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Saturday, September 19, 2015

W8TN named Outstanding West Virginia Amateur of Year

W8TN (left) presented WV Outstanding Amateur
plaque by ARRL Section Manager N8SFO
Clark Stewart, W8TN, was honored at the West Virginia ARRL Convention on August 22, 2015 as the Outstanding Amateur Radio Operator of the Year in the state.  The recognition was based on his activities during the calendar year 2014.  During an awards ceremony he was handed a beautiful plaque by WV ARRL Section Manager Phillip Groves, N8SFO. 

The award is given annually by the West Virginia State Amateur Radio Council after receiving nominations from clubs and individuals from around the state.   I was happy to write Clark's letter of nomination, pointing out the following.
"In my opinion, Clark has been deserving of this honor for many years.  Since getting his first license in 1964 he has always been active, helpful, knowledgeable, courteous and tireless in advancing amateur radio and leading other hams by example.  But what he achieved in 2014 for amateur radio in West Virginia truly was astounding. 
A prime example, which took a huge amount of his time during that year, was the October W1AW/8 operation from West Virginia.  W8TN was the “back office” for that highly successful week-long event.  Starting months in advance he set up a Blog, an Online Schedule for the many volunteer operators, and a Google Group Email Reflector and Chat Page.  He helped hams statewide install and train on logging programs, built sample macros for CW and RTTY operation and helped Hal, W8HC, sort out the bugs in final logs.  He put hundreds of hours into this operation which resulted in more than 40,000 QSO’s from W1AW/8 in WV during that one week of operation.
He led the effort to resurrect the long dormant West Virginia DX Association in 1963 and now serves as its President.  In January 2014 he urged the WVDXA members to compile an inventory of their ham radio related items to help their survivors who may not be hams to know the value of their equipment.  He constantly shares such advice and his knowledge of ham radio by answering questions from hams (not just in the WVDXA) on just about anything.
In April, 2014 he spent dozens of hours migrating the WVDXA members to a new Google Group email reflector after AOL and Yahoo changed the way emails to mailing lists were handled. 
Clark annually reminds WVDXA members how to save their Logbook of the World Certificates and helps many hams each year with LoTW issues.  As a case in point, a WVDXA member, W8UV, was trying to complete his Triple-Play award in September 2014 but could not get a RTTY QSL on LoTW from Hawaii.  Clark, on behalf of Phil, contacted the KH6 station and after 6 hours on the telephone remotely working on the Hawaiian’s computers, managed to fix the LoTW issue so that more than 10,000 QSO’s could be loaded up to LoTW. 
In this same way, he helps dozens of hams with computer issues by remotely connecting to their computer and solving their computer issues on a weekly basis.  He constantly helps people with the Logger32 logging program and publishes tips on his personal Blog ( about that logging program.
Clark will help any ham with any problem and does so regularly.  He helps install antennas, troubleshoots “shack” problems, teaches basic electronics, helps young people learn Morse Code, conducts ham radio forums, and fund raises for ham radio projects such as DXpeditions to rare countries and entities.  Under his leadership the WVDXA has raised more than $10,000 to help ham radio causes.  He does this constantly and certainly did it throughout 2014.
He has worked and confirmed every DXCC entity in the world except for North Korea and has personally operated on several rare DXpeditions around the world.  He has even worked beyond this world, including arranging communication with the Space Shuttle by students in Davisville, WV.
But Clark’s greatest attribute, in my opinion, is his almost constant desire to help others.  As an example of that, on November 2, 2014, Tim Stinespring, K8RRT, was in a serious auto accident.  W8TN immediately drove to the hospital, sat with Tim’s wife and daughter, and spent an enormous amount of time helping Tim and his family with the practical and legal issues of his accident.  Since Clark is an attorney, his expert advice, given for free, was a Godsend.
Clark Stewart is the real deal.  So it is with great pleasure that I nominate him to be the latest WV Outstanding Amateur, and I ask you and the other voters to give him careful consideration for this honor."
The WV State Amateur Radio Council obviously agreed.  They bestowed the honor on our WVDXA President as a number of WVDXA members, as well as other hams from around the Mountain State, watched with great pride.

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