Leadership Award

marjorie schwarzer - leadership award.jpg
2018 Leadership Award Recipient Marjorie Schwarzer (center), with (L-R) Executive Director Jason B. Jones and Immediate Past President Lisa Sasaki

WMA Leadership Award


The Leadership Award recognizes and acknowledges outstanding lifetime achievement in museums and/or a museum-related field. The Award is presented at the WMA Annual Meeting to a museum professional with more than 20 years in the field whose career has had a sustained, considerable, and lasting impact on museum practices and/or the museum profession in the Western Region. The awardee will address the attendees during a General Session and will be featured in the Annual Meeting program and on the WMA website.  


(Prior to 2018, this award was known as the Director’s Chair Award.)



  • Nominee should have more than 20 years of experience in the museum field.
  • Nominee should be a currently active museum or museum-related professional.
  • Nominee is available to attend the Annual Meeting to receive the award.



Criteria - The selection of the Leadership Award recipient is based on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrates significant contributions to museums or museum-related profession at a local and/or national level.
  • Promotes the importance and value of museums to their community or the public through their work on behalf of the museum field or through museum-related work.
  • Advocates on behalf of WMA through past attendance at Annual Meeting(s), volunteer service with WMA, or other WMA-related activities.


Nominations can be submitted by a museum professional at any level or by a trustee if the nominee is an executive director. Individuals cannot self-nominate.



The 2018 WMA Leadership Award application deadline was July 20, 2018. Please check back for details for WMA 2019.




Please contact WMA at (707) 433-4701 or wma@westmuse.org for more information, questions, or comments about the Leadership Award.


Past Leadership Awardees

2017: Robert R. Janes
2016: Robert Breunig
2015: Julie K. Stein
2014: James Tharp
2013: Sarah George
2012: Katherine Hough
2011: Not awarded
2010: Bruce Eldredge
2009: Wanda Chin/Terry Dickey
2008: Sarah Kennington
2007: Steve Olsen
2006: Ellen Ferguson
2005: Nora Wagner
2004: Ron Chew
2003: Steven High
2002: Alyce Sadongei
2001: Ted Greenberg
2000: Michael Ames
1999: L. Thomas Frye
1998: Michael Hammond
1997: Gail Anderson
1996: Don Hague
1995: Ruth Tamura
1994: Barnes Riznik
1992: Bonnie Pitman
1991: Michael J. Fox