Presented at the IOA Annual Conference, recipients receive complimentary, non-transferable membership status along with a complimentary registration to the conference for the year that he or she receives the honor. The criteria are:
- An outstanding record of service to the IOA or its predecessor organizations (TOA, UCOA, COA) either as an elected official or through other voluntary service to the organization on task forces, committees, or as an advocate of the organizational ombudsman profession or the public.
- Demonstration of innovative service contributions that have advanced the organizational ombudsman profession through administrative or committee work outside of IOA or its predecessor organizations, or other efforts, including publications, public speaking, testimony and instruction.
- Evidence of a leadership role in one or more activities that has positively impacted the organizational ombudsman profession.
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