I have been an Awards Chair for my Local Chapter for many years and before that I was instrumental in writing Medal Recommendations for Individuals and for Squadrons in the United States Air Force. With this background, I feel that I should let you in on some of the "tricks of the trade" that, while may not be new, can help. Now besides the normal things like make sure the documentation is correct, you utilized the correct form, and the nomination was sent forward in plenty of time to ensure delivery prior to the due date, I would like to put forth the following helpful hints.
1. A nomination package can be too short. Brevity is always a good thing if it is not taken to far. When you are competing for an Award against others of similar background and experience, your nomination must not only have enough information to support the award sought, but it must also show your nominee as being "head and shoulders" above the rest. Just because someone did something is not always enough. You must tell how it was done, who did it, why they felt it was necessary to do, and what was the result of that accomplishment. Without all of that, the award may just be looked at and set aside as something that should have been done normally.
2. By the same token, a nomination package can be too long. Going on and on using different descriptive language to say the same thing repeatedly just to make it longer or breaking each individual component of a nomination into long and drawn-out sections, can either make the reader lose interest, lose track of what or who is being discussed, or it can simply detract from the consideration because of a lack of substance and an abundance of "Fluff". Your package needs to walk the fine line between too little and too much information.
3. Make sure the documentation provided as supporting data is actually in direct support of the award nomination. The size of the supporting data is not as important as the substance contained therein. Don't give information which is extraneous to the submission. Don't throw in stuff just to make the package feel larger than it really is. Remember, we are looking for examples, testimonials, etc. Not whole magazines, newsletters, etc. that have no bearing on the package.
4. Make sure that the nomination for a service award is for actions which are "above and beyond" that expected for an average Chapter Member, Officer, or Committee Chair / Member. By that I mean that each person in a Chapter, serving on a committee or as an officer, has a specific set of duties that are expected of them. Average members are also assumed to be supportive of the Chapter Events and Operations. Just being there and doing what they are supposed to do is not necessarily justification for a Region Level Award. The work, program, presentation, etc., must have an impact beyond that level. This means that the impact of the work, program, presentation, etc., should be felt beyond the Board of Directors, Committee Members, or even the Chapter itself.
5. Finally, please check your spelling, grammar, and punctuation. While we do not expect packages to be prepared at the College Level by an English major, we do expect to be able to read, follow, and comprehend what is being said. Improper grammar or punctuation can make a sentence read totally different from that intended by the nominator. Improper spelling can make the document hard to read and difficult to follow. All of these can come back to haunt a nomination when compared to others.
Billy Mathis FCSI, CDT
Administrative Assistant for Architecture
North Little Rock AR