The Louise Samson Leadership Award: Elena Vizvary | Award of Recognition: Deborah Murphy-Fischer 
Award of Recognition: Melissa Cunningham | Award of Recognition: Carol Lambdin-Pattavina

Elena Vizvary: The Louise Samson Leadership Award: in recognition of leadership that has contributed to the recognition and advancement of occupational therapy in Florida.
Ms. Vizvary has been a leader in the Florida Occupational Therapy Association for many years. She has been a forum leader and most recently, Vice President for two terms and President for two terms. Under her leadership, the annual conference has become a highly rated educational event for FOTA members and all occupational therapists in the state of Florida. Her hard work and attention to detail has raised the bar for quality educational sessions and a networking event. Her dedication to serving occupational therapists in Florida is shown through her ability to listen and strive to always do more for this annual event. She has also led this organization forward in her two terms as President. Her guidance for new board members, reaching out to occupational therapists in regard to their needs, and activism to place occupational therapy in the forefront with state agencies and other organizations. FOTA is strong, both financially and in its core values thanks to her leadership. Ms. Vizvary has guided this organization in moving forward. She spearheaded the development and adoption of a new strategic plan. She has appointed various ad hoc committees to address education, advocacy, scholarship and leadership. She reaches out on any occasion to educate people about occupational therapy and FOTA and its mission to serve Florida's therapist and clients. Ms. Vizvary has dedicated hundreds of hours to FOTA. She highly deserves this most prestigious award for her service and passion for FOTA and the people FOTA serves.

  Deborah Murphy-Fischer, MBA, OTR: Award of Recognition
for outstanding contribution in occupational therapy in Florida or for outstanding service to FOTA during the past year.

Before she retired to Florida, Deborah Murphy-Fischer was a director of a private practice pediatrics clinic in New York State. Along with this experience, she brought to Florida a willingness to continue to give back to the OT community and a great deal of passion for supporting state and national associations. In 2010 and again in 2013, Deb ran for and was elected FOTA Treasurer. During her tenure, she managed the FOTA budget with scrutiny, searched for and found for FOTA reliable and reasonable accountants, pushed FOTA to make the Myra McDaniel Scholarship a reality. Deb made sure we paid our bills and taxes. There were occasions when she needed to spend hours solving frustrating online problems and Deb was willing to put in the time to get the job done. Not many folks saw, or were aware of, Deb's selfless actions behind the scenes. FOTA will miss her fiduciary expertise. But in addition, FOTA will also miss the other parts of Deb Murphy-Fischer, her flair for fashion, ability to "work the room" and her New York sense of humor. Thank you Deb for spending 6 years of your life taking care of FOTA"s money. For this you certainly deserve FOTA's Award of Recognition.

Award of Recognition: Melissa Cunningham, MHS, OTR/L, CHT, CEAS
This award honors outstanding contribution to the recognition and promotion of occupational therapy in Florida. 

Melissa Cunningham has served FOTA for many years both as Chair of the SIS Work Program committee and as Conference Exhibitor Coordinator. In every aspect of her FOTA volunteer capacity, she has displayed outstanding commitment. As SIS chair, there was never a question that Melissa would fulfill her responsibilities. She consistently was on time for her FOCUS articles. Predictably there was never a need for reminders for her conference proposals both for her SIS buzz sessions and her other educational presentations. Melissa has served as an awesome exhibitor chair for many conferences. This critical job required developing the important prospectus months before conference, soliciting and responding to vendors, planning out the exhibit hall site, and coordinating vendor events the day of conference. She brought vision and acumen to all her tasks. Beyond her individual volunteer contributions, she was always helpful to both students and practitioners. Melissa was an FOTA cheerleader, encouraging and recommending that others help FOTA. Thank you Melisssa, and for your service, you deserve the Award of Recognition. We now wish you, Melissa, the very best - as you, your husband and two beautiful children leave Florida for Wyoming where you will be closer to your extended family. No doubt the Wyoming OT community will benefit from your presence there.
Award of Recognition: Carol Lambdin-Pattavina, DrOT, OTR/L
for outstanding contribution in occupational therapy in Florida or for outstanding service to FOTA during the past year.

Dr. Lambdin- Pattavina is a relentless advocate for persons with mental health issues and for the role of occupational therapy in mental health communities. She currently sits on the advisory committees for Joe DiMaggio Children's Behavioral Health as well as Concorde Career College; advising them both on mental health issues, concerns and appropriate service provision. She also serves as a reviewer for the Online Journal of Occupational therapy. She recently organized and continues to administer a joint community art project with 9Muses -an art program through the Mental Health Association Of Southeast Florida - and Nova Southeastern University where art is proudly displayed and for sale in the College of Health Care Sciences atrium. She has published recently in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy in Mental Health , OT Practice and Advance for OT, all on the topic of OT and mental health.

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