2011: Tara Grey Coste 

Dr. Tara Grey Coste is a Leadership and Organizational Studies professor at the University of Southern Maine. Her work focuses on refining the training processes that enhance creativity in teams and on teaching business professionals techniques to enhance their leadership abilities in multi-cultural, multi-national environments. She is a Colleague of the Creative Education Foundation, a Leader at the Creative Problem Solving Institute, a Visiting Scholar at Singapore Management University’s Wee Kim Wee Centre for Cultural Diversity in Business, Co-Founder of the International Forum of Creativity Organizations, and Past-President and Director of Research of the American Creativity Association.

2010: Robert Alan Black

Since 1976, Alan Black has worked to spread creative thinking across the globe. As a consultant, author, trainer, facilitator, and teacher he strives to help leaders learn how to turn organizations, departments, and teams into productive and profitable creating communities. He has earned an M.Ed. in Guidance & Counseling focused on Gifted, Talented and Creative people and a Ph.D. focused on the teaching of creative thinking skills and tools. He has been given several awards by the Creativity Education Foundation, spoken at scores of creativity conferences, served on the Board of the American Creativity Association, and acts as ACA’s International Connections Coordinator.

2008: Anthony LeStorti

A tireless champion of creativity, Anthony J. Le Storti is Executive Consultant for IDEATECTS® Inc., a firm specializing in innovation, strategy, and leadership. He holds degrees from La Salle and Temple Universities and Executive Certificates in Strategy & Innovation and Management & Leadership from MIT. His work crosses many disciplines and focuses on problem solving, decision-making, innovation, and strategic thinking. He has published numerous articles in a broad range of topics and a powerful book,When You're Asked to Do the Impossible, for leaders and teams facing extremely difficult challenges. He has served five terms on the Board of Directors of the American Creativity Association.

2008: Bernard Harrison

Bernard Harrison marries design, business, and operational expertise to conceiving of and developing amazing zoological and botanical gardens and eco-tourism attractions. His unique creative design process brings together industry top talents from multi-disciplines around the world. Put together, they offer a unique mix of competencies, in which projects are carefully worked through in in pursuit of innovative, lateral, and creative concepts. Under Bernard's leadership, a consultancy was set up to undertake the planning and development of zoo projects in China, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, United Arab Emirates, and the Seychelles. A long standing member of the internationally zoo fraternity, Bernard has worked with the South East Asian Zoos Association, the IUCN's Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, the International Association of Theme Parks and Attractions, the International Species Inventory System, and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

2006: Rodney Hill

Rodney Hill receives this recognition for his personal and professional creativity. In a word, Rodney Hill is "Mr. Creativity" to the students and faculty at Texas A&M as well as within the surrounding community. Rodney has offered an entry-level creativity course at Texas A&M University for over a decade. The course has grown in popularity to an enrollment several hundred students from various majors each semester. He has established networks across the campus that have led to the visibility and widespread support for interest in creativity and future studies. He and his wife, Sue, have created seven large hand-carved wood panels depicting the history of Texas A&M which hang in the Memorial Student Union on campus. Currently, Rodney works tirelessly with the newly established Institute for Applied Creativity at Texas A&M. He is truly a champion for creativity.

2006: Ali A. Houshmand 

Dr. Ali A. Houshmand receives this recognition for courage and persistence to succeed in spite of his poverty beginnings as one of ten children in Iran with a strong mother who instilled a view of women as equally as strong as men which shaped Ali's commitment to respect for all (regardless of religion, gender, race, sexual orientation, beliefs about any kind of classification). Ali's initiative to enhance Global Creativity has established a program whereby high school students coming from dissimilar cultures live together for two months in the summer to learn about each other, take relevant coursework, experience the art and historical offerings of the area, mingle with local families, use their creative minds for positive creativity instead of conflict and terrorism, and become leaders in an international youth movement constructed upon creativity to alleviate hate built on ignorance. Dean Houshmand has been a constant proponent of creativity and innovation.

2006: Bob Thaves 

Bob Thaves receives this recognition for a lifetime devoted to fostering creative insights through his well known Frank and Ernest cartoons. His body of work has offered generations of readers unparalleled opportunities to gain insight and develop wisdom about how human beings interact. They provide the reader with a different way of connecting to the realities that define our human condition. His role in preparing Are We Creative Yet? a book of cartoons and essays on creativity, just reprinted by ACA Press, makes far more accessible such wisdom than other tomes in the area of creativity. In presenting Bob Thaves with the David Tanner Champion of Creativity Award, the American Creativity Association pays homage to Bob's creative talent and his lifelong devotion to sharing that talent with others.

2005: Gary Hoover 

Gary Hoover began his entrepreneurial journey at an early age. Convinced that the best way to change the world (for the better) was to lead or create enterprises, he started subscribing to Fortune Magazineat the age of 12. While other kids were playing baseball, he was memorizing the Fortune 500. He visited hundreds of corporate headquarters and offices before he was 18, and studied the stock market in depth. Today, after engaging in a number of very successful business ventures, he travels the world speaking to Fortune 500 executives, trade associations, entrepreneurs, and college students about how enterprises are built and how they stand the test of time. From his own successes and failures, and from the lessons of the thousands of companies he has studied, he draws real life examples from things that really matter. Gary speaks from real experience about the critical components of the successful business venture.

