The UCDA Award was created in 1995 and is presented by the UCDA board of directors in recognition of those who have donated their valuable time, service and support to further UCDA's goals.

Individuals receiving this award have significantly contributed to this organizations success. 

Over the last 19 years, the board has presented only 14 awards.

This distinguished group of recipients are Tim Barnhart, Sandra Bate, Jean Bevier, John Brett Buchanan, Tadson Bussey, Gene Church, Charles Deihl, Tracy Fry, Richard Jividen, Judy Kirpich, Lee Kline, Larry Pearce, j.Charles Walker, and Jody Zamirowski. We are honored to have seven of these UCDA Award recipients with us tonight. Please stand.

This year, we will add one more deserving member to this exclusive list.

Barbara "Bobbi" Esmark is the recipient of the UCDA Award--2014.

32 years ago, Barbara Esmark first joined UCDA, and was elected Board Member-at-large just a few years later in 1985.

After that first year on the board, she once said, " electing me, you gave me an opportunity to become part of an extraordinary team, to expand my professional capabilities and boundaries, to serve my peers and to to form and solidify personal friendships. For this, I thank you. The best thing I can tell you about this experience is that if you have an idea, an opinion or a plan, there are receptive people in UCDA who will listen, explore and move toward implementation. I encourage you to take an active role in the 'machinery' of UCDA. I encourage you to become involved but remind you that the Designer General reports: 'Participation is severely habit forming, energizing and totally rewarding.'"

What followed was years of solid commitment and "participation" by this individual to UCDA. They have left a legacy of volunteerism in their wake that continues even this year during the UCDA Design Conference in Long Beach.

Barbara has been a:

+ UCDA Board member at large in 1985, serving on the Board of Directors from 1985-1993 

+ Secretary in 1986

+ Competition chair in 1987

+ Regional coordinator and vice president in 1988

+ President in 1989

+ Was involved in the establishment of the UCDA-DCU workshops at Kent State University in 1989 and 1990 (DCU standing for "Design Computer Unit")

+ Chair in 1990

+ They have served on the UCDA Foundation board since 2009

+ Serves as the committee chair of the Krider Prize for Creativity

+ More than 20 years ago, the UCDA board of directors awarded emeritus member status to our recipient, in recognition of their outstanding service to the organization.

For over twelve years, she was the director of design and print communications at the State University of New York at New Paltz, and was a member of UCDA during their tenure there. She then became the director of public affairs for the SUNY System before relocating across the country to become the director of Development, then the associate vice president for University Advancement at Cal State, Fullerton.

As we recognize the individual whose support has meant so much to our organization, we must also acknowledge the institutional support they received from SUNY New Paltz and Cal State Fullerton that made all of this possible. Anyone who volunteers for UCDA knows how critical the support of their institution is to their level of success. There is no doubt in my mind, though, that both of the recipients institutions benefitted from their involvement with this organization.

In 1991, Barbara was asked about the current state of design. She wrote:

"Our future? As I contemplate my crystal mouse, I focus on two aspects of our fine, fine, superfine careers."

"First, our work will be affected by the changing technologies of paper making, bleaching, printing, inking and packaging. The responsibilities falls upon us as designers and members of the world community. Oddly enough, I am certain that this ecological reality will bring us back in touch with techniques, which can be seen as environmentally friendly."

"Second, I believe that the in-house designer will become more important to those institutions serious about getting the best communications packages that fall within the reallocated educational budgets of the '90s. UCDA should take a position in promoting our members to our member institutions and make the case for professional support and recognition for in-house design. Private sector designers working for colleges might work more collaboratively with the in-house staff rather than negotiating separately for a piece of the no-icing cake."

I would say her "crystal mouse" was spot on.

Barabara has lead fundraising campaigns and produced graphic materials for decades and was instrumental in creating the UCDA Foundation's Krider Prize for Creativity. Named in honor after long-time UCDA member and leader John Krider. The Prize honors creativity wherever it may be found.

Returning to High Falls, New York in 2001, Barbara opened a fine art and design gallery showing work by "artists from near and far for the new or seasoned collector." She is also a fine artist, whose works are in private collections around the country.

That same year, she began studying with Martha Cheo, a teacher of Master Tung Kai Ying's form, and now teaches the fundamentals and advanced forms of Tai Chi and Chi Kung.

Barbara once said:

"What could be better than doing what you love? Fine Art, Communications, and raising money for causes that are important. I created environments and build infrastructures for bringing money and relationships to the organizations for which I worked. Working with good, generous people who care about public higher education, the arts, the environment was really a gift to myself. Gift to myself, part 2. Tai Chi. I started studying in Fullerton, CA in 1993 and am still learning. I starting teaching in 2011, so I'm learning even more."

"[I also have] the forever job: making art, painting and seeing the enjoyment of others who see or buy my work. thank you all."

For more information, contact UCDA Home Office