top of page
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.

Annual Awards

​​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 - going beyond expectations, created and spearheaded pin sales, virtual yoga event, woman's development program and other AAO 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

President's Award

This award is 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.


2020:Stephen Zins - has supported the AAO unselfishly over his time as Commodore. He has 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

Helmsman Award

This award is presented to the coordinator who has demonstrated excellence in their overall management of their responsibilities.


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

2014: Jennifer Evers

            Vollie & Diane Sanders

2013: Brian Thomas May-Ambassador Coronation

Alumni Engagement Award

This award recognizes an alumni member who has become more involved with the festival and their contributions are recognized as significant.


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

Commodore's Award

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.


2020: Bella Solle Photography - over-all high quality photographic support during very difficult times.

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

Golden Anchor Award

This award recognizes an organization outside of the AAO whose efforts consistently contribute to current and future festivals and to public service in our communities.


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

2017: Matter

2016: Hennepin County History Museum-Promoting & Honoring the History of the Aquatennial

2015: Pageant of Hope

2014: St. Paul Festival & Heritage Foundation

Ambassador Award

This award is presented to the organization that is recognized by the AAO Board of Directors for demonstrating outstanding support of the festival.


2020: Ted Mann Concert Hall -  provided AAO with outstanding support during coronation for many years.

2019: Washburn-McReavy

2018: Emerson

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

Special Recognition Award

This award is presented to an organization or individual with which the AAO has worked to provide a better Aquatennial festival.


2019: Jim & Landi Patterson

2018: Paradise Charter Cruises

2017: DeLaSalle High School-Fireworks Viewing Party

2016: MASAA

           Human on a Stick

2015: Bobbie & Steve's Auto World-Minneapolis, Fogo de Chao, ECM Publishers, Inc.

2014: Human on a Stick

​​Minnesota Community Award

This award is presented to a leader of an ambassador program that has participated in the Aquatennial Ambassador Canadidate Program. This leader has developed an outstanding ambassador program in their community that reflects the Values and Mission of the AAO.


2019: Anoka

2018: Montevideo

2016: Cokato Corn Carnival & Ambassador Program

2015: Julie & Wayne Eddy, Shelley Brady-Northfield, MN
           Mary Neu-Dassel, MN

Outstanding Honorary Commodore Award

This award is chosen by a committee within AAO from the hundreds of Honorary Commodore recipients throughout the year.


2020: John Rivers from the community of Maple Lake - he is a true volunteer in this community, 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

Please reload

bottom of page