2005: Jeffrey Westphal 

Jeffrey Westphal is President of Vertex, Inc., the nation's leading developer of state and local tax compliance software and reference products for sales, prosperity, payroll, and telecommunications taxation. A 1984 graduate of the University of Richmond, Jeff joined Vertex in 1989 after a successful career in advertising and marketing with prominent Mid-Atlantic advertising firms Earle Palmer Brown and Schaeffer Advertising, now a part of the Weightman Group. During his tenure as Vice President of Sales and Marketing in the late 1980's and early 1990's, Vertex experienced tremendous growth, doubling its annual revenues and number of employees. He helped transition the company into teams-based management and successfully introduced a series of advanced tax compliance software solutions designed for client/ server computing environments. A company-wide commitment to the work/life balance is the cornerstone of Vertex's corporate culture. In the fall of 2001, Vertex was honored as the best place to work by the "100 Best Places to Work in PA" Program.

2004: Marilyn Schoeman Dow 

Marilyn Schoeman Dow promotes innovation internationally through her speaking, writing, and consulting. She heads ThinkLink in Seattle, Washington, is an ACA Charter member and past-president, has served on the National Association for Gifted Children Board, and was honored with a scholarship dedicated for gifted children in Washington. She creates products to foster creativity, including Teaching Techniques That Tantalize, Young Authors Conference: Kids Writing for Kids, audio tape and video tapes for developing creativity, and the BOFF-O!® (Brain On Fast Forward) card deck/game/tool for innovative ideas, solutions, and actions. Her system, Green Light®: How to Think, Speak, and ACT to Make the Best of Every Situation embodies the fostering of creativity.

2003: Paul Vallas

Paul Vallas served as chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools from 1995-2001. During his tenure as chief executive, Mr. Vallas was responsible for the development, implementation, supervision, and management of numerous reform measures within the city's public schools. Mr. Vallas's accomplishments in education led to the transformation of the third largest school system in the nation from being branded as "the worst in the country" to becoming "a model for the nation." As chief executive, Mr. Vallas initiated a broad series of educational reforms to reverse the persistent failure in Chicago Public Schools. He eliminated a projected shortfall of $1.3 billion within two years and balanced the system's budget each year thereafter. Mr. Vallas is also credited with ending social promotion, the reorganization of Chicago's high schools, and establishing the largest after school and summer reading programs in the country. Between 1996 and 2000, student test scores improved by virtually every academic indicator, including six consecutive years of improved elementary reading scores.

2003: Rolf Smith 

Rolf Smith, retired Colonel, U.S. Air Force, is managing director of The Virtual Thinking Expedition Company, a process consulting group, and the School for Innovators where he teaches innovation skills that transmogrify everyday heroes into change agents. He spent 24 controversial and innovative years on active duty with the U.S. military and NATO, and in 1986 created the first military Office of Innovation and a worldwide network of Innovation Centers. Smith retired from active duty in 1987. Since then, his focus has been on helping organizations think creatively and differently. He worked with Exxon Marketing's Innovations Group as a contract executive for four years, and in 1988 founded the School for Innovators to kick-start Exxon's continuous improvement & Innovation initiative. He is the author of The 7 Levels of Change, a field guide for thinking different for different results.

2002: Joyce E. Juntune

Dr. Joyce Juntune has worked tirelessly to form, nurture, and build the American Creativity Association. She has also guided many others in their development of the skills of creative facilitation. She is the "teacher's teacher" and the "trainer's trainer." Her efforts continue with the development of a new center for creativity and new courses on creativity and leadership at Texas A&M University.

2002: Fredricka K. Reisman 

Dr. Reisman has been the foremost influential person to introduce, develop, and advocate creativity at Drexel University. Her influence has spread beyond her capacity as Director of the School of Education. For example, in conjunction with engineering and science faculty, she has been awarded numerous grants that support research investigating the role of creativity in science, engineering, and technology. Reisman was instrumental in implementing an undergraduate, masters, and doctoral program in education at Drexel. Her belief in the power of creativity through the design of each curriculum has prepared many teachers to recognize and promote creativity in school systems throughout the world.

2001: Dave Tanner 

David Tanner served as president of ACA from 1997-1998 and was the architect of the first ACA strategic plan. Tanner was a remarkable champion of creativity before his ACA days as well. David Tanner was Director of the DuPont Center for Creativity & Innovation, which he founded at the request of corporate management in 1990. Prior to that, he held many management positions in the DuPont company including Technical Director responsible for research and development, DuPont Industrial Fibers Division. He has a Ph.D. in polymer science and holds 33 U.S. patents that he acquired during his early career as a research scientist. He has over 30 publications in the technical and creative-thinking fields. When Tanner retired from DuPont after over 35 years of service, he authored the book Total Creativity in Business & Industry: Roadmap to Building a More Innovative Organization.

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