The Founders Merit Award Series, launched in 1960 with the William G. Follmer Award, was created to recognize individual HFMA members for meritorious service at the Chapter level. The Robert H. Reeves and Frederick T. Muncie Award were developed during the next nine years to recognize increasing levels of Chapter service. Through the series, HFMA members are rewarded for their contributions of time and effort, without which Chapter growth and success would not be possible.
Each of the three awards is part of a merit rating plan in which specific Chapter and National Activities are assigned a range of point values. When the number of points earned by a member reaches 100, the William G. Follmer Award (stage one) is presented. When a second 100 points is earned, the Robert H. Reeves Award (stage two) is presented. Members who earn a third 100 points are presented with the Frederick T. Muncie Award (stage three). Traditionally, our Chapter recognizes our award recipients at the annual Awards Banquet.
In 1986, the three awards were renamed the Follmer Bronze Award, the Reeves Silver Award, and the Muncie Gold Award. At the same time, other changes were also made. The maximum number of points a member could earn in one year is 40 and additional categories were added to give recognition for service at the National Level. At the same time, a fourth award, the Founders Medal of Honor, was added. This award is conferred on the recommendation of the Chapter. To be eligible, a member must have a minimum of three years of service since earning the Muncie Gold Award, provided significant service at the Chapter and/or National level, in at least two of those years, and currently be a member of good standing.
The merit rating plan on which the series is based measures both quantity and quality of services performed for HFMA. Members may earn points for a variety of activities including serving as an elected or appointed Chapter or National leader, attending meetings, authoring a technical paper and making a presentation.
Points are accumulated and accounted for on an annual basis-using the June-May membership year. The Chapter Secretary, or the appropriate appointed or elected leader is responsible for monitoring and recording member activity. The Chapter enters all points earned by members for the immediate past year and mails the form to the National office in August. HFMA’s Membership and Chapter Services staff keypunch the data, identify award recipients and process the individual plaques. These plaques are sent to the Chapter President for an appropriate presentation.
In the fall, a directory showing all members’ point histories is mailed to Chapter secretaries. The member point totals should be verified and changes or corrections reported to National HFMA. The brochure is sent to all new members-quantities of these are available to Chapters free on request. For more information, contact Marlene Scalzo at HFMA’s Westchester office.
Finally, a couple of key points to remember:
- Earning a Founders Award is a significant achievement and should be highly recognized and acclaimed by the Chapter. According to the rules of scoring, it takes an absolute minimum of three years to win the Follmer Bronze Award, two years additional to win the Reeves Silver Award, and three years additional to win each subsequent award. Therefore, the minimum amount of time to earn all four awards is eleven years-usually it takes longer than that, often an entire career.
- A major key to member involvement in the Founder Award program is member awareness. The Chapter should assign specific responsibility to an individual or committee-perhaps the same group responsible for administration of the program-for increasing member awareness of the Founders Award program. Include an article in the Chapter newsletter, make handouts available at Chapter meetings, or promote the program when presenting plaques to award recipients.