Providing educational resources and opportunities for all individuals involved in book and book-related publishing.

Distinguished Service Award


Lon Driggers, cofounder and the second president of Bookbinders West, was presented with an award of appreciation at the 1982 book show, and later that year a committee was formed to make recommendations for an annual award to recognize outstanding service to the organization. In January 1983, Karen Judd, Paul Butzler, and Bill Ralph made a recommendation to the Bookbuilders West Board of Directors to create an award similar to the Dwiggins Award that is presented annually to a worthy member of Book Builders of Boston. It was further recommended that our award be called The Bookbuilders West Distinguished Service Award and that it be in the form of an engraved plaque. The qualified recipient should

  • Exemplify the ideals of Bookbinders West, which, though unwritten, are nevertheless tangible to most long-service book builders.
  • Have maintained the highest personal standards of craftsmanship and devotion to his or her work above and beyond the regular call to duty.
  • Have demonstrated interest and service to the Bookbuilders community, although not necessarily to the Bookbuilders West organization as such.
  • Be known for something extra that he or she has given to the job or to book building, whether it be unusual talent, brilliance, innovation, integrity, devotion, or helpfulness to others.
  • Have universal appeal to all segments of the publishing industry.

The committee recommended that an award selection committee be created consisting of each of the following: past president, board member, designer, supplier. The 1983 Bookbuilders West Board of Directors approved the recommendation and established the Distinguished Service Award as an ad hoc committee and authorized the selection of an annual DSA award recipient. Fran Mitchell was committee chair, and the first DSA award was presented to Al Lindenbaum.

The DSA selection committee consists of current/former PPN presidents and past DSA recipients. In 2019, the committee was led by Michele Bisson Savoy and included Elise Gochberg, Michael Johnson, Tona Pearce Myers, and David Zielonka.

Current Practice

With the rebranding of Bookbuilders West to Publishing Professionals Network, the current process of recipient selection begins about six months prior to the annual book show with nominations of qualified individuals from members of the DSA committee. There are typically five to eight nominees, and a ballot prepared by the committee chair that describes each candidate’s PPN service record and qualifications. Following an “Australian” ballot method, each committee member votes for candidates in order of preference (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.), and the candidate with the lowest score becomes the DSA nominee. The recipient is notified immediately so that copy can be developed for the book show catalog, the person’s identity is usually kept secret until the presentation at the annual book show.


1983 – Lon Driggers

1984 – Al Lindenbaum

1985 – Charles Goehring

1986 – Bill Ralph

1987 – Fran Mitchell

1988 – Roy Wallace

1989 – Patricia Brewer

1990 – Karen Judd

1991 – Bill Ketron

1992 – Casimira Kostecki

1993 – Elliott Derman

1994 – Jonathan Peck

1995 – Gordon Johnson

1996 – Chet Grycz

1997 – Detta Penna

1998 – Paul Butzler

1999 – Gary Head

2000 – Arlene Cowan

2001 – Don Smith

2002 – Tony Crouch

2003 – Karen Richardson

2004 – Rebecca Swee

2005 – Michele Bisson Savoy

2006 – Michael O’Brien

2007 – Stephen Thomas

2008 – Mary Lou Goforth

2009 – Sandy D’Amato

2010 – Leslie Austin

2011 – Elise Gochberg

2012 – Andrea Helmbolt

2013 – Mike Johnson

2014 – David Zielonka

2016 – Duncan McCallum

2017 – Tona Pearce Myers

2018 – Scott Norton

2019 – Brenda Ginty