Southeastern Regional Association of the National Speleological Society

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SERA Meritorious Service Award

At the 2001 SERA Winter Business Meeting, The SERA Meritorious Service Award was created. It was felt that the four existing awards are very specific in nature. Therefore this award was created as a more general, non-specific award. The Merit award is simply for meritorious service to the Southeastern caving community. There are no requirements or qualifications. The award is designed to fill in the gaps left by the four primary awards. There is no cash award and it is not framed since there is no way to predict the number awarded.

This award is to be motioned and voted by the governing committee at the SWBM. Therefore no written nominations will be accepted and you must be present at the meeting to nominate.


Past SERA Meritorious Service Award Recipients:

 2001 Jeff Dilcher Runs TAG-Net, a valuable resource for Southeastern cavers.
 2001 Jim and Gail Wilbanks Ran and hosted the Fox Mountain survey for the Southeastern Cave Conservancy, Inc.
2003 Dr. Thomas C. Barr, John Noel, Chuck Manglesdorf,  Joe McCaleb, Dr. Julian Lewis, Bill Overton, Dr. Sid Jones, Chris Anderson, Tennessee Environmental Council, The Sierra Club, Tennessee PEER, Tennessee Scenic Rivers Assoc., Save Our Cumberland Mountains, The "Rumblers": Marion O. Smith, John Swartz, Gary Chambers, Jack Thomison, Bill Walter, Debby Johnson, Misty Chambers, Gerald Moni, Don Reid Hunter & Cara Chambers.  Helped to save Rumbling Falls Cave, Spencer TN.
2003 Dan Twilley  SKTF Projects-Preparation Work 
2003 Lonnie Carr, Dr. Hal Love, Bill Overton Gating-Blue Spring Cave
2003 Bill Torode 25+ years of Service to the NSS Library
2005 Brent Aulenbach Fricks Cave Resurvey
2005 Andy Zellner Maintaining closed cave list and cave directions booth at TAG Fall Cave-In
2005 Chuck Henson Providing new site for the TAG Fall Cave-In
2006 Avis Moni For years of service to the NSS
2006 Carl Bishop For dedication to the region’s cave resources
2006 Mark Murrell For dedication to the region’s cave resources
2006 Peter Michaud For outstanding service and hospitality to the caving community
2007 Don Hunter For his continuing support of SERA and the SERA photo Salon

Brent Aulenbach

For founding and running the SERA map Salon

Dan Barnick

For founding the SERA Photo Salon
2007 Jay Clark For legal advice and assistance to NSS Cavers
2007 Sewanee Mountain Grotto

For conservation and recycling efforts

2007 Bill Torode

For tireless support of the NSS

2008 Jim Wilbanks For nine years of service as the Secretary/Treasurer
2008 Maureen Handler For the Orme Mountain Road cleanup
2009 Not Awarded  
2010 Jody Bailey Numerous contributions to the caving community
2011 Gerold Moni For many years of service to the caving community and SERA.
2012 Not Awarded  
2013 Jay Clark For his exemplary service in fund raising, strategy development, and pro bono legal assistance to the NSS and to the Southeast Region.
2013 Jody Bailey For all of over and above hard work in preparing the 2013 SERA WBM.
2014 Brian Roebuck SERA service and editing the Southeastern Caver (SERA newsletter)
2015 Kelly Smallwood Exemplary support of the 2015 SERA Winter Business Meeting
2015 Bambi Dunlap Exemplary support of the 2015 SERA Winter Business Meeting
2015 Don Hunter Organization and support of the Photo and Art Salons at the SERA Winter Business Meetings
2016 East TN Grotto SERA Committee For the 2015 SERA Summer Cave Carnival Event, reporting, and sharing of information.
2017 Moore J. Smith Spiritual Advisor.
2017 Cheryl Pratt Outstanding service as SKTF secretary for 10 years.
2018 Teri Stephens Outstanding dedication to the caving community.
2019 Warren Wyatt Outstanding service as an ambassador to new cavers and to the Upper Cumberland Grotto.
2019 Thomas Whitehurst Outstanding public education and interaction as Property Manager at Stephens Gap Callahan Cave Preserve.
2020 Maureen Handler and NSS Convention Staff and Volunteers Outstanding service during the 2019 NSS Convention.
2020 John Hoffelt Outstanding service as SERA Secretary/Treasurer.
2021 Don Hunter For his work on publishing the Southeastern Caver over the years and especially for the tremendous issue published for 2021.
2022 Jason and Chrissy Richards
2023 Sewanee Mountain Grotto and Scott Shaw

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