RACINE, Wis. — American Specialty Insurance (ASI) of Fort Wayne, Ind. has been named the recipient of the Mel Narol Medallion for 2017. The National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) board of directors selected ASI and Drew Smith, the company’s president, who will receive the honor Tuesday, Aug. 1, at the Celebrate Officiating Gala. The Gala serves as the climax to the NASO Sports Officiating Summit, which this year is being held in Louisville, Ky.
ASI is the insurance provider to NASO. The company developed policies that meet the unique coverage sports officials need. Additionally, ASI as an entity and Smith individually have provided invaluable assistance to NASO with knowledge of the insurance industry and developing strategies most beneficial to members and the association.
“It has been such a pleasure for us at NASO to watch Drew grow and progress from a member of the ASI team to the leader of that company,” said Barry Mano, NASO president. “All along the way Drew has never forgotten his roots, and a part of those roots is his support for NASO and its 22,000 members.
”Drew is not only in the insurance business, he has become a part of our endeavor in officiating,” Mano added. “His willingness to think creatively and be aggressive in support of sports officials is with few parallels in the business world. Each previous recipient of the Mel Narol Medallion award has gone well beyond what reason would expect in supporting NASO. ASI and Drew have and continue to do just that.”
The Mel Narol Medallion recognizes an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to the betterment of NASO. Contributions might include, but are not limited to, organizational leadership, education and training, promotion of officiating and NASO and sponsorship.
The Medallion Award was created in 2000 to “recognize an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to the betterment of sports officials and the officiating profession.” Mel Narol, longtime officiating legal advocate and NASO leader, received the award posthumously in 2003 and the award was then renamed to honor him. In 2007, the criteria were changed to emphasize contributions to NASO.
Past Medallion recipients include:
2001 — Jerry Seeman, retired NFL senior director of officiating
2003 — Mel Narol (deceased), the foremost authority on officiating legal issues
2004 — Fox 40 International, makers of the Fox 40 whistle
2005 — Dick Honig, owner of Honig’s Whistle Stop
2006 — Marcy Weston, retired national coordinator of NCAA women’s basketball officiating
2007 — Bill Kolbe, retired attorney, business and legal advisor for NASO
2008 — Ed T. Rush, retired NBA referee and supervisor of officials
2009 — Ronnie Carter, retired executive director for the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association
2010 — David Dodge, retired NCAA Division I men’s basketball official
2011 — Alan Goldberger, sports law attorney and legal authority for game officials
2012 — Marriott Corporation, longtime NASO partner and supporting organization to the officiating industry
2013 — Gary Whelchel, commissioner of officials for the Arizona Interscholastic Association
2014 — California Basketball Officials Association (CBOA), more than 3,700 officials are members of the only statewide basketball officials association in the state, from youth to semi-pro competition
2015 — Patty Viverito, senior associate commissioner of the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC)
2016 — Don Collins, commissioner of the San Francisco Section of the California Interscholastic Federation