Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

Each year the AOPA presents the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. This honor is bestowed on individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of orthotics and prosthetics. Learn more about he Award and how to submit your nomination here.
2023Marty Carlson, CPO, FAAOP (D) and Ossur Kristinsson
2022Carl Caspers, CPO
2021Brad Ruhl
2020Arturo Vasquez-Vela*
2019James Kaiser, CP, LP
2018C. Michael Schuch, CPO, FAAOP, FISPO*
2017Saeed Zahedi, PhD
2016Thomas Watson, CP
2015Thomas V. DiBello, CO, FAAOP
2014Karl Fillauer, CPO, FAAOP
2013Prof. Hans Georg Nader
2012Wade Barghausen, CPO (E)
2011Rudolf B. Becker, III and Robert E. Arbogast
2010Ivan R. Sabel, CPO
2009/8Anthony J. Filippis, Jr., CPO
2007Charles H. Dankmeyer, Jr., CPO
2006Garvin D. Marty
2005Joe Cestaro, CPO
2004David C. Schultz, CPO*
2003Donald E. Hardin
2002H.E. “Ted” Thranhardt, CPO
2001Ralph “Ronney” Snell, CPO, FAAOP*
2000Sam E. Hamontree, CP
1999Roy Snelson, CPO (E)
1998Al Muilenburg, CPO
1997Carlton Fillauer, CPO
1996Charles W. Rosenquist, CO*
1995Ben Moss* & Anthony Filippis Sr, CPO
1994Louis Pulizzi, CPO*

Ralph R. “Ronney” Snell
Legislative Advocacy Award Recipients

The Ralph R. “Ronney” Snell, CPO, FAAOP, Legislative Advocacy Award recognizes individuals who have made valuable contributions toward advancing the legislative and regulatory goals of the O&P field by motivating members of Congress and other decision makers to take action on behalf of O&P.

2023So Every BODY Can Move New Mexico
2020George Breece
2019Maynard Carkhuff
Stella Seiber
Glenn Crumpton, CPO
2018Denise Hoffmann
Pam Lupo, CO
2017Adrianne Haslet
Aaron Holm
2016James Young, Jr., CP, LP, FAAOP
Scott Schneider
Ralph Nobbe, CPO
2015Charles W. Kuffel, MSM, CPO, FAAOP
Teri Kuffel, Esq.
Rick Riley, CEO, Townsend Design
2014James Kaiser, CPO, FAAOP
2012Thomas Guth, CP
2011William C. “Clint” Snell, CP
2010Rick Fleetwood, MPA
2008Peter Thomas
2007Michael E. Hamontree
2006Paddy Rossbach, RN
2005Alfred Kritter, Jr., CPO, FAAOP
2003Thomas H. Watson, CP
2001Steven M. Filippis, CP
Robert V. Leimkuehler, CPO
2000Marc Karn, CP
Harry Layton, CPO
Ohio O&P Association (accepted by Pres. Rich Rosenberg, CPO)
1999Donna K. Jackson, CP
Micki Pawlowski
1998Loren Saxton, CPO
Mary Saxton
Tom Sanders
Martin S. Ryan, CP

*Indicates the recipient is deceased.


Thranhardt Award Winners

Launched by a gift from J.E Hanger in memory of Howard R. Thranhardt, CP, the series offers an honorarium to the winners. The series recognizes individuals committed to advancing O&P education and research. Winners of the Thranhardt Lecture receive an award of $500 each.

2023Andreas Kannenberg, MD,(GER), PhD and Shane Wurdeman, PhD, CP, FAAOP (D)"Microprocessor Stance and Swing Control Orthosis for
Patients Dependent on a Knee-ankle-foot-orthosis for Walking: A Randomized, Controlled Crossover Trial"

Matt Wernke, PhD, "Upper Extremity Myoelectric Interface and Control Methodologies: A Single Blinded Randomized Clinical Trial"
2022Tiffany Graham, MSPO, CPO, LPO, FAAOP, "Development and Validation of a Prediction Model for the Treatment Time of Deformational Head Shapes Using a Cranial Remolding Orthosis"

Jennifer Johansson, MS, "Design and Testing of the Caesar Foot: A Bimodal Run-Walk Prosthesis"
2021Andreas Hahn, PhD, MSc, "The Effect of Microprocessor Controlled Exo-Prosthetic Knees on Limited Community Ambulators: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis"

Chrysta Irolla, MS, MSPO, CPO and Emily Nelson, MSE, MSOP, CP, "Treatment Parameters for the UCSF Pectus Carinatum Orthosis: A Pilot Study"
2020Anton Johannesson, PhD, CPO, "Systematic Procedure in Lower Limb Amputation—The Scandinavian Approach"

