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The NRWA created the annual Industry Hero Award in 2015 to recognize leading-edge career services providers who are passionate about the growth and advancement of our profession.

Past winners have introduced industry-leading tools and courses, promoted excellence, and raised industry standards. They’ve devoted time and energy while managing their own careers, and their work has educated and inspired countless resume writers and other career services professionals.

As we continue to salute our past Industry Heroes, we look forward to honoring the contributions of many more who continue to work tirelessly to advance our profession.

The NRWA is seeking nominations for the 2024 Industry Hero Award.

This year's Industry Hero Award will be presented at The NRWA’s 26th Anniversary Conference in October.

 We want to know who you think deserves this recognition and why. The award will be presented to someone within the career services industry who has contributed significantly to the growth and advancement of the industry.

 Please email your nomination to Rob Rosales at by July 31, 2024. Include with a nomination a brief description of why the nominee deserves the award and what impact the individual’s work has had on the industry.

Past Industry Hero Award Recipients

Donna Tucker: Industry Hero 2023

In 2015, NRWA Board Member Donna Tucker created an award to honor professionals who contribute significantly to our field’s growth and progress.

She picked as its symbol a blue clock. Now she has her own.

Donna Tucker's 25-year commitment to our industry is commendable. She co-founded the Resume Writer's Council of Arizona and advocated for NRWA membership, where she currently serves as a board secretary. Her emphasis on accuracy and professional development shines through her presentations at NRWA conferences and annual Grammar Bowl.

Donna's contributions include expanding the industry by attracting over 50 members to the Resume Writer's Council of Arizona. Her dedication to education and selfless service has been instrumental in our profession's growth. Beyond her professional achievements, Donna volunteers as a resume writer for nonprofit organizations, aiding the homeless and the unemployed.

Donna Tucker's work and dedication deserve recognition, and we congratulate her on receiving the Industry Hero Award. Her impact on our industry is evident, and we look forward to celebrating her contributions further.

Kathryn Troutman: Industry Hero 2022

Our 2022 NRWA Industry Hero award is a pioneer in the world of federal resume writing.

KATHRYN TROUTMAN is founder of the Resume Place, one of the earliest resume writing and coaching businesses in the U.S., and designer of the modern federal resume format.

Bringing 20+ years as a U.S. government employee to her work, Kathryn started the Resume Place in 1970, specializing in resumes for law students. In 1995, after the U.S. discontinued the SF-171 federal job application, Kathryn designed the modern federal resume format. She introduced the Ten Steps to a Federal Job® method in 2002 in response to an increased demand for federal positions to help protect national security in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The Ten Steps method was also translated into a multiple award-winning book and training program, the Certified Federal Job Search Trainer and Career Coach program, to help veterans and spouses with the federal job search process.

Today, 1,200+ professionals have completed the training, which is mandatory for all employment readiness and transition staff at 250+ U.S. military installations worldwide. Kathryn has published 30+ books, including multiple editions, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV, and online programs seeking her expertise as the “Federal Resume Guru.”

The NRWA is thrilled to honor Kathryn for her significant contributions to this critical segment of the resume writing industry.

Michelle Dumas: Industry Hero 2021
Presented September 2021
Virtual Conference
In the words of her nominator: Michelle is a “powerhouse of innovative ideas and relentless efforts to advance the career services industry.” She not only “exemplifies the mission of the NRWA—to increase the visibility of the industry, encourage ethical practices, promote writing excellence, and raise industry standards through peer marketing and training—but she continually raises the bar for everyone to reach across our industry.”
Having launched two virtual career services businesses during her long commitment to the resume writing profession, she has persevered through the ups and downs of the industry, continually keeping pace with trends, market changes, and technological advancements to serve her clients and help other business owners enhance their own operations and services. She is the author of her own book of resume writing samples and has contributed her work to many other industry-focused books and other publications.
In addition to serving as President of the NRWA, Michelle was instrumental in launching the organization's Public Image Committee and leading development of the public-facing Resume Experts website, including the popular Ask the Experts Q&A platform. She continues to serve on the advisory boards for the NRWA Board of Directors and the NCRW Certification Commission and is a frequent speaker at the NRWA conference and at monthly webinars.

The NRWA is so grateful for Michelle’s contributions and willingness to serve.

Sally McIntosh: Industry Hero 2020

Presented September 2020
Virtual Conference

Sally was nominated by several members and selected by the Executive Board, for her efforts as a co-developer of our industry’s leading certification program—the NCRW—and her service as the NRWA Certification chair for 14 years.

Her leadership and dedication to maintaining the integrity of the certification program has been essential, and her vision for the program—to make it the strongest and most meaningful certification in the industry—has never wavered.

Tom Powner photoTom Powner: Industry Hero 2019

Presented September 2019
The Mariner of the Seas, Bahamas

Thomas (Tom) Powner was nominated by several members and selected by the Executive Board, recognizing his innovative and transformational contributions to business practices, client services, and the craft of developing career documents. He is a ready contributor across our social media outlets and delivers instruction to our membership via webinars, conference presentations, and the ground-breaking NCOPE certification program.

A few remarks from those who nominated Tom:

“I nominate Tom Powner for his dedication to helping everyone be better. He’s often the first one to respond to someone’s question on the NRWA list despite running his thriving business. One of the reasons I joined the board was to work with Tom.”

“Tom is recognized as the go-to for all things LinkedIn. His NCOPE certification is an industry first, and as such will be the gold standard for all LinkedIn certifications going forward.”

