Photo by Paul Smith – Flying Tiger on the Alagnak

About AGLOW’S 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.

Individual Golden GLOW Award

The Individual GLOW Award is presented to specific individuals in the private sector for dedication to conservation activities.

Past Individual Award Recipients

1987 Dr. Howard Tanner/Dr. Wayne Tody (Jointly)
1988 Sigurd F. Olson (posthumously)
1989 Aldo Leopold (posthumously)
1990 Dr. Durward Allen
1991 William D. Ruckelshause
1992 Gilbert Radonski
1993 Dr. Joseph P. Linduska
1994 William Rutherford
1995 Dr. Julius M. Kowalski, M.D.
1996 Maynard Reece
1997 Homer Circle
1998 Dr. Christine Thomas
1999 Glenn H. Lau
2000 Bill Beeman
2001 Robert E. Petersen
2002 Laura Rericha
2003 Bill Cullerton
2005 Terry Redlin
2006 Jim Hubbard
2007 Forrest L. Wood
2008 Chad Pregracke
2009 Dr. Alan Wentz
2010 Mark VanPatten
2011 Mark LaBarbera
2012 Curt Hicken
2013 Kevin Howard
2014 William (Bill) P. Keaton
2015 Berdette Zastrow
2016 Glenn Sapir
2017 Ernie Calandrelli
2018 Curt McAllister
2019 Shelley Crant

Company or Corporation Golden GLOW Award

The Company or Corporation Award is presented to a “For Profit” company or corporation for its contribution to sportsmen and conservation.

Past Company/Corporation Award Recipients

1986 The Cullerton Co.
1987 Berkley & Co.
1988 Zebco Division of Brunswick Corp.
1989 The Coleman Co.
1990 Plano Molding Co.
1991 Winchester/Olin
1992 Federal Cartridge Co.
1993 Remington Arms
1994 Ranger Boats
1996 Jayco
1997 Mercury Marine
1998 H&R1871
1999 L.L. Bean, Inc.
2000 Pentax
2001 Daisy Outdoor Products
2002 Pure Fishing
2003 Bass Pro Shops
2004 TTI Companies
2005 Sheldon’s, Inc.
2006 Cabela’s, Inc.
2007 Boyt Harness Company
2008 Howard Communications
2009 Wildlife Research Center
2011 BoatUS
2012 Clam Outdoors
2014 Hobie Cat Company
2016 St. Croix Rods
2018 Traditions Media
2019 United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA)

Organization Golden GLOW Award

The Organization Award is presented for service to sportsmen and conservation.

Past Organization Award Recipients

1986 Ducks Unlimited
1987 The Izaak Walton League of America
1988 The Fish America Foundation
1989 National Audubon Society
1990 Sport Fishing Institute
1991 National Fishing Hall of Fame
1992 AFTMA
1993 Wildlife Legislative Fund
1994 Nature Conservancy
1995 Boy Scouts of America
1996 National Shooting Sports Foundation
1997 Wildlife Forever
1998 Jack Miner Migratory Bird Foundation
1999 National Rifle Association & Northwest Ind. Steelheaders
2000 The Wilderness Society
2001 National Wild Turkey Federation
2002 National Shoot Sports Foundation
2003 Hooked on Fishing International
2004 Safari Club International
2005 Waterfowl USA Northeast Chapter
2006 Pheasants Forever, Inc.
2008 U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance
2009 Delta Waterfowl
2010 Quad City Conservation Alliance
2011 Pheasants Forever
2012 National Shooting Sports Foundation
2014 Whitetails Unlimited
2016 Riveraction
2017 Living Lands and Waters
2019 Conservation Federation of Missouri

Public Servant Golden GLOW Award

The Public Servant Award is an award to a specific individual for service to sportsmen and/or conservation while in his capacity as a member of a municipal, state or federal government.

Past Public Servant Award Recipients

1986 Mark Tuttle
1987 James Helfrich (posthumously)
1988 Frank C. Bellrose
1990 Dr. Glen C. Sanderson
1991 Congressman John Dingell
1992 Manual Lujan, Jr.
1993 Jim Ridenour
1994 Patrick R. Ralston
1995 Brent Manning
1996 Bruce Babbit
1997 Former U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson
1998 Gov. Jim Edgar, IL.
1999 Ron Allen
2000 Gary Thomas
2001 Charleton Heston
2002 Steve Havara
2003 Steve Williams
2004 Sgt. Dean Shadley
2006 Gov. Mike Huckabee
2008 Don Hultman
2010 Bill James
2011 Sen. Dick Dearden
2012 Ken Russell

Excellence-In-Craft Golden GLOW Award

To an AGLOW member, the Excellence-In-Craft Award is truly most treasured. Nominees must be an Active, Retired (Active-Retired) or Associate member or Past President of AGLOW. This award recognizes the recipient for the outstanding dedication, effort and quality of outdoor communications work.

The nomination and selection process for the Excellence in Craft Award is also the responsibility of the Council of Past Presidents.

Past Excellence-In-Craft Award Recipients

1987 John Madson
1988 Al Spiers
1989 Homer Circle
1990 John Mullin
1991 Jack Ehresman
1992 Thayne Smith
1993 Jack Kerins
1994 Ed Mahoney
1995 Bob White
1996 John Case
1997 Tom Huggler
1998 Phil Larson
1999 Dan Small
2000 Joel Vance
2001 Ed Rood
2002 Bob Schmidt
2003 Tony Dean
2004 Doug Stamm
2005 Phil Junker
2006 Steve Nelson
2008 William Hilts, Sr.
2009 Al Lindner
2011 Gary Howey
2012 Bobby Whitehead
2013 Tim Lesmeister
2014 Mike Schoonveld
2015 Brian Smith
2016 Kevin Michalowski
2017 Darrell Taylor
2018 James Zaleski
2019 Paul Smith

Hospitality Golden GLOW Award

The Hospitality Award was started in 2013 to recognize outstanding partnership with AGLOW and the greater outdoors media on the part of a member tourism organization.

Past Hospitality Award Recipients

2013 Fond du Lac (WI) Area CVB
2014 Mercer (WI) Area Chamber of Commerce


The Past Presidents of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers presented their Golden Glow Awards at an awards ceremony held during the 63rd annual meeting of the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers in La Crosse, Wisconsin on September 17, 2019. The Golden Glow Awards are the highest honor awarded at their annual conference.

Shelly Crant

(L) Mark C. Smith (C) Shelley Crant (R) Tim Lesmeister

Read the press release.

Conservation Federation of Missouri

(L) Dan Zeko (R) Brandon Butler

Read the press release.

Delta Defense/USCCA

(L) Kevin Michalowski (R) Mark C. Smith

Read the press release.

Paul Smith

(L) Mark C. Smith (C) Paul Smith (R) Brandon Butler

Read the press release.



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

Read More.

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.

Read More.

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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