Caitlin Deom, PT, DPT, and John Frederick, CPO/L, "High Intensity Gait Training for Stroke Patients: The Neuroplastic Principles Behind this Evidence-Based Treatment Modality, Comparison to Conventional Physical Therapy and Effect on Orthotic Management"
2019Tiffany Graham, MSPO, CPO, LPO, FAAOP and Kelly Millay, MPO, "Significant Factors in Orthotic Treatment of Asymmetrical Brachycephaly"

Andreas Hahn, PhD, MSc, "The Use of Health Economic Instruments to Evaluate Prosthetic Services: Experience with Over 400 Patients in Germany and India
2018Tiffany Graham, MSPO, CPO, LPO, "Significant Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Cranial Remolding Orthoses in Infants with Deformational Plagiocephaly"

Brian Kaluf, BSE, CP, FAAOP, "Comparative Effectiveness of Microprocessor and Energy StoringProsthetic Ankles"
2017Shenan Hoppe-Ludwig, CPO, “The Micro-Processor Controlled Orthosis: What is the Impact to the User Versus the Stance control Orthosis and Conventional Locked KAFO”

Andrea Giovanni Cutti, PhD, “Reference Values for Temporal Gait and Loading Symmetry of Lower-Limb Amputees Can Help in Refocusing Rehabilitation Targets”
2016Beatrice Janka, MPO, CPO, ", The Effects of AFO Stiffness and Alignment on Lower Extremity Kinematics in Stroke and Multiple Sclerosis"

Kenton Kaufman, PhD, PE, “Functional Assessment and Satisfaction in K2 Transfemoral Amputees Receiving MPK Knees–Initial Findings”
2015Elizabeth Russell Esposito, PhD, "Can Individuals with Transtibial Amputation Reduce the Metabolic Demand of Walking Using Realtime Visual Feedback?"

Megan Sions, PhD, DPT, PT, OCS, "Balance-Confidence May Help Explain Physical Function and Community-Integration among Individuals with Unilateral Transfemoral and Transtibial Amputations"
2014Nicoleta Bugnariu, PT, PhD, "Functional Performance and Evaluation of Dynamic Response Feet"

Andreas Hahn, PhD, MSc , "Evaluation of 1200+ C-Leg Test Fittings in Germany"
2013Silvia Raschke, PhD and Michael Orendurff, PhD, "Can You Tell Which Foot is Which?"

Brian Hafner, PhD, "Prosthetic Limb Users Survey of Mobility (PLUS-M)"

Hamontree Award Winners

The Sam E. Hamontree, CP(E), Business Education Award was created to recognize the best business education paper, idea and/or proposal submitted for presentation. This award is a counterpart to the Thranhardt Award given each year to the best clinical abstract(s).

2023Andreas Kannenberg, MD (GER), PhD and Gerald Stark, PhD, MSEM, CPO/L, FAAOP (D), "Clinical Quality Improvement as a Foundational Business
2022Stacy Toner, "The Three Things you Have Control Over to Speed up your Cash Flow"
2021Rebecca Snell, "Adverse Outcomes Audit: Using Simplified Six Sigma as a Loss Control Measure"
2020Dale Berry, CP, LP, FAAOP, "Prior Authorization, How to PROVE Medical Necessity"
2019Mark Ford, "The Operating Performance Benchmarking Survey: What It Can Do for You"
2018Lesleigh Sisson, CFom, "Top 10 Ways to Get and Keep Your Money"
2017Ryan Ball, “Competitive Differentiator: Executing a Data-Drive Growth Strategy in O&P”
2016Molly McCoy, CPO, "Documentation Changes That Work! Proof that Better Documentation Leads to Overturn of Denials"
2015Thomas McGovern, "Control Your Marketing Message by Controlling the Medium"
2014Mike Mallaro, “Building a Stronger Business: Megatrends Impacting Your O&P Practice and What You Need to Do Now to Optimize Your Business”
2013Donald E. Katz, MHA, CO/L, FAAOP, "Using Lean Principles to Document Changes in Staff Workflow and Patient Services"

Edwin & Kathryn Arbogast Award, and Otto & Lucille Becker Award

The Edwin and Kathryn Arbogast Award and the Otto and Lucille Becker Award were founded in 2012, made possible by a special endowment by Becker Orthopedic and WillowWood. These awards honor two meritorious scientific papers submitted for presentation as a poster at the AOPA National Assembly, to encourage students and residents to display outstanding posters. The Otto and Lucille Becker Award is awarded annually for the best orthotic abstract submitted, and the Edwin and Kathryn Arbogast Award for the best prosthetic abstract submitted by a qualifying student or resident. The main author of each presentation must be a student (baccalaureate or master level), or a resident at a qualified patient care facility.

