The International Congress of Distinguished Awards (ICDA) was the outgrowth of an informal gathering of twelve award directors from across the United States in December, 1991, at the headquarters of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Sensing the need to create an ongoing forum for the exploration of issues relating to award giving and the nature of the world of awards, several of these directors designed and incorporated ICDA in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a not-for-profit 501(c)3 educational corporation in March, 1994. ICDA headquarters have been in Philadelphia, PA, USA, from the beginning.
From its beginning ICDA has sponsored international conferences on "The World of Awards" held in suitable locations around the United States and occasional gatherings in other nations.
ICDA has also provided from the beginning programs of in-service training for individuals bearing the responsibility for administering awards and introductory educational training for individuals who may be entering the realm of administering awards or award programs.
ICDA has also from the outset gathered data on what were deemed to be "distinguished awards." For the first time in 1999 ICDA published its first "Official Roster of Distinguished Awards"--consisting of a periodic listing of those awards that met ICDA's criteria for unique distinction as among the world's most significant awards.
Beginning in 2008 ICDA began undergoing a transformation to become, in addition to a forum for distinguished awards, also the world's first and foremost center for data on distinginguished awards.
The Mission of ICDA
Identify, track, and promote the world's most distinguished awards;
Serve as a clearing house for information on both distinguished awards and awards in general (including prizes, fellowships, peer awards, challenge prizes,and competitions for excellence) anywhere in the world;
Establish criteria for awards that may be identified as "distinguished awards" and standards of accepted practices for such awards;
Produce a periodic forum where directors, trustees, and sponsors of awards may gather to discuss topics and issues of common concern in the "World of Awards";
Maintain a database, online presence, and other resources for disseminating information about awards and award programs;
Research and publish occasional reports on important awards, trends in award giving, and other vital aspects of the world of awards;
Compile and maintain an international "Official Roster of Distinguished Awards"--as a reliable digest of important awards;
Provide introductory training and advanced exploration for individuals working in the world of awards and a rigorous extended program for training some individuals to become Certified Awards Administrators (CAA);
Assist observers of awards from any perspective to better understand the $10 billion worldwide "industry" that is the world of awards.
Provide timely information to individuals and organizations operating both within the world of awards and to those contemplating the establishment of new awards.
Administration and Operations of ICDA
ICDA was organized and established as an independent not-for-profit corporation operating from offices in Philadelphia, PA, USA. As a not-for-profit corporation operating also as a 501(c)3 corporation declared by the US IRS asexempt from taxes, ICDA drew its initial board of directors and officers from important awards programs across the United States and Canada. The directors--according to its charter and bylaws--established the mission and programs that have been pursued by ICDA since 1994. The original convener, founder, and first president of the organization, Dr. Larry E. Tise, Ph.D., a professional historian, has guided the activities, programs, and researches of ICD from the beginning. He has been assisted along the way by officers and directors of some of the world's most prestigious awards and by a succession of staff researchers and administrators. The offices of ICDA have been in Philadelphia, PA, from 1994 forward.
International Congress of Distinguished Awards 705 Corinthian Avenue P.O. Box 15782 Philadelphia, PA 19103
Larry E. Tise is a private practice historian living and working in Philadelphia, PA, which is also the corporate headquarters of the International Congress of Distinguished Awards. He was the founder and first president of ICDA, from 1994 forward. In 2005 he became the Wilbur & Orville Wright Distinguished Professor of History at East Carolina University, where he has continued his research on awards and the world of awards as well as other topics relating to the early years of flight and early American history.
William S. Sassorossi has been responsible for the redesign and content of this website--including the compilation of data, the preparation of tables, and fine tuning what is needed to make the website comprehensive. He is completing his Masters Degree in Maritime Studies at East Carolina University in preparation for a career in marine based cultural resource management.
Marsha Jagodich is an ICDA research associate living and working in Pittsburgh, PA, where she compiled data on awards from 2003 until 2008. She also maintains the ICDA data base on all recipients of ICDA recognized distinguished awards from their creation until the present time.
Laureen Cantwell is an associate professor of library and information science at the University of Memphis. While serving as a research librarian at the Van Pelt Library at the University of Pennsylvania, she did research analysis on a number of awards related projects in association with Dr. Tise. She continues to survey print and electronic media for research materials related to awards.