2019 Mensa Award Winners

With pride, we celebrate these Local Groups and volunteers within our ranks that continue to go above and beyond to make American Mensa grow and thrive. Following are the 2019 American Mensa national and group award winners.

Robin Crawford, 2019 Margot Award Winner

Named for American Mensa’s first Executive Director, the Margot is bestowed “for the rendering of exceptional service to Mensa for a number of years.”

Robin CrawfordAfter college, Robin Crawford worked as a high school teacher in a locked psychiatric facility. Could there have been any better training for the diverse and deep volunteer service she would later perform for Mensa?

Crawford’s dedication and service — numerous committee assignments and roles including Local Group Editor, LocSec, RG Chair, and national Communications Officer — has now earned her American Mensa’s highest honor, the Margot Award. She becomes the 18th unique recipient of the Margot Award, given to a member for exceptional service over an extended period to the organization. Margot Seitelman, American Mensa’s first Executive Director, was the first recipient, and in 1980 the award was named for her.

“With Robin, it’s not just the commitment to service,” said LaRae Bakerink, Chair of American Mensa. “Her passion and her mentoring of other members have made Mensa better for everyone.”

Crawford was born in New Jersey, grew up in Illinois, and graduated from Indiana University with a degree in speech/theater and French. After college, she worked for 11 years as a teacher before leaving her job to raise her twins in suburban splendor. It was around this time, in 1989, that she joined Mensa (becoming a Life Member in 2008).

“To keep myself sane, I did lots of Mensa stuff,” she says. Her Local Group, Chicago Area Mensa, was among the first to benefit from Crawford’s volunteer spirit and leadership. She served as the group’s LocSec from 2003-06.

Her resume of committee work has already earned her the Chairman’s Service Award (2005 and 2009), the National Service Award (2006), and the Distinguished Service Award (2014). Among her numerous committee assignments, Crawford is notable for serving three different stints with Name and Logo, Marketing, and Communications, as well as chairing six different committees. She currently serves as Chair of the National Awards Committee, on which she’s been a member since 2014.

It should be no surprise that Crawford’s reach extends to the Mensa Foundation, for which she edited the Mensa Research Journal from 2012-14.

Chairman’s Service Award

Chairman’s Service Awards are presented by the Chair in recognition of superior service to the organization.

  • John Blinke for his decades of contributions to the Mensa Bulletin
  • Bill Etienne for his dedication and transformation of the games content in the Mensa Bulletin
  • Ruth Green-Waite for her dedicated service to Charlotte Blue Ridge Mensa
  • Greg Kontz for stepping up when needed and providing guidance and laughter to the AMC
  • Richard Lederer, for his decades of contributions to the Mensa Bulletin
  • Linda “Brea” Ludwigson for her dedicated service to Western Pennsylvania Mensa
  • Marie Mayer for keeping calm and moving on — and bringing the word of the Foundation to the AMC
  • Caroline McCullagh for her dedicated service to the Mensa Bulletin
  • Belinda Nemith for her hard work and diligence in modernizing Tampa Bay Mensa
  • Allison Reeves for putting up with Brian and for her hard work providing an amazing AG
  • Brian Reeves for listening to Allison and for his hard work providing an amazing AGM
  • Baker Ring for his dedicated service to Region 5 and the AMC
  • Elissa Rudolph for her service as Advocate over the last term, a very difficult but important position
  • Tommy Ryan for bringing a cool head and laughter at the right moments to the AMC
  • Cynthia Sabelhaus for her vision and untiring efforts reviewing fiction for the Mensa Bulletin
  • Deb Stone for her guidance, wisdom, and calm ways

National Certificates of Appreciation

National Certificates of Appreciation are given in gratitude of a noteworthy contribution to the organization by a member.

  • Jan Pfeil Doyle served as Co-Chair of the 2018 Annual Gathering.
  • Dr. Anne S. Fishkin has served as a judge for Awards for Excellence in Research.
  • Joshua A. Fishkind served on the 2019 AG Committee.
  • Nora Foust has served on the Election Committee.
  • SueAnn Gilmore was a longtime national committee member and served as an RVC.
  • Teresa R. Gregory served as Co-Chair of the 2018 AG.
  • D. Austin Horowitz served on AG Committees in 2016 and 2018 and has served on the Local Groups Logistics Team.
  • Jason Knight served on the 2017, 2018, and 2019 AG Committees.
  • Dr. William Patric Leedom has served as a judge for Awards for Excellence in Research and has served on the Research Review Committee.
  • Dana V. Lema has been an active contributor to the Mensa forums and has served on the Leadership Development Committee.
  • Dr. Ken Martin has served as a judge for Awards for Excellence in Research and has served on the Research Review Committee.
  • Lisa Maxwell served as an RVC, as AMC Secretary, and as Chair for the Local Group Logistics Team.
  • Dr. Charles A. Rawlings has served as a judge for Awards for Excellence in Research.
  • Carol M. Raymond has been a longtime member of the Gifted Youth Committee and has served as its Chair.
  • Allison Reeves served on the 2018 AG committee and was the 2019 AG chair.
  • Deborah J. Skinner has served on the Election Committee.
  • Tabby Vos has served as Chair of Election Committee and is Chair of the 2020 AG.
  • Beth Weiss has served as a SIG Coordinator and has been an active member of AG Committees.
  • Alexis Sterling Wise served as AMC Marketing Officer and on numerous national committees.
  • Bill Zigo has served as SIGHT Coordinator and a member of the Leadership Development Committee.

National Service Awards

National Service Awards recognize faithful service to American Mensa and contributing greatly to the growth and betterment of the organization.