“The value of my work is elevated by Tom’s contributions to the NRWA. I have been continually inspired to tweak my resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles for my clients.”

“Tom makes continuing education effortless. His workshops are easy to follow, informative, and engaging. His insight into what clients want and need is invaluable.”

“Inspiration from Tom can be found woven into my business processes, resumes, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles. I think this is amazing, considering that I only met Tom three short years ago.”

Congratulations, Tom, and thank you for your generous service to the NRWA, our members, and our industry. You truly are a hero!

Pat Criscito: Industry Hero 2018

Presented October 2018
Seattle, Washington

Familiar even to most newcomers in our industry, Pat Criscito has a long history with the NRWA especially, speaking at our first conference in Chicago 21 years ago. Her topic was Electronic Resumes, and the room was jammed with interested writers—most of whom had no idea what an electronic résumé was. According to nominating member Sally McIntosh, who was in attendance that day, “Pat also used some sort of new projector that showed her slides on a screen. Imagine that! When she was finished with the presentation, she opened it up for questions. The response to every question started with ‘It depends…’ that in itself was a lesson.”

In the time since, Pat has become the leading expert on ATS systems. She conducts regular research among software developers and HR professionals to keep resume writers abreast of trends and best practices. Now with more than 33 years of experience in the job search industry, she has written numerous books that have been distributed around the world, including Designing the Perfect Résumé: Resumes in Cyberspace; E-Resumes: A Guide to Successful Online Job Hunting; Interview Answers in a Flash; Resumes that Pop; How to Write Better Resumes and Cover Letters; and others.

Pat has spoken nationally on career and entrepreneurial subjects, making regular television, radio, bookstore, university, and speaking appearances across the USA (including Harvard, Yale, Tulane, SMU, Thunderbird, Columbia, Wharton, Colorado College, and others). She has been a contributing writer to The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, and other publications. In 2009 she became the Treasurer of the NRWA, a position she still holds today. Our members and the industry as a whole have benefited from Pat’s numerous webinars, teleseminars, and conference presentations.

The body of Pat’s work has deeply impacted the resume writing industry, the way writers practice, and the way we coach our clients to achieve best results from their job search efforts. Furthermore, she readily offers advice and support to any who ask, despite being one of the busiest women we know. Thank you, Pat, for your generous and irreplaceable contributions!

Norine Dagliano: Industry Hero 2017Norine Dagliano receives the 2017 Industry Hero Award

Presented October 2017
Lombard, Illinois

The 2017 Industry Hero award winner was chosen for her tireless dedication and continuous contributions to promoting excellence and raising industry standards.

Norine Dagliano has selflessly given countless hours to the industry. With an extraordinary commitment to excellence and professionalism, Norine does a great deal of essential work behind the scenes for the NRWA. However, it was her widely recognized and generously shared industry expertise that was recalled in the nomination by Charmaine Pocek, a student in the first Writing Excellence class.

Norine is known as an incredible teacher and mentor. Her training and mentoring has had a positive impact on countless NRWA members and other resume writers. She has played a key role on the NCRW Certification Commission and in keeping the NCRW Study Guide up to date and relevant, and is also the creator and instructor of The NRWA’s top-notch writer training programs.

Charmaine Pocek nominated Norine for what she described as her priceless and confidence-building instruction and mentoring, a sentiment echoed by virtually all of her students.

Diane Hudson: Industry Hero 2016Diane Hudson receives the 2016 Industry Hero Award

Presented September, 2016
Annapolis, Maryland

The NRWA’s 2016 Industry Hero was selected for her contributions to the integrity of the careers industry worldwide. As nominator, Don Orlando said, “Diane Hudson showed me what being an industry hero is supposed to be. Others serve clients. Some mentor colleagues. Some improve communities. Diane inspires people across entire continents. She’s the sparkplug behind building a first-time career development industry for an entire foreign nation.”

Diane is former recruiter and employment specialist. But for many years, she’s been a career management coach and resume writer. She’s the force behind more than 100 articles and scores of workshops with Fortune 500 companies.

Internationally, she revitalized Certified Professional Career Coach program, which has since certified thousands of professionals around the globe. She also partnered Eileen Laskar to introduce career development to Kenya, rolling out a one of a kind program; planned, organized, and spoke at four, four-day conferences touched more than 2,000 women across six European areas; and much more.

Bridget Weide Brooks Receives 2015 Industry Hero Award

Bridget Weide Brooks: Industry Hero 2015

Presented September 18, 2015

Charlotte, North Carolina

“Through her affordable yet high-value membership website,, Bridget has transformed the résumé-writing industry. Through her business model, she not only empowers and advocates for small business owners, but also exemplifies successful small-business ownership. Her savvy entrepreneurship is balanced by her huge heart, so she is able to not only grow her thriving business, but also be a true servant and steward to her members. 

Bridget helps résumé writers start, grow, and elevate their small businesses by providing quality content, information, and support that can transform a solopreneurship with limited manpower and resources. Bridget also freely shares quality information with the public through her blog. Her experience and expert knowledge of the résumé-writing industry is invaluable. She could be very successful focusing her efforts on running a résumé-writing practice, but she chooses to help others thrive in this industry. For that reason, I am proud to nominate Bridget Weide Brooks for the Inaugural Industry Hero Award.”

Endorsed by Michelle Aikman

The National Résumé Writers' Association
North Grove Corporate Park, 8120 Lehigh Ave
Morton Grove, IL 60053

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