Other Award Recipients

Honoring APCO-NENA Members


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 his 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 on 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 the 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 its volunteer ambassador.

Maurice Courtright Award Recipients:
Jackie Jones – 2018
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 on the 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:
Keith Flewelling – TCOMM – 2019
Sheryl Mullen – Redmond PD – 2016
Laura Caster – Snohomish County – 2015
Jackie Jones – MACC – 2014
Brenda Cantu – U of W PD – 2014
Cory Ahrens – CJTC – 2013
Jean Nealy – Pierce County – 2012
Richard Kirton – CENCOM – 2011
James C. Quackenbush – 2010


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.”