The AAO could not achieve its Mission and Vision without the dedication and generosity of our Alumni, Members, Volunteers, Partners and Sponsors.
The AAO celebrates and recognizes many of these exceptional people and organizations each year.
Steven K. Anderson Volunteer of the Year Award
This award is designed to recognize the volunteer who undertakes tasks whenever he or she sees a need. The recipient of the award stands out among all AAO volunteers in their unselfish contributions to the Aquatennial and is the highest honor a volunteer can receive.
2020: Maricia Pacheco - created pin sales, virtual yoga event, woman's development program, other initiatives.
2019: Maricia Pacheco & Maddie Simon - continuous giving of their time and talents
2018: Karen George - Stepping up to lead the AAO Hospitality team
2017: Wayne Ellingson - Supporting the financial sustainability of AAO
2016: Brian Thomas May-Technology & Internet Presence
Sarah Schrader-Advancing the AAO both Behind the Scenes & On Stage
2015: Gary Schaak-Stepping in as Captain in 2015
2014: Sharlyn Carlson-Ambassador Program
Sonja Weiler-Candidate Program
Given to an individual chosen by the President that demonstrated excellence in execution of their volunteer activities and that contributed significantly to the outcome of the program.
2021: Cindy Shanley
2020: Stephen Zins - raised over $7,000 thru communicating with past Commodores.
2019: Abby Patterson - coordinating coronation, serving as candidate chaperone, and assistance with Commodore's Dinner
2018: Gary Schaak - Exceptional fundraising efforts for AAO
2017: Cindy Shanley-Successful event planning for volunteers & supporters
2016: Dave Recker-Building Relationship with Millennium Hotel Minneapolis
2015: Bruce Humphrys-Sponsors
Sharolyn Carlson-Ambassador Coordination & Scheduling
Sonja Weiler-Candidate Program
2014: Bruce & Carole Humphrys
Alumni Engagement Award
This award recognizes an alumni member who has become more involved with the festival and their contributions are recognized as significant.
2021: Dave Recker
2020: Quintin Moore - Created & lead a program to contact all past AAO alumni. Strong support and attitude.
2019: Emily Kegley - stepping into Appearance Coordinator position
2018: Ken Hafften-Community Lunch event planning
Maricia Pacheco-Visiting Dignitaries program
Maddie Simon-Visiting Dignitaries program
2017: Alison Gunter-Planning multiple events for alumni and members
2016: Terri Johnson-Membership & Willingness to Volunteer
2015: Sandy Ill-Membership & Alumni Relations
2014: Pam Albinson
Presented to the organization that is recognized by the AAO Board of Directors for demonstrating outstanding support of the festival.
2021: Hilton Garden Inn
2020: Ted Mann Concert Hall - provided AAO with outstanding support during coronation for many years.
2017: Millennium Hotel-Continued support for AAO's candidate program
2016: Millennium Hotel Minneapolis-AAO's new Host Hotel
2015: Minneapolis Woman's Club
2014: Shorenstein Company
This award is given to an AAO Partner or Sponsor that embraces the values of the AAO and demonstrates them through their leadership, support of the festival, and commitment to the community in which we live.
2021: Feed My Starving Children
2020: Bella Solle Photography
2019: The Woman's Club of Minneapolis
2018: Key Cadillac
2017: Northfield Lines
2016: Dan Stoltz-SPIRE Credit Union
2015: Bill Neuenschwander-Human on a Stick
2014: Minnetonka Power Squadron
This award is presented to the coordinator who has demonstrated excellence in their overall management of their responsibilities.
2021: ReAnn Eidahl
2020: Ryan Lamberty - created virtual Aqua Week Celebration postings to encourage AAO engagement
2019: Kenny Devine- timely and exemplary social media presence for the AAO
2018: Kacey Gregerson-AAO Communications (website and social media)
Terri Kane-Volunteer efforts across multiple events and activities
Lisa Marek-Coronation Program Booklet
2017: Jeff DeKeuster-Visiting Dignitaries program
2016: Gary Schaak-Dedication to Scholarship Pin Imagery & Sales
2015: Rob & Amy Mauzy-Visiting Dignitaries program
Rick McCaughtry-Senior Ambassador Transportation
Sarah Schrader-AAO Website Transition
Anna Suprenant-Candidate Hospitality & Slideshow
Tzvetelina Pramatarov-Ambassador Wardrobe
Outstanding Honorary Commodore Award
This award is chosen by a committee within AAO from the hundreds of Honorary Commodore recipients throughout the year.
2021: Kathy Scinto, Community of Lakeville
2020: John Rivers from the community of Maple Lake - a true volunteer, giving his time unselfishly over many years.
2019: Family of Brianna Klindworth Memorial Scholarship from the community of Red Wing
2018: Harvey Mickolichek from the community of Silver Lake
2017: Gerry & Don Smith from the community of Waverly
Golden Anchor Award
This award recognizes an organization or individual outside of the AAO whose efforts contribute to current and future festivals and to public service in our communities.
2021: Ann Bailey
2020: Eastside Meals On Wheels -a wonderful organization that has helped many, many in need in the Minneapolis community.
2019: Minneapolis Aquatennial Senior Ambassador Association
2018: SPIRE Credit Union
2016: Hennepin County History Museum-Honoring the History of the Aquatennial
2015: Pageant of Hope
2014: St. Paul Festival & Heritage Foundation