Truth be told, I don't much enjoy watching awards ceremonies, which can be mind-numbingly dull if not done well. The YPA hired entertainer Roy Firestone, who did his best to liven up the evening. He was fine (although his show didn't change much from last year), but no one can make the reading of what every gold, silver and bronze winner has done sound interesting.
I would very much like to see the YPA provide some extra publicity for the community service awards because these are projects that really show how the Yellow Pages industry is helping their communities. The gold award was won by Sutter for " 'An Opportunity for the Future' The Sutter Vocational Grant Training Program." The silver was won by the DAC Group and Ketchum got the bronze. All three of these – and I'm sure many more who didn't receive awards – helped show the power of Yellow Pages (the theme of the conference).
There were two other significant awards. Incoming YPA Chairman Dennis Payne created the Individual Achievement Award and gave it to Stu Stanze who died seven months ago. No one listening to Denny's warm recitation of Stu's accomplishments, nor his wife Carol's acceptance speech, was unmoved.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Elmer Smith. The presenters were John Berry, grandson of Loren Berry one of the people who along with Reuben Donnelley changed the shape of the Yellow Pages forever, and Ike Harris, the new head of BAPCO.
Yes, awards are a meaningful gesture and some, like those described above, should be done with appropriate fanfare. So let's keep the awards and do something about the ceremonies.