For Outstanding Contributions to NAVHDA


Jim and Bobby Applegate, along with founding fathers Sigbot Winterhelt and John Kegel, are unquestionably among the most influential NAVHDA members in history. Their selfless dedication to NAVHDA and their volunteer efforts since the early 1970s truly formed the backbone of our organization. Their contributions include running the office, singlehandedly, from their personal business location for many years. Jim wrote and copyrighted the MARS computer system, which remains the foundation of our massive, searchable testing, registry, and membership databases.

Jim and Bobby attended their first NAVHDA event in early 1972, and got hooked. Over the course of his roughly 50-year NAVHDA career, Jim and Bobby both held leadership positions in the Wisconsin Chapter. Jim was also a Senior Judge, NAVHDA International Vice President (1978-1983) and President (1984-1986), Director of Judge Development (1987-1991), Registrar (1993-2010), and director of Information Services (2011-2017). Bobby was equally involved at the International level, managing the office and serving as both Editor of the VHD magazine and Director of Publications. Sadly, Bobby passed away in 2006 and Jim left us in 2022.

In recognition of their many accomplishments and contributions, NAVHDA has established the Jim and Bobby Applegate Award for Outstanding Contributions to NAVHDA. Recipients will have  demonstrated long-term commitment to NAVHDA through dedicated service to their local chapter or to the International Organization, mentorship and recruitment, and will have served as a role model by representing those qualities described in NAVHDA’s Member Code of Conduct. Individuals may nominate themselves or others. Please send a detailed letter of nomination, including years served and in which capacity and a description of how the individual embodies the spirit of the award, along with one additional letter of support from someone with a thorough understanding of the nominee’s contributions.

Nominations should be emailed to Managing Director Kim Arnett by November 1st. One award will be granted on an annual basis, and will be chosen by a committee consisting of two EC members and three members-at-large. Current members of the EC are not eligible for consideration.