West Coast Section Awards & Accolades

Once again, the A&WMA’s West Coast Section (WCS) was recognized for significant achievements at the virtual ACE.  The WCS was formed in 1957 and represented the eleven western states and British Columbia.  Since then numerous Sections have spun off from the original territory and the WCS instead expanded by adding a number of international Chapters.  The WCS is now focused on Southern California with a total of eight Chapters including members in India, Thailand, and Singapore.  The WCS also has several Student Chapters, both local and internationally.  The Awards granted at the 2020 virtual ACE included:

  • The George T. Minasian award for the Most Outstanding Section: West Coast Section
  • The Environmental Challenge International (ECi) Competition: 1st Place to CalPoly, San Luis Obispo Student Chapter
  • The Charles W. Gruber Association Leadership Award bestowed upon: Sara Head, WCS Director


The WCS has been recognized as the best Section in the Minasian Award competition numerous times since this award was inaugurated in 1975, we believe more times than any other Section.  The award was named after George T. Minasian in recognition of his many years of service to APCA and Con Edison of New York.  He was a strong supporter of local Sections and helped lead the Mid-Atlantic States Section for many years.  The Minasian Award is granted based on a quantitative evaluation of numerous section activities including conferences, meetings, scholarships, and communication methods with members.

Charles W. Gruber (1910-2001) was a pioneer in the field of air pollution control and management and helped transform the association from a smoke-oriented association to the broader dimensions of air pollution control.  In 1950 he was the first president of the newly named Air Pollution Control Association.  The Charles W. Gruber Association Leadership award recognizes an A&WMA member who has provided outstanding service to A&WMA by serving in leadership positions at the international and local levels and has contributed to the achievement of the mission and objectives of the Association.  Sara Head has been recognized as someone who more than satisfies this award’s criteria.  She has and continues to support both the Channel Islands Chapter (CIC) and WCS, currently as a Director on both the Chapter and Section Board of Directors (BOD), as well as a Past Chair of both member units.  She also served on the International Association’s BOD for eight years, including one as President of the Association and two years while she served as Chair of the A&WMA Technical Council.  She has volunteered countless hours and traveled to many A&WMA events, including several outside of the U.S., in order to promote the Association’s mission.  She has attended all but 2 of the ACEs in the last 35 years.  She has helped to organize many educational and communication enhancing efforts of the Association and the WCS.