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International Council of Air Shows

ICAS Sword of Excellence

Since 1981, the International Council of Air Shows Sword of Excellence has been synonymous with air show excellence. Given each year to recognize outstanding service and personal contributions to the air show industry, the Sword is widely considered to be the single highest honor an individual air show professional can receive. Over the last 28 years, 35 different Sword recipients have been honored for their leadership, service, innovation, vision, commitment and selfless contributions to the air show business.

The award was created in 1981 to recognize the highest levels of achievement in the air show business. Since then, the stature and visibility of the ICAS Sword of Excellence have increased as the list of past recipients has grown. The single common characteristic of these air show performers, event organizers, military representatives, government officials and air show industry activists is their selfless commitment to improving and contributing not just to their own air show businesses, but to the entire air show industry.


The ICAS Sword of Excellence Award is given in honor of outstanding overall service or personal contributions to the air show industry. Consideration may be given to exceptional, consistent and personal efforts that have made a substantial impact in the improvement, growth or recognition of the industry over a long period of time or a distinguished short term contribution of extraordinary value. The award is not limited to contributions within ICAS, but is reflective of selfless contribution to the air show industry as a whole. The recipient need not be a member of ICAS to receive the award.

Selection of a recipient for the ICAS Sword of Excellence Award will be by unanimous decision of a Selection Committee comprised of a member of the Board of Directors, two past recipients of the award, and two at-large members, each of who has at least ten years of experience in the air show business. ICAS will allow, but not require, up to two recipients for the Sword each year.

Nomination Procedure

To nominate an air show professional for the ICAS Sword of Excellence, complete and return the nomination form. You may nominate as many individuals as you think are appropriate, including yourself. You are also permitted to anonymously nominate an air show professional. The goal of the nomination process is to ensure that all of the best prospective candidates are considered by the Selection Committee. Only the information provided on the nomination form will be considered. Other correspondence and support materials will NOT be provided to the Selection Committee members.

Past Recipients

Bobbi Thompson2023
Jim Tucciarone 2022
Kevin Walsh2021
John Klatt2020
Dale Drumright2019
Gilbert Buekenberghs2018
Julie Clark2018
Lee Lauderback2017
Bill Stein2016
Dan McLaren2015
Jim Pietz2014
Mark Magin2013
Wayne Boggs2012
Michael Goulian2011
Larry Gallogly2010
Peter Bunce2009
Ralph Royce2008
U.S. Navy Blue Angels2007
Rob Reider2007
Charles Hutchins2006
Harry Wardwell2005
Eddie Andreini2004
Rick Soule2003
Jerry Van Kempen2002
Wayne Handley2001
Sean D. Tucker2000
Steve & Suzanne-Asbury Oliver1999
Gene Soucy1998
Karen Geldner1997
Duane Cole1996
John McGowan1996
Patty Wagstaff1995
Leo Loudenslager1994
Bill Bordeleau1993
Danny Clisham1992
Rick Grissom1991
Chuck Newcomb1990
Gary McMahon1989
T. Allan McArtor1988
Bob Bishop1987
Bill Barber1986
Jim Gattis1985
Art Scholl1984
O.B. Philp1984
Charlie Hillard1983
Dick Schram1983
Bob Hoover1982
Troy W. Dodd1981
Paul Poberezny1981