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2020 HATS POY Awards Celebration

2020. By just mentioning the year, we can all assume it references a year that has meant so many changes in our day-to-day lives. It also meant the change from in-person events to virtual. It was no different for this year's annual HATS POY Awards Celebration. Typically, we would share a meal and celebrate the accomplishments of individuals and societies to the Huntsville technical community in the same room. This year, however, like many other events and celebrations, we had to change our course and adjust plans to ensure the safety of our member societies, Board Members, friends, and families.

While we didn't get to see all our friends and society members in-person this year, we were still able to take time to recognize the hard work and dedication our community members take pride in every day. Thankfully, we live in a world where technology allows us to continue to connect and celebrate wins no matter where you are located.

This year's HATS POY Award Celebration, held on October 1, was hosted by the Freedom Center on Torch Technologies' campus. Metropolitan DJ provided the "lights, camera, and action" that allowed us to stream the awards ceremony live and in color! We had an amazing emcee, Clay Coleman, and amazing guest speakers: Kathy Land, Huntsville's Mayor Tommy Battle, Bill Roark representing Torch Technologies, and Reggie Spivey representing Teledyne Brown Engineering. We were thankful to have Torch Technologies and Teledyne Brown as Gold Sponsors, ISSAC and General Atomics as Silver Sponsors, and Redstone Federal Credit Union and nLogic as Bronze Sponsors who all helped make this event possible. Our dedicated POY Committee and HATS Board Members worked tirelessly to make the necessary adjustments to ensure we were able to have a successful event and celebrate our member societies and society members.

So, picture it, October 1, 2020. Cameras set.  Attendees logging in to watch from the comfort of their homes or offices. Nominees for each category (Young Professional of the Year, Society of the Year, and Professional of the Year) standing by on Zoom as they wait anxiously to find out if they were selected to be the winner of their respective award. HATS Board President, Allision Rhen, approaches the stage to open the event. The stream begins and all the pieces are in place. We have lift-off and the program begins. As we move through each category, we recognize the accomplishments of each nominee. Winners are announced, and we hear inspiring words from our emcee and guest speakers. The program ends and everyone in the room gives a huge sigh of relief because everything went off without a hitch. Success!

While everything didn't have the same look and feel as years passed, the meaning behind the 2020 POY Awards Celebration remained the same. The accomplishments each nominee has had the past year are even more noteworthy since we are living and working in a virtual world.

We want to take one more opportunity to thank all our sponsors, guest speakers, and Board Members for helping to make this night a success. We also want to congratulate all the nominees and winners one more time. We look forward to celebrating with everyone in-person in 2021!