The Historic Naval Ship Association is a world renowned organization with 188 unique and timeless ships in their fleet. Their mission is to support the preservation of historic naval vessels and to honor those who have served at sea in defense of their nations
2016 Distinguished Bos’n Marvin Curry Award
Radarman 2nd Class Wallace B. “Mac” Mackensen is a Cold War veteran who began volunteering aboard KIDD in 2003. He earned HNSA’s distinguished Bos’n Marvin Curry Award for exceptional service in the areas of interpretation, maintenance, preservation, and restoration. Only one of these awards is issued annually. This marks the third year in a row that a KIDD volunteer has received this honor: Garrett Lynch in 2014, Frank “Beef” Lewis in 2015, and Mackensen in 2016.
2016 Maintenance/Preservation/Exhibition Award
Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Henry J. “Hank” Taddeucci is also a Cold War veteran who served aboard USS KIDD in 1961-62. He has volunteered aboard his old ship via the museum’s Field Day program since 2005. He earned HNSA’s Maintenance/Preservation/Exhibition Award for exemplary work in those areas over a long period on a part-time basis. Taddeucci travels regularly from Colorado each October to help repair and replace ropework along the decks of his old destroyer. KIDD volunteers have also been among those receiving this honor for the past three years: George Seal in 2014, Richard Ammon in 2015, and Taddeucci in 2016.
2016 William J. Difley Award
Former KIDD Executive Director Alejandra “Alex” Juan earned HNSA’s William J. Difley Award which honors departing directors of HNSA Fleet Member organizations who have contributed in some great measure to the success of their museums. From December 2013 to May 2016, Juan successfully steered the museum through a difficult financial period and a state investigation. New programming initiated under her tenure garnered international attention from as far away as India and an 86% increase in attendance in 2015.
Tim NesSmith has worked at the USS KIDD since 1995, starting out as a part-time tour guide. He advanced through the ranks to his current position where he guides the ship’s restoration and the museum’s educational efforts. He earned HNSA’s Educator Award for performance at a superior level in furthering the museum’s education program. He was further honored by his peers in HNSA with the Old Walrus Award, given for demonstrated knowledge of the Historic Naval Ship Fleet and cooperation and assistance with other fleet members.
2015 Casper J. Knight Award
McKinney Fleet & Barge Services and KIDD Volunteer Richard Ammon were presented with international-level awards from the Historic Naval Ships Association (HNSA) during a Fall Field Day banquet held at the USS KIDD Veterans Museum on Oct. 23. HNSA's Casper J. Knight Award was presented to McKinney Fleet & Barge Services for contributing in a major way to the preservation and exhibition of a historic naval ship over a considerable length of time. The family-owned company has been involved with some of the KIDD's largest special events and restoration projects over the years. The in-kind services they've provided have saved KIDD a significant amount of money.
2015 Maintenance/Preservation/Exhibition Award
HNSA's Maintenance/Preservation/Exhibition Award was presented to Boiler Tender 1st Class Richard Ammon, Jr., a Cold War veteran, for his exemplary work in those areas over a long period on a part-time basis. Ammon, a long-time resident of Winter Park, Fla., served aboard the KIDD when she was in service and has volunteered for his old ship since 1990. KIDD volunteers have received this award two years in a row: George Seal in 2014 and now Ammon in 2015. Ammon and the McKinney family received two of five awards garnered by KIDD staff, volunteers and supporters in recent weeks; four from the Historic Naval Ships Association and one from the Louisiana Association of Museums.
2015 Bos’un Marvin Curry Award
USS KIDD Ship Superintendent Tim NesSmith presented Frank “Beef” Lewis with the Historic Naval Ships Association’s Bos’un Marvin Curry Award on the ship’s gangway on Sept. 24.
NesSmith nominated “Beef” for the prestigious Bos’un Marvin Curry Award which is given to a museum vessel volunteer or staff member for exceptional service in the areas of interpretation, maintenance, preservation, and restoration. Preference is given to non-salaried employees and volunteers consistently demonstrating competency in their field, a commitment to excellence, and a strong love for their vessel. Lewis, a Korean War veteran and retired engineer, has been volunteering aboard KIDD since 1997.
2015 Henry A. Vadnais, Jr. Award
USS KIDD Ship Superintendent Tim NesSmith was presented with the Historic Naval Ships Association’s Henry A. Vadnais, Jr. Award for outstanding service on the decks of his beloved ship on Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. NesSmith has been a dedicated member of the KIDD Crew for over 20 years. He started out as a part-time tour guide in 1995 and worked his way up the ranks where he currently serves in the prestigious capacity of both Ship Superintendent and Educational Outreach Coordinator. The Henry A. Vadnais, Jr. Award is awarded to a staff person at a Fleet Member organization for particularly outstanding service rendered to his or her organization. Preference is given to persons working in the areas of curatorship, collections management, exhibits or registration.
The Louisiana Association of Museums
USS KIDD Veterans Museum Executive Director Alejandra Juan was named “Emerging Museum Professional” by the Louisiana Association of Museums (LAM) at their annual awards luncheon held at the Diamond Grill in Alexandria, La., on Sept. 14, 2015. Juan is in her second year as Executive Director of the USS KIDD Veterans Museum. In that time, her strong leadership skills and public relations background have helped her reenergize the organization and build stronger ties within the community. In the past 18 months, KIDD has garnered local, national and international attention for new programming initiated under Juan’s tenure such as the KIDD Keynotes lecture series, Yoga and Art Therapy for Veterans, an expanded First Free Sunday program with themed arts & crafts, Sponsor a Veteran, adults-only Twilight Tours, and more. Fifty complimentary events are now available to the public due to her commitment to diversifying programming, community partnerships and her focus on reaching newer audiences. “LAM has become a close-knit society with all of the budget cuts to the museum industry in recent years,” said Sherry Wagener, President of the Louisiana Association of Museums. “For those of us who have survived those cuts, it was thrilling to find a fresh, new face in our museum community. Alex Juan is benefitting our profession in such an invigorating way by providing great new ideas to one of our long-term and long-established members. We were honored to give this award to someone of her high caliber.” Under Juan’s stewardship, KIDD staff and volunteers have also flourished with two volunteers receiving awards for excellence from the Historic Naval Ship Association, an international organization with over 170 historic vessels located across five continents. Volunteer recruitment and community partnerships have also increased under Juan’s guidance with over $ 177,000 of new funding and in-kind services being received in the first half of 2015.