Edwin & Kathryn Arbogast Award





Abigail Citterman

Adam Huff


Gila Baer

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation at the Wrist as a Method to Restore Sensory Feedback for Individuals with Partial Hand Amputation

Validating Apple Watch Pulse Oximetry Data in People with LimbLoss


Scoping Review of Mechanical Testing of The Structural and Functional Properties of Lower Limb Prosthetic Sockets

2020 Allison Gordon I Static and Dynamic Balance Comparison with the Transfemoral K2 Population Utilizing K3 Componentry
2019 Charles Noble Is the Allied Health Field “Passing the Buck” Regarding Fall Training?
2018 Katherine Ching An Analysis of Internal Consistency within OPUS in Upper-Extremity
2017 Elizabeth Bell A Mixed-Methods Examination of Limitations to Physical Activity as Reported by Individuals with Lower Extremity Amputations
2016 Tyler Klenow A Metric to Quantify the “Dead Spot” Phenomenon in Prosthetic Gait: An Analysis of Sagittal Center of Pressure Progression and Its Velocity
2015 Lisa Abernethy Going Back In Time: A Content Analysis On The Media Portrayal Of Characters With Antiquated Prostheses
2014 Lauren Levey Lateralization of Motor Control in the Lower Extremity
2013 Darren Bolger A Tale of Two Legs: Maintaining Dynamic Stability in A-P and M-L Directions in Persons with Unilateral Transtibial Limb Loss
2012 Alison Ginsberg Use of a Powered Ankle Prosthesis to Decrease Work and Loading of the Intact Limb in Individuals with Transfemoral Limb Loss
2011 Chrysta Irolla Unilateral Transtibial Amputee Dynamic Stability Margin During Human Walking

Otto & Lucille Becker Award




Yasi Aljohani

Jason Rutkowski

Jessica Sider

Reasons for Abandonment by Children in Saudi Arabia

The Effect of Disease Progression on Perceived Benefits and Psychosocial Impact of Lower Limb Orthoses in Ambulatory Persons with Multiple
SclerosisBridging the Gap Between Off-the-Shelf and Custom-Made Braces for Canines

2020 William Eddy Quality Standards in Custom Orthotics: Tracking Cause and Frequency of Failed Custom Orthoses by Warranty Cases
2019 Erin McGraw Comparing the comfort of Ankle Foot Orthosis Designs: Sleeve Cover vs. Traditional Cuff Strap
2018 Peter Zenger Self-Efficacy Related to Education Level in O&P
2017 Kierra Falbo Characteristics of Delphi Processes in Orthotics and Prosthetics Research
2016 Morgan Oxenrider and Megan Kelly The Capacity Foot Orthoses to Modulate Plantar Foot Tissue Stiffness
2015 Tyler Klenow A Functional Comparison of a Carbon Fiber AFO and Two Modular KAFO Conditions Using Outcome Measures in a Veteran Subject with Traumatic Brain Injury
2014 Steven Siebert A Wireless Instrumented AFO to Quantify Ankle Stiffness and Range of Motion
2013 Kier Book The Influence of Dorsiflexion Resistance on Ankle Joint Kinematics during Treadmill Walking
2012 Marina Musicus Characterizing Changes in Plantarflexor Activity in Response to Orthotic Ankle Constraint
2011 Tyler Manee Determining the Ideal Dorsal Strap Location and Angle to Prevent Pistoning in an Ankle-Foot Orthosis

Hans Georg Nader Digital O&P Award

2023: Andrew McDaid, BE(HONS), PhD and Freeborn Mondello, DPT, “The Impact Of Sensor Technology On Bracing Outcomes For
Knee Osteoarthritis: A Randomized Clinical Trial”

2024: David Boone, BSPO, MPH, PhD

AOPA Tech Tips and Tricks Video Winners


  • 1st– Steven Werkheiser, CTPO – 3-D imaging Laminations
  • 2nd– Jeff Waldmullen, CP – Effectively Patching Holes in Sleeves
  • 3rd – Jordan Lowell, CPOA – Laminating a Flex Carbon Footplate to a Partial Foot Prosthetic

AOPA OPTA Technical Fabrication Contest

The Technical Fabrication Contest was founded in 2012 and honors technicians who fabricate a particular device in each year’s contest guidelines. Entrees are submitted for presentation at the AOPA National Assembly encouraging students, practitioners, and technicians to display their outstanding devices. The fabricators are given free rein in terms of final shape and cosmetic finishing and must include a description specifying the issues addressed in the design of the device. Devices are displayed during the AOPA National Assembly and winners are announced during the annual business meeting.

