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The Orchid Digest is a
non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

The Orchid Digest Corporation Award of Recognition for Meritorious Service to the Orchid World was inaugurated September 18, 1955, by the Board of Directors at a meeting held in Fresno, California. The recipients for the Orchid Digest Medal are nominated and selected by the Publication Committee. It is not a yearly award, but will be given at the discretion of the Publication Committee.

The medallion was designed by Elsie Hetherington (Mrs. Ernest E.) of Arcadia, who submitted six different designs from which to choose. It is of sterling silver – with raised design and lettering – and is 2 ¼ inches in width and approximately 1/8 inch in thickness. The bar in center of the reverse side is for engraving of the recipient’s name and the small bar for inscription of the year awarded.

Mr. Robert Casamajor was the first to be recognized, being awarded at the Fourth Annual Western Orchid Congress in Long Beach in 1955.The following year, at the Fifth Congress held in Seattle, Mr. Ben O. Bracey was presented the medallion.

Orchid Digest Medals of Honor presented to:
1955 Robert Casamajor (First editor of the Cymbidium News)
1956 B.O. Bracey (Cattleya hybridizer, trained many hybridizers)
1959 Dr. L.F. Hawkinson (Authored ‘Orchid Activities’ in many issues of the Orchid Digest)
1960 H.G. Alexander (Discovered a tetraploid 4n cymbidium in 1911)
1962 Lester McDonald (posthumously) (Hybridizer at McClellans)
1963 Sanders of England and Belgium
1964 Joseph Hampton (Armacost & Royston-Dos Pueblos)
1968 Gordon Dillon (Editor of the Bulletin of the American Orchid Society for 31 years)
1974 Hugo Freed (Orchid hybridizer, lecturer, and founder of the Malibu Orchid Society)
1975 Ernest Hetherington (Hybridizer, Editor, Orchid Digest)
1976 Reverend Naseo Yamada (Cattleya and Vanda breeder)
1977 Herb Hager (Hybridizer)
1979 William (Bill) Eilau (ODC President-5th World Conference)
1982 J.A. Fowlie (Orchid Digest Editor and contributor 1967 – 1993)
1992 Dorothea Dirks (Secretary of the Orchid Digest Corporation for 40 years)
1994 Ben Kodama (Hybridizer, ambassador for the orchid industry in Hawai'i.)
1996 Dr. Carl Withner (Blue cattleya hybrids)
2000 Rebecca Northen (Author)
2001 Ernest Hetherington (Orchid Digest Editor, hybridizer, author, lecturer)
2003 Steve Gollis (Graphics editor extraordinaire of the Orchid Digest)
2005 Phillip Cribb (Curator of the Orchid Herbarium at KEW, author, conservationist)
2006 Lou Menenzes (Ecologist, conservationist, botanist of the Brazilian Environmental Institute, author.)
2007 Joyce Stewart (Author, lecturer, WOC organizer, managed the Sainsbury Endangered Orchid Project)
2008 Jim Watson (Editor, AOS Orchids magazine)
2008 Henry Oakeley (Author, Chair of the Orchid Committee of the RHS, lecturer)
2009 Norito Hasegawa (Hybridizer, lecturer)
2010 Harold Koopowitz (Editor Emeritus of the Orchid Digest, hybridizer, author, lecturer, conservationist )
2011 Mark Chase (Taxonomic botanist on Molecular Systematics, Jodrell Lab, Kew Gardens)
2012 David Banks (Editor of "Australian Orchid Review," grower/lecturer/author)
2013 Simone and Alf Friend (Dedicated volunteers and contributors to the Orchid Digest Corporation and the journal, the Orchid Digest)
2013 Alec Pridgeon (Sainsbury Orchid Fellow, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Editor Genera Orchidacearum; author, lecturer; Fellow of the Linnean Society of London; Fellow of the American Orchid Society)
2014 Gene Crocker (hybridizer, lecturer, Vice President Carter & Holmes Orchids)
2015 Carol Woodin (Internationally known orchid artist, teacher, biological illustrator of many taxonomic monographs)
2016 Carol Siegel (Teacher, lecturer, grower, author)
2019 Roy Tokunaga