The Cavett Award

We will not be selecting a Cavett Award recipient at INFLUENCE 2020. Anyone who was nominated will be nominated again in 2021. We will begin accepting new nominations in January 2021.

Since it was established in 1973, NSA's strength has sprung from its Co-Founder Cavett Robert, CSP, CPAE. His love, encouragement, generosity and wisdom embody the spirit of NSA today and continue to guide the Association as it grows in number and diversity.

Humility, generosity and teamwork are just a few of the qualities Cavett possessed, and in fine professional-speaking style, expressed so eloquently. Cavett once said to NSA Past President Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE, "You guys have done so much more with this (NSA) than I ever imagined." The truth was that NSA members have simply built upon the legacy that he humbly established for us.

Likewise, Cavett displayed an uncanny ability to inspire others and share his wisdom and expertise. "A desire to help others is our most noble attribute; it gives immortal momentum to life and is our only certain path to heaven," he would say. Hence, the Cavett Award, the highest award bestowed by NSA, was created to celebrate and honor those members whose careers demonstrate the spirit of sharing, guiding and inspiring other professional speakers.

The Cavett Award is NSA's most cherished award. It is presented annually to the member whose accomplishments over the years have reflected outstanding credit, respect, honor and admiration in the Association and the speaking profession, and whose actions (in terms of sharing, guiding and inspiring other members) most closely parallel the illustrious career of our Co-Founder Cavett Robert, CSP, CPAE.


  • 1979

    Cavett Robert, CSP, CPAE

  • 1980

    William H. Gove, CSP, CPAE

  • 1981

    Dave Yoho, CPAE

  • 1982

    Ty Boyd, CSP, CPAE

  • 1983

    Joe Larson, CSP, CPAE

  • 1984

    Ira M. Hayes, CPAE

  • 1985

    Nido R. Qubein, CSP, CPAE

  • 1986

    Don Hutson, CSP, CPAE

  • 1987

    Doc Blakely, CSP, CPAE

  • 1988

    Robert H. Henry, CSP, CPAE

  • 1989

    Jeanne Robertson, CSP, CPAE

  • 1990

    D. Michael Frank, CSP, CPAE

  • 1991

    Rosita Perez, CPAE

  • 1992

    D. John Hammond, CPAE

  • 1993

    Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE

  • 1994

    George Morrisey, CSP, CPAE

  • 1995

    Thomas J. Winninger, CSP, CPAE

  • 1996

    Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE

  • 1997

    Naomi R. Rhode, CSP, CPAE

  • 1998

    Al Walker, CSP, CPAE

  • 1999

    Edward E. Scannell, CSP, CMP

  • 2000

    Jim Tunney, EdD, CSP, CPAE

  • 2001

    Zig Ziglar, CPAE

  • 2002

    Bob Murphey, CPAE

  • 2003

    Pat Vivo, CSP, CPAE

  • 2004

    Terry Paulson, CSP, CPAE

  • 2005

    Glenna Salsbury, CSP, CPAE

  • 2006

    Charles E. “Tremendous” Jones, CPAE

  • 2007

    Mark H. Sanborn, CSP, CPAE

  • 2008

    Michael McKinley, CSP, CPAE

  • 2009

    Louis Heckler, CSP, CPAE

  • 2010

    Jim Rhode, CSP

  • 2011

    W Mitchell, CSP, CPAE

  • 2012

    Stephen Tweed, CSP

  • 2013

    Scott Friedman, CSP

  • 2014

    Chris Clarke-Epstein, CSP

  • 2015

    Gary Rifkin, CSP

  • 2016

    Lenora Billings-Harris, CSP

  • 2017

    Randy Pennington, CSP, CPAE

  • 2018

    Terry Brock, CSP, CPAE

  • 2019

    Phillip Van Hooser, MBA, CSP, CPAE