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Craft Award Winners - 2014

By Meade Fischer -

It’s been a good year for some of our members who won multiple awards at our recent Big Bear conference.

  • John Poimiroo walked away with 5 awards: including first places-- Best Outdoor Medium for his “California Fall Color,” Best Outdoor Newspaper Column for “California Rambling,” Best Outdoor Action Photograph for “Clear Sailing on Clear Lake” and 2nd in the Phil Ford Humor Award.
  • Gary Graham took home 4 awards: including 1st place for Best Outdoor News Article for “California Dreamin’,”
  • Tom Stienstra grabbed 2 1st place awards: Best Outdoor Series for “Storms Bring Forth Prehistoric Treasure” and Best Newspaper Feature Story for “Paddling with the Giants.”
  • Risa Wyatt won 3rd place in Best Newspaper Feature Story.
  • Johnathan Roldan took 2nd in Best Newspaper Feature Story.
  • Rich Holland took first in Best Outdoor Magazine Feature for “The Channel Islands: an Appreciation.
    • Chris Collard took second and Harry Morse took third.
  • Chris Collard also won first place in Best Outdoor Photographic Series for “Humanity in the 3rd World.”
  • Steven Callan got two awards: Best Outdoor Magazine Column for “On Patrol” and Best OWAC Conference-related Work for “America Needs Parks More than Ever.”
  • Robert Stone won again for Best Outdoor Guidebook for Day Hikes Around Big Sur.
  • Osceola Refetoff took Best Outdoor Feature Photograph for “Call of the Wild.”
  • Mike Ritz won Best Outdoor TV Show for “Chef on the Water.”
  • Tom Wilmer won Best Outdoor Video Short for “Pinnacle National Park.”
  • Zach Behrens took Best Outdoor Video Medium for “Saving the Salton Sea.”
  • Peter Schroeder won Best Outdoor Internet Site for “Northwest Snow Sports Guide.”
  • Scott Goodwin won Best Outdoor Internet Article for “PEJ Giants - Avo Catches a GrandTuna.”
    • Gary Graham took 2nd and Monica Prelle, 3rd.
  • Tom Martens won John Reginato Conservation Award for “Mining Threatens the Smith, State's Most Beautiful River” and second in Best OWAC Conference-related Work.
  • Bill Sunderland won the Phil Ford Humor Award for “A Guide to OFFF.”
  • John Henigin took second in the John Reginato Conservation Award.
  • Finally, Chris Langley and Osceola Refetoff won Best Outdoor Internet Site.

Hosting an OWAC Conference

Hosting an OWAC conference is an incredible opportunity to focus California’s outdoor media on your region’s nature, sports, sites, recreation and beauty. OWAC members will be attending your conference to learn new, exciting, interesting and fun details about your region to report on to their readers, listeners and viewers — and their message reaches millions.

Unite your CVB and members

Previous hosts have commented how effective hosting an OWAC conference was in helping to bring together business organizations in their community. The travel, recreation, sports, lodging, food and logistics of an OWAC conference gives the majority of your members an opportunity to participate, establish beneficial relationships, and share in the exposure through the media.

Start profitable new relationships

The most important and profitable relationships are personal relationships. During an OWAC conference, your people have an opportunity to meet numerous representatives in the media on a one-to-one basis. They can answer questions and give these outdoor journalists something meaningful to share with their audiences.

Marketing exposure money can’t buy

Editorial coverage is like gospel. It carries far more influence then paid advertising ever will. Previous hosts have earned coverage in the San Diego Union-TribuneOrangeCounty RegisterLos Angeles TimesNew York TimesSan Francisco Chronicle, a wide variety of consumer magazines and smaller daily papers, and on many radio and television broadcasts. This is a potential visitor-reach for you in the tens of millions. Hosting an OWAC conference is a marketing investment with a potentially huge return.

Just plain fun, too

Travel, outdoor activities and tourism are a lot of fun, and so are OWAC members during conferences. Yes, we are investigating, recreating, socializing, and having fun, all of which are the seeds for new media material which show up as professional articles.

Keeping the coverage going

OWAC members influence other travel media professionals through their other associations and conferences. OWAC members who cannot attend will read about the conference in our e-mail newsletter and on our Web site. As a conference host we invite you to come to a future OWAC conference to continue developing friendships, to meet new members and to keep the attention on your tourism marketing efforts.

For additional information on hosting an OWAC conference, contact Executive Director Linda Young at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (530) 474-1041.

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