Irving Diener Award
The Irving Diener Award is the second most prestigious award which the BVA presents. This award is presented at the annual Awards Banquet of the BVA National Convention. The Award seeks to honor those who have made an outstanding commitment to their BVA regional group and the organization as a whole rather than for his/her personal achievement in rehabilitation or employment. Irving Diener was a former member of the BVA National Advisory Committee and continuously supported BVA. As an individual Diener sought to empower those who were dedicated to the organization. In 1961 when the award was first established Diener himself paid the prize money which supported life membership dues for one person. Diener saw that by supporting one individual he was empowering them to focus on the bigger picture. Today this tradition is held onto by the children and grandchildren of the late Irving Diener; continuing to support those members who work to improve their regional groups and the BVA organization as a whole.
The award, established in 1962, takes its name from the late Irving Diener, a former member of the BVA National Advisory Committee, who demonstrated a keen interest in the BVA over the years.
The Diener Award differs significantly from the Major General Melvin J. Maas Achievement Award in that the former is awarded to the veteran who contributes in an outstanding way to the BVA as an organization rather than for personal achievement in rehabilitation and in the field of employment. The award consists of a framed, calligraphic scroll and a $50.00 stipend. For the past several years, the $50.00 stipend has been donated by Mrs. Eleanor Diener Metz, the daughter of the late Irving Diener.
During the January/February time period of each year, the BVA National Headquarters solicits nominations from the regional groups and members of the BVA National Board of Directors for this award. Nominations are due at the National Headquarters usually by not later than mid-April. Judging is traditionally done by the three most recent Immediate Past National Presidents of BVA.
Like the Maas Award, a veteran may win the Diener Award only once. BVA employees are not eligible for this award.