were returning to Olympia from a personal trip. It had been a long trip and it is speculated that both pilot and passenger were extremely fatigued. It is unknown who had been at the controls at the time the plane crashed but both men perished. The WSP lost a good trooper and the WSDOT lost a good engineer. The loss set back WSDOT communications progress by seven years and NW APCO lost their volunteer ambassador.


Maurice Courtright   Award Recipients: 

Jackie Jones - 2017

Richard Kirton - 2014

Stephanie Fritts - 2011

Deb Welsh - 2008 

Kurt Hardin - 2006 

Peggy Fouts - 2004

Cory Ahrens - 1999

Millie Tirapelle - 1998 

Marlys Davis - 1998 

Jim Quackenbush - 1997 

Elizabeth Henneke - 1996 

Kevin Kearns - 1995 

Ross Morris - 1994 

Chris A. Fischer - 1993 

Jim Quackenbush - 1992 

Keith "Skip" Forbes - 1991 

Jack McCormick - 1990 

John Slomnicki - 1988 

Chris A. Fischer- 1987 

Duncan Stewart - 1986 

Brenda Hostetter - 1985 

Alan & Phyllis Hull - 1983 

William C. Schumacher - 1982 

John L. Kelly - 1981 

John R. Gasser - 1980 

Paul Bolerjack - 1979 

Robert O'Brien - 1978 

R.G. Quantz - 1977 

Howard Fordice - 1976 

Maurice Courtright - 1975



The Presidential Award was created in 2010 to recognize an individual or group who has made a contribution to the communications profession that had or will have an undeniable impact to the entire profession. This award recognizes those that saw beyond their own Communication Center(s) or business(s) in order to accomplish what was best for the whole. Through their leadership, vision, adversity and strength of character our profession has been forever impacted.

Presidential Award Recipients

Sheryl Mullen - NORCOM - 2016 (View photo)

Laura Caster – Snohomish County – 2015 (View photo)

Jackie Jones – MACC – 2014 (View photo)

Brenda Cantu – U of W PD - 2014 (View photo)

Cory Ahrens – CJTC - 2013 (View photo)

Jean Nealy - Pierce County - 2012 (View photo)

Richard Kirton - CENCOM - 2011 (View photo)

James C. Quackenbush - 2010 (View photo)




The WA APCO-NENA Professional Communications Human Resources (ProCHRT) Committee awards one person each month for Telecommunicator of the Month.  The job of a telecommunicator requires special traits, knowledge and skills.  Regardless of work load or incident priority performance must be at a peak, with the telecommunicator often being the steady and calm voice through the chaos.  If you know a telecommunicator who is an example of what we should all strive to be and you would like him/her to be acknowledged by the ProCHRT Special Committee, please send in a nomination.  Whether they have done something recently that warranted praise or over their career they've shown us what it means to be a telecommunicator, nominate them!  We want to recognize the special people who are the first of the first responders.  All who are selected as WA APCO-NENA ProCHRT Telecommunicator of the Month will be featured in our monthly newsletter.  To nominate someone email prochrt@waapconena.org

Past ProCHRT Telecommunicator of the Month Award Recipients

Melissa Vieth, NORCOM - June 2017 (View)

Kristin Kingery, MACECOM - May 2017 (View)

Michelle Duran, What-Comm - April 2017 (View)

Kirby Focht, Cowlitz County 911 - March 2017 (View)

Aaron Powelson, MACECOM - February 2017 (View)

Chad Wilson, What-Comm - January 2017 (View)

Tara Larkins, SNOCOM - December 2016 (View)

Lorna Fernandez, South Sound 911 - November 2016 (View)

George Hazard, CENCOM - October 2016 (View)

Tiffany Morrison, MACECOM - September 2016 (View)

There was no recipient for August 2016

Jill Clancey, CENCOM - July 2016 (View)

Karen Hanson, Valley Com - June 2016 (View)

Jaime Souvenir, PACCOM - May 2016 (View)

Kevin Hobson, Seattle Police Department - April 2016 (View)

Tracy Nill, King County Sheriff's Office - March 2016 (View)

Christy Anderson, CENCOM - February 2016 (View)

Nick Curry, NORCOM - January 2016 (View)

There was no recipient for December 2015

Kimberlee Anderson, Garfield County Sheriff - November 2015 (View)

Tina McMillan, South Sound 911 - October 2015 (View)

Shannon Bunnell, Grays Harbor 911 - September 2015 (View)

Candy O'Brien, Spokane County 911 - August 2015 (View)

Marci Prettyman, Spokane County 911 - July 2015 (View)

Becky Lucci, NORCOM - June 2015 (View)

Rita Noble, Valley Communications Center - May 2015 (View)

Matt Williams, Skagit 911 - April 2015 (View)

Brooke Young, King County Sheriff's Office - March 2015 (View)

There was no recipient for February 2015

Charla Clifton, PACCOM - January 2015 (View)










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