Industry Achievement Award

2018 Call for Nominations

The Irrigation Association is now accepting 2018 awards nominations. Nominations are due on or before March 1, 2018. 

To nominate a deserving individual for the Industry Achievement Award, fill out the online nomination form or download and complete the PDF nomination form

Established in 1966, this award recognizes an individual employed by or retired from an irrigation-related company whose career demonstrates outstanding contributions to the advancement of the irrigation industry and its products and programs. The nominee’s career ideally reflects contributions to a combination of industry products, practices, education, research and/or professionalism. Potential nominees include the following:

  • Manufacturers
  • Distributors
  • Dealers
  • Contractors
  • Consultants
  • Manufacturers’ representatives
Only one award will be given per year. The Industry Achievement Award will only be given to a recipient once in a lifetime. 

Award Winners

2017

Clarence Prestwich, PE, CAIS, CID
USDA-NRCS

Prestwich is an IA-certified instructor who has served on several IA committees and has also been a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers for over 30 years.

Prestwich has been with the Natural Resource Conservation Service under the U.S.Department of Agriculture for 34 years assisting landowners in design, installation and management of irrigation systems. He has developed many of NRCS’ irrigation technology manuals, including chapters in the National Engineering Handbook regarding irrigation pumping plants, microirrigation systems and sprinkler irrigation systems.

His involvement with universities, industry and other government agencies has helped develop and distribute new and current irrigation technologies. He has traveled across the nation providing training and passionately encouraging better irrigation practices.

2016

Inge Bisconer, CID, CLIA
The Toro Company

Inge Bisconer is the technical marketing and sales manager for Toro Micro-Irrigation. Bisconer has been involved in many irrigation industry aspects in leading and teaching capacities for some 40 years. She is an excellent technical writer, and her recent publishing of the Toro’s Micro-Irrigation Owner’s Manual and chapter 11 of the Irrigation Association’s Irrigation, Sixth Edition fully demonstrates those qualifications. The 129-page Toro manual is a comprehensive guide for both new and existing row, field and perennial crops and an excellent example of her irrigation knowledge, interest and technical publishing capacities. She has been instrumental in the establishment of the Grange Network, a site where all can go to learn more about the drip industry.

2015

Brian Vinchesi, CGIA, CIC, CID, CLIA, CLIM, CLWM
Irrigation Consulting, Inc.

Vinchesi was honored due to his exceptional leadership on the Smart Water Application Technologies Executive Task Team and IA’s Standards and Codes Committee. Vinchesi’s direct involvement in these initiatives has led to the development of testing protocols and standards and codes based on sound science that recognize the importance of the managed landscape.

Vinchesi’s involvement with the association is indeed impressive. In addition to his participation with SWAT and standards and code development, Vinchesi has also served as IA president and chair of both the Certification Board and the Irrigation Foundation Board of Trustees. He’s also held a seat on IA’s Technical Conference Committee, the Membership Committee, the Nominating Committee, the Turf and Landscape Common Interest Group, the Awards and Honors Committee, and the Education Committee.

For over 20 years, he has taught courses for the IA, several universities, the National Association of Landscape Professionals (formerly PLANET), and the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America. He has published articles in more than 20 industry publications, was named a WaterSense Irrigation Partner of the Year in 2009 and received the Hunter Industries Trailblazer Award in 2012.

2014

Richard Reinders
Reinders, Inc., retired

Reinders was honored with this award due to his outstanding contributions to the industry, which include playing in integral role in developing Watertronics Pumping Systems from a small, garage-shop operation to one of the leading pump station manufacturers in the industry. He sold the company to Lindsay, Inc. in 2008 to complement their center pivot sales. He also helped build Reinders, Inc. to one of the premier distributors in the industry over six Midwestern states.

2013

Vince Nolletti
Paige Electric Company, LP

Nolletti is recognized for his outstanding contributions to the industry, which include introducing the first commercially available microprocessor-based irrigation controllers, the KCS system, and increasing awareness of best management practices for electrical aspects of irrigation systems. He has been actively involved in several IA committees since the late 1990s, and he currently serves on the Irrigation Foundation Board of Trustees.

Other Past Recipients

2012
Ray and Sue York
Ewing Irrigation Products

2011
Rene Evelyn-Veere (landscape)
Rain Bird Corporation

2010
Wendell Dorsett (agriculture)
Valmont Industries, retired

Richard Hunter (turf/landscape)
Hunter Industries

2009
Bob Dobson
Middletown Sprinkler Company

2008
Charles Meis
Lindsay Corporation

2007
Gershon Eckstein
Drip Irrigation Systems Ltd.

2007
Fred Hamisch
Hydratec

2006
Les Jochens
Western Irrigation Supply House, Inc.

2005
James M. Barrett
James Barrett Associates, Inc.

2004
William R. Pogue
Irrometer Co., Inc.

2003
Bob Rupar
Nelson Irrigation Corporation

2002
Anthony LaFetra
Rain Bird Corporation

2001
Ed Shoemaker
Rain Bird Corporation

2000
Thomas W. Crockett
Tom Crockett Irrigation

1999
James Roberts
Roberts Irrigation

1998
Fred Kruse
Kifco, Inc.

1997
Larry Meyer
Nelson Irrigation Corporation

1996
Lon Schultz
Agricultural Products, Inc.

1996
Don Olson
Olson Irrigation Systems

1995
John Chapman
Valmont Industries

1994
Andrew and Mark Healy
Senninger Irrigation

1993
Richard Chapin
Chapin Watermatics

1992
Richard Reinke
Reinke Manufacturing Company

1992
Leroy Thom
T-L Irrigation Company

1991
Phil Tropeano
Larchmont Engineering & Irrigation

1990
Frank W. Murphy
Frank W. Murphy Manufacturing

1989
Robert Morgan
IA Historian

1988
Bart Nelson
Nelson Irrigation Corporation

1987
Robert B. Daugherty
Valmont Industries

1986
Clinton C. Warren
Cornell Pump Company

1985
Edwin J. Hunter
Hunter Industries, Inc.

1984
Arthur Jensen
Thunderbird Irrigation

1983
Mary E. LaFetra
Rain Bird Sales, Inc.

1982
Clemens W. Laufenberg
Berkeley Pump Company

1981
Herrick Waterman
Waterman Industries, Inc.

1980
John E. Schrunk
Schrunk’s Agricultural Service

1979
Wade Newbegin Sr.
R.W. Wade & Company

1978
Marion Miller
Marion Miller & Associates, Inc.

1977
Charles Lake
Rain for Rent

1976
Keith Holman
ASC Tubing Division, Inc.

1973
Frank Zybach
Valley Manufacturing Company

1971
Birger Enstron
McDowell Manufacturing Company

1970
A.R.J. Friedmann
The Skinner Irrigation Company

1969
Alfred S. Gray
Rain Bird Sprinkler Manufacturing

1968
Crawford W. Reid
Rain Bird Sprinkler Manufacturing

1967
William H. Stout
Stout Engineering Company

1966
Sam V. Gunnison
W.R. Ames Company