For Release April 2, 2013

Whelchel to Receive 2013 Mel Narol Medallion 2013 Mel Narol Medallion recipient Gary Whelchel

RACINE, Wis. — Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) Commissioner of Officials Gary Whelchel has been named the 2013 recipient of the Mel Narol Medallion, given for service to the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO).

The award will be presented Tuesday, July 30, as part of the Officiating Gala that wraps up the NASO Summit. This year’s event will be held at the Amway Grand Plaza in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Whelchel, 63, resides in Gilbert, Ariz. Among his accomplishments, Whelchel instituted the Victory with Honor program, a sportsmanship initiative, in his state. He was a key organizer in the 2009 NASO Summit, one of the most well-attended and successful in the history of that event. He also aided NASO by serving as an NASO board member and chair.

“Gary has worked tirelessly in bringing NASO and its benefits and advocacy to officials, not only in Arizona, but throughout the nation,” NASO President Barry Mano said. “Gary, with the support of everyone at the AIA, made the Summit’s first Officiate State Day something remarkable. It was that experience in Tucson that propelled that program to an orbit higher than any of us thought was possible.”

“I am humbled and honored,” Whelchel said. “We never go into this business to get awards. We do it because we have a passion for officiating. But to get this award is very special.”

Whelchel said his experiences such as helping to host the Summit have had long-range effects. “We turned the template from (Officiate Arizona Day) into how we open our statewide meetings. We have a number of speakers on the first day before we break out. It has helped us cut down on travel and saved us time.”



Contact: Bill Topp
NASO Vice President of Publishing
and Management Services
Referee Enterprises, Inc.

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