Honoring Deserving Individuals and Corporations

The Golden Glow Awards

AGLOW is one of the nation’s largest, oldest and most active professional outdoor communicators’ organizations. Each year, as merited, AGLOW’s Council of Past Presidents nominates and presents up to five deserving individuals or corporations with their highest honor, the Golden Glow Award. These awards are presented at our Annual Conference.



Curt McAllister (Center) Kevin Michalowski, Presenter (left)   Mark C. Smith (Right)


(Left to Right)  Mark C. Smith, Tim Lesmeister (Presenter), Leslie Sundahl (Traditions), Dena Vick (Traditions), Jim Edlund (Traditions), Ken Perrotte (Traditions), Josh Lantz (Traditions)


Jim Zaleski (center) Presenter:  Mike Schoonveld (left), AGLOW Executive Director Mark C. Smith (right)

2017 Golden Glow Awards — AGLOW Awards its highest honor to recipients at annual conference

The Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) awarded its highest honor to three recipients at its recent annual conference at Lake of the Woods, Minnesota.  Golden Glow Awards were presented in the Excellence-In-Craft, Organization, and Individual categories during the September 27th Clam Outdoors Golden Glow Banquet at the Sportsman’s Lodge.


2017 Golden Glow Excellence in Craft Winner – Darrell Taylor

2017 Golden Glow Individual Award Winner – Capt. Ernie Calandrelli, Lewiston, NY

2017 Golden Glow Organization Award Winner –
Living Lands & Waters, Rapid City, IL

2016 Golden Glow for Corporate Excellence-St. Croix Rods

St. Croix’s history reads as the straight definition of hard work and determination. In 1948, co-founders Bob and Bill Johnson, both avid

Dena Vick from Traditions Media Represented St. Croix Rods and Accepted the 2016 Golden Glow Award for Corporate Excellence from AGLOW Executive Director Mark C. Smith during the Clam Outdoors Golden Glow Banquet Held at the Peek’n Peak Resort in Chautauqua, New York.” Photo by Gary N-ski.

fishermen, decided to construct and sell landing nets. Their quality nets proved too costly for most sportsmen.

Perusing a display of cane fishing poles, the brothers decided to modify them to make them portable. They cut the poles into three shorter lengths and fitted them with brass ferrules. A local hardware merchant immediately ordered 500 rods, and the St. Croix Rod Company was born.

Brother Doug Johnson and cousin John Olson joined the new venture. It is not clear how they decided upon the company name, but since the St. Croix River bordered their stomping grounds of Minnesota and Wisconsin, it is surmised that this was how the namesake was chosen.

Not many people know that over the years, there were a variety of goods manufactured that were essential to the development and success of the company. Solid and tubular rod blanks were sold to other companies such as Zebco and Waterking. Private brand rods were created for Orvis, L.L. Bean, Cabela’s, South Bend, Cortland and many others. Sundry items such as Department of Natural Resources shocking rods and landing nets, pool cues and marine antennas all contributed to the company’s longevity

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2016 Golden Glow Individual Award – Glenn Sapir

The Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers (AGLOW) named Glenn Sapir, an accomplished outdoor writer, editor, and industry

Glenn Sapir with the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers Golden Glow Individual Award presented in Chautauqua, New York at the 60th annual meeting of AGLOW. Photo submitted by Glenn Sapir.

professional, as the winner of the Golden Glow, Individual award for 2016. The award was presented at the AGLOW 60th Annual Meeting at the Peek ‘n Peak Resort and Spa near Chautauqua, New York.

This is the highest individual award presented by AGLOW, and recognizes Sapir’s career as an outdoor communicator, which includes thousands of bylined newspaper and magazine articles, his tenure as an editor of all of the ‘Big Three’ outdoor magazines (Outdoor Life, Sports Afield, and Field & Stream), and his time as an executive at the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Through his varied career, Sapir has consistently celebrated hunting, fishing, ethics, conservation, and the wonder of the natural world.

Sapir was on a trip out of the country and could not receive the award in person, but sent a message expressing his thanks for the award, and in typical fashion gave credit for his Individual award to many other people.

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2016 Golden Glow Organization Award – RIVERACTION

The early 1980’s were a turning point in the Quad Cities of Illinois and Iowa regarding the Mississippi River. While several things

Bob Groene accepts the 2016 Golden Glow Organizational Award for RIVERACTION at the AGLOW Annual Conference in Chautauqua, New York.
Photo by Gary N-ski

happened, at point here is: in 1984 three women together decided to promote public awareness, access and use of our greatest natural resource—the Mississippi. They each ponied up $200 as seed money, accepted use of a used copier and for $1 gained office space for a year—they founded RIVERACTION. Their first project was organizing “Ride The River” in 1985—a Father’s Day family bicycling activity that utilized riverfront recreational trails on both sides of the river. The event was a success drawing thousands and continues today. Their first major financial project was raising money to ornament-ally light the arched Mississippi River bridge connecting Rock Island and Davenport. When the lights were turned on in 1988, RIVERACTION had not only gained huge traction but also community credibility and confidence.

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2016 Golden Glow Excellence-in-Craft Award – Kevin Michalowski

If ever a consummate journalist graced the ranks of AGLOW, the presence of Kevin Michalowski, the group’s 2016 recipient of the Excellence-In-Craft Award, deserves the honor.

Kevin Michalowski is awarded the Golden Glow for Excellence in Craft. Photo by Nski.

He has accomplished more in that storied field in his 50 years than most can even dream of grasping in a lifetime.

His professional writing career started as a teenager, with work as a stringer for local newspapers. Following high school, he enlisted in the US Navy (serving five years) and attended it’s Defense Information School. Soon, he was gathering honors in writing, photojournalism, special events and establishment of a daily newspaper, radio and television stations, and a museum while serving aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, a renowned aircraft carrier.

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