RSVA Award Winners

Each year, RSVA shows its appreciation to a few select people for their dedication to the preservation and growth of the Randolph-Sheppard program throughout the United States. The people selected to receive recognition for their outstanding service are nominated by other members.

The Jennings Randolph Service Award is presented to someone outside of the Randolph-Sheppard program who has given his or her time and energy to Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America and for his/her service to blind vendors, but is not a current active vendor. This year's Jennings Randolph Service Award was presented to Mary Lou Washburn.

Mary Lou is the only child of visually impaired parents who taught her at a very early age to help others and treat everyone the same, regardless of who they may be. The love in her upbringing prepared her to be a loving parent to her two children and three grandchildren. She served as secretary of the Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America for many years, using her vacation time and often her own money to attend the annual conventions and meetings. She has been a driver and volunteer for some of the Oklahoma City organizations for the blind and still helps and/or drives for anyone who might need her. She has been an Elvis fan since 1956 and is a member of several Elvis clubs which have presented her with various awards for her dedication and help. She recently received the "Consumer Vision Magazine" Humanitarian of the Year Award for outstanding community service for 2010. She and Ray reside in Oklahoma City, Okla.

The Don Cameron Advocacy Award is presented in memory of Don Cameron for his many years of service for blind vendors, especially in the areas of communication and legislation. The winner must be or have been a member of RSVA for at least five years, must have been a blind vendor for at least 20 years, and must have been seeking to improve the goals of RSVA as well as promoting blind awareness in his/her community, state, and nation. This year's Don Cameron Advocacy Award was presented to Charles Glaser (RSVA president from 2006 to 2010). Charlie has over 33 years in the Randolph-Sheppard program. He has chaired many committees and served as vice chairman of the state's elected committee. He also served as president of a local chapter, and nationally served as assistant convention coordinator. His goals have been to preserve and enhance the Randolph-Sheppard priority for blind entrepreneurs and to improve the quality of life for the blind population.

The Vendor of the Year Award is presented to an RSVA member who has been an active member for at least five years and has given his/her time and energy to Randolph-Sheppard Vendors of America and for service to blind vendors. This year's Vendor of the Year Award went to Filo Tu. Filo is a godsend to the blind of Hawaii. He routinely spends personal resources, spends time lobbying in the state legislature as well as Hawaii's Congressional delegation, listening to the concerns of the blind person, and educating the public about positive attitudes about blindness and blind people. He has an unusual charisma which wins people over. He operated the state's Unemployment Building facility for many years before moving to the Honolulu International Airport Newsstand concession as president and CEO of Blind Vendors Ohana, Inc. His greatest strength as a vendor is his positive relationships with his many customers. His charismatic quality is used daily to effectively work with his managerial staff at the airport and solve complex problems for the benefit of his 85 employees.