Preservation Howard County's officers and Board of Directors select the annual Preservationists of the Year from nominations made by it's officers and board of directors, local organizations, and the general public.  The awards recognize individuals, organizations or corporations who have made significant contributions to preserve the history, heritage and culture of Howard County or have demonstrated significant achievement in projects that restore, preserve, and/or find adaptive use of historic sites contributing to the protection of Howard County's historic and rural landscapes.  Awards are also given in recognition of the vision of government officials or employees who have supported preservation projects and legislation.  Not all categories are recognized each year and there may be multiple awards in a given category.

The 2016 Preservationist of the Year Awards was held on Sunday, September 18th at Historic Waverly Mansion.  These award recipients are recognized for their significant contributions to the preservation of Howard County's history and heritage.  Each recipient offers inspiration to all Howard County residents to appreciate and care for our local history and heritage.

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2016 PRESERVATIONIST OF THE YEAR Bessie Bordenave - Harriet Tubman Foundation, received the Senator James Clark Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award. A s a student, graduate and a lifelong advocate for the preservation of the Harriet Tubman High School and African American history, Bessie has, for many years, pursued the return of the school to the Harriet Tubman foundation and the African American Community. The annual reunions she has organized have kept the spirit of African American Heritage alive and provided a basis for exhibits, presentations, and gathering of stories. The effort and passion put forth has moved the appeal as the Howard County School System has agreed to return the school. Susan Scheidt received a Preservationist of the Year Award for her rallying of the residents of the historic Highland Community crossroads and who have, together over the years ,preserved and protected its history and historic setting. Susan has been and continues to be a moving force committed to it's stewardship. There has not been a person over the years with more tenacity and resolve than Susan, in her preservation work and in facing down forces that would change the character of this early 1700's crossroad community, one of the few remainng in the county. Ned Tillman received a Preservationist of the Year Award for being an advocate and voice for the preservation of our resources - environmental and historical for many years. His books, The Chesapeake Watershed - A sense of Place and a Call to Action leads us on an exploration of the Bay's resources, the dangers it faces, and to ways of it's preservation. His second book, Saving the Places We Love - Paths to Environmental Stewardship challenges us to ask what is happening to the special places we love and how we, and with others, can preserve them before they are lost. Ned has reached a greater audience through his engaging, motivating talks and walks to areas he speaks of filled with personal hisory and anecdotes.