2019 Technical Fabrication Contest – Below knee prosthesis

Category Recipient
Practitioner 1st Place, Michael Stull
Practitioner Runner-up, Dennis Haun
Technician 1st Place, Matt Hierstetter
Technician Runner-up, Chris Koressel
Student 1st Place, Dustin McBride
Student Runner-up, Michael Brandon

 2019 Technical Fabrication Contest – Articulating AFO

Category Recipient
Practitioner 1st Place, Brian Demain
Practitioner Runner-up, Dennis Haun
Technician 1st Place, Matt Hierstetter
Student 1st Place, Wesley Fong
Student Runner-up, Sachin Kawankar

2018 Technical Fabrication Contest – Below knee prosthesis

Category Recipient
Practitioner 1st Place, Loren Schubert
Practitioner Runner-up, Tony Ward
Technician 1st Place, Ramen Landon
Technician Runner-up, Desmond Cook
Student 1st Place, Mackinley Burrell
Student Runner-up, Molly Jeffers

 2018 Technical Fabrication Contest – Articulating AFO

Category Recipient
Practitioner 1st Place, Anton Kruglov
Practitioner Runner-up, K0ji Duncan
Technician 1st Place, Ramen Landon
Technician Runner-up, Desmond Cook
Student 1st Place, Robert Hinks
Student Runner-up, Wesley Fong

2017 Technical Fabrication Contest – Below knee prosthesis

Category Recipient
Practitioner 1st Place, Pankaj Sinha, CPO
Practitioner Runner-up, Tony Ward, CPO
Technician 1st Place, Darrell Johnston, CTO
Technician Runner-up, Christopher Meyer
Student 1st Place, Matt Mausner
Student Runner-up, Andrew Maurer

2017 Technical Fabrication Contest – Articulating AFO

Category Recipient
Practitioner 1st Place, Anton Kruglov, CPO
Practitioner Runner-up, Wes Golay
Technician 1st Place, Darrell Johnston, CTO
Technician Runner-up, Steven Werkheiser
Student 1st Place, Zach Golay
Student Runner-up, Matthew Mausner

2016 Technical Fabrication Contest – Articulating AFO

Category Recipient
Practitioner 1st Place, Rich Federman, CO
Practitioner Runner-up, Aaron Norell, BOCO, BOCP, CO
Technician 1st Place, Michael Brandon
Technician Runner-up, Tim Cunningham
Student 1st Place, Steve Daley
Student Runner-up, Todd Nakano

2016 Technical Fabrication Contest – BK Socket & Foot

Category Recipient
Practitioner 1st Place, Michael Stull, BOCP
Practitioner Runner-up, Julianne Gupta, CPO
Technician 1st Place, Darrin Snowden, CPA, CTP
Technician Runner-up, Michael Brandon
Student 1st Place, Ashley Rinck
Student Runner-up, Allison Snooks

2015 Technical Fabrication Contest – Articulating AFO

Category Recipient
Practitioner 1st Place, Tommy Coronado, CPOA
Practitioner Runner-up, Brian DeMain, CPO
Technician 1st Place, Dan Lopez, ROPT
Technician Runner-up, Paul Mindenann
Student 1st Place, Mary Walsh
Student Runner-up, Kenneth O’Mera

2014 Technical Fabrication Contest – “Energy” Lower Extremity Prosthesis or Orthosis

Nicole Gibson

2013 Technical Fabrication Contest – Partial Foot Prosthosis

Category Recipient
Practitioner 1st Place, Ferhan Maher
Practitioner Runner-up, Mike Openshaw
Technician 1st Place, Mark Scheibelhut
Technician Runner-up, Don Pierson
Student 1st Place, Vincenzo Demarinis
Student Runner-up, Tanner Brogden
School of the Year Francis Tuttle Technology Center
People’s Choice Brian Killen & Yann Paitel

2012 Technical Fabrication Contest – BK Swim Prosthesis

Category Recipient
Professional 1st Place, Joseph Young
Professional 2nd Place, Chris Carlson
Professional 3rd Place, Svetoslav Terziyski
Student 1st Place, Malerie Turner
Student 2nd Place, Michael Ruch
Student 3rd Place, Tanner Brogden