  • Julia Marie Ashley served as RVC and on several national committees.
  • Karen Brack served as a SIG Coordinator and as a member of many national committees.
  • Dr. Keri Guilbault has had significant involvement with the Mensa Foundation and awards and with gifted youth.
  • Mary Lee Kemper served as Chair of the 2015 AG and as a national committee member.
  • Mark Charles Silverstein has served as Interpretive Counsel.
  • Cam E. Smart served as an RVC and as an active member of several national committees.

American Mensa Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award is given in cases of outstanding service to American Mensa.

Dr. Francis A. Cartier Jr for his service on Awards for Excellence in Research and Research Review committees

Gifted Youth Program Award

The Gifted Youth Program Award is given for superior service as a Gifted Youth Coordinator and for contributing to the growth of programs that serve gifted youth and/or Young Mensans.

Micaela “Micki” Hawn, Broward Mensa

Abbie Proctor of the Year

The Abbie Proctor of the Year Award is named after longtime American Mensa Supervisory Psychologist Dr. Abbie Salny and is given to members who are ambassadors of Mensa, make test sessions enjoyable, test regularly, show originality with testing sessions, and are conscientious Proctors.

Taz Criss, Gulf Coast Mensa

Dave Felt Testing Coordinator of the Year

Named after longtime Testing Coordinator Dave Felt and given to Testing Coordinators who encourage new proctors, find test sites, and show originality in advertising and promoting testing.

Conrad Pomykala, Chicago Area Mensa

Owl Awards

The Innovative Owl is presented to the Local Group with the highest year-over-year membership retention percentage. The Profilic Owl is presented to the group with the Local Group with the highest percentage of year-over-year membership growth.

Innovative Owl: Iowa-Illinois Mensa, 99.2 percent retention
Prolific Owl: Maumee Valley Mensa, 11.96 percent growth

Jewel Awards

The Jewel Awards recognize participation in Mensa activities and accomplishments, including Mind Games®, CultureQuest®, Mensa Membership Month, and Leadership Development Workshops.

Achievement levels are, lowest to highest: the Emerald, the Sapphire, and the Ruby. Additionally, each of the five Local Groups obtaining the highest points in individual classes are specifically recognized separately as the Diamond Group winner for each level.

2019 Mensa Award winners composition
Diamond
  • Class I (900+ members): Chicago Area Mensa
  • Class II (400 to 899 members): San Diego Mensa
  • Class III (200 to 399 members): East Central Ohio Mensa
  • Class IV (100 to 199 members): Mensa Alaska
  • Class V (fewer than 100 members): High Mountain Mensa
Ruby
  • Class IV (100 to 199 members): Sangamon Valley Mensa, Tallahassee Area Mensa
  • Class V (fewer than 100 members): French Broad Mensa, Iowa-Illinois Mensa, Northwest Florida Mensa
Sapphire
  • Class II (400 to 899 members): Central Indiana Mensa, Central New Jersey Mensa, Denver Mensa, Mid-America Mensa
  • Class III (200 to 399 members): New Hampshire Mensa, Plains and Peaks Mensa
  • Class IV (100 to 199 members): Blue Grass Mensa, North Alabama Mensa, Northern Nevada Mensa, Redwood Empire Mensa
  • Class V (fewer than 100 members): Paso del Norte Mensa, South Coast Mensa
Emerald
  • Class I (900+ members): Greater Los Angeles Area Mensa, Gulf Coast Mensa, Mensa In Georgia, Metropolitan Washington Mensa, North Texas Mensa, San Francisco Regional Mensa
  • Class II (400 to 899 members): Broward Mensa, Central Texas Mensa, Charlotte Blue Ridge Mensa, Cincinnati Area Mensa, Cleveland Area Mensa, Connecticut & Western Massachusetts Mensa, Maryland Mensa, Mensa 76, Mensa of Wisconsin, Orange County Mensa, Oregon Mensa, St. Louis Area Mensa, South Texas Mensa, Tampa Bay Mensa, Western Pennsylvania Mensa
  • Class III (200 to 399 members): Central Oklahoma Mensa, Central South Carolina Mensa, Kentuckiana Mensa, Manasota Mensa, Mensa of Jacksonville, Mensa of Northeastern New York, Middle Tennessee Mensa, Nebraska-Western Iowa Mensa, North Florida Mensa, Piedmont Area Mensa, Southern Connecticut Mensa, Tidewater Mensa, Tucson Mensa, Utah Mensa
  • Class IV (100 to 199 members): Central Iowa Mensa, Delaware Mensa, Eastern Oklahoma Mensa, Eastern Washington/Northern Idaho/Montana Mensa, Heart of Illinois Mensa, Kansas Sunflower Mensa, Maine Mensa, Northeast Indiana Mensa, Rochester Area Mensa
  • Class V (fewer than 100 members): Columbia River Mensa, Montgomery/Wiregrass Mensa, North Dakota Mensa, Northern Michigan Mensa, Permian Basin Mensa, Vermont Mensa, Wyoming Mountain Mensa

CultureQuest® XXX Rankings

CultureQuest XXX winners
Teams of up to five members — 98 this year — gather in neighborhoods across the U.S. and Canada to compete for cash prizes and cultural literacy bragging rights. Sean Cannon was Coordinator of this year’s CultureQuest.
Rank Team Local Group Cash Prize
1 Tragic Kingdom Central Florida Mensa $475
2 You Never Go Full Mensa Metropolitan Washington Mensa $325
3 Rocket Surgeons Columbus Area Mensa $250
4 The Phoenix Phive Greater Phoenix Mensa $225
5 OCDisorders Orange County Mensa $175

NextGen Team Winner (for highest-scoring youth team): Teen Angst YM I Here?, Cincinnati Area Mensa

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