Awards and Recognition

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Recognizing and Honoring the Community

AATB recognizes outstanding individuals within the tissue banking community with three annual award categories; the Communication and Education Awards, Achievement Awards, and Abstract Awards. These awards are all presented at the AATB Annual Meeting each fall.

AATB also honors tissue recipients through our sponsorship of the Donate Life Rose Parade Float. Every year, AATB sponsors one winning tissue recipient, who is nominated by one of our accredited tissue banks, to be a rider on the Donate Life Float. The float rider is also featured as a speaker at the AATB Annual Meeting.

AATB is honored both to be able to celebrate the commitment and achievements of tissue banking professionals through our award programs, and to have the opportunity to recognize tissue recipients on a national level through our Rose Parade sponsorship program.

Achievement Awards 2018 Winners

Jeanne C. Mowe Distinguished Service Award

Bruce Stroever

About Mr. Stroever

Bruce W. Stroever has forty-seven years of product development and general management experience in the medical device and orthobiologics fields. He was most recently President/CEO of the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation and retired from that position in June of 2018. Mr. Stroever joined MTF in late 1988 as General Manager. In 1992, he was named President and then in 1996 President/CEO of the organization. Under Mr. Stroever’s leadership, MTF grew to be the largest tissue bank in the world with over 1100 employees and revenues in excess of $400 million per year. Prior to joining MTF, Mr. Stroever held several positions with Ethicon, Inc. a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary. He has served on several boards of directors and is currently a Member of the Board of Directors of Bone Biologics, Inc., a Massachusetts biotechnology firm. He is on the Board of Advisors for the Engineering School at Stevens Institute of Technology, and also serves on the advisory board for the New Jersey Organ and Tissue Sharing Network. He has served several terms as a member of the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) Board of Governors. Mr. Stroever received his B.E. in Mechanical/Chemical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and his M.S. in Bioengineering from Columbia University.

George W. Hyatt Memorial Award

Ellen Heck, M.T., M.A., CEBT

UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas

Dallas, Texas

About Ms. Heck

Ellen Heck received her MT certificate from the School of Medical Technology, Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas, Texas then went on to receive her MA from Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, Michigan in 1983. She completed her B.S. in Microbiology at Texas Woman's University and her M.A. in Health Care Administration at Central Michigan University. She has served as Faculty Associate and Director for the Skin Transplant Center for Burns before becoming the Director for Transplant Services Center, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas. She is presently a member of the American Association of Tissue Banks, American Burn Association, American Council of Transplantation, American Society of Clinical Pathology, Associate Practitioners of Infection Control, Eye Bank Association of America, and Texas Society for Clinical Microbiology.

Kenneth W. Sell Memorial Award

Allyson McGinnis, CTBS

CryoLife, Inc.

Portland, Oregon

About Ms. McGinnis

Allyson has Bachelor's degrees in Biology and Medical Technology. After 10 years in the biotechnology industry, she began her career in tissue banking in 1996 at Community Tissue Services in Portland, Oregon. She was with CTS for 18 years, in Quality Assurance for 13 of those years and with the Recovery Partners Program for 5. She has been with CryoLife as a Donor Services Accounts Manager covering the Western Region of the United States since September 2014. Allyson has been a Certified Tissue Banking Specialist since 1997 and has been involved in AATB throughout her career in Tissue Banking. She has been on the Standards Committee, Accreditation Committee, and the QA Task Force. She is a member of the Quality Council and is currently on the America Board for Tissue Banking (ABTB).

More about Past Winners

C&E Awards 2018 Winners

Outstanding Professional Education Award

Program Title

Guide To Medical Examiner and Coroner Cases for the Donation Community


Kim A. Collins, M.D.

Sharing Hope South Carolina

Jonathan Boyd, CTBS


Louis Jares, CTBS

MTF Biologics

Korinna Kellerstrass, CTBS

Lions VisionGift

Samantha Wetzler, M.D.

LifeNet Health

Melanie Berry, CTBS

United Tissue Resources

Michael Becker, CTBS

United Tissue Resources

About the Guide

As has been published in medical and scientific literature, the majority of potential donors of both organs and tissues is from medicolegal cases. Although many medical examiners and coroners support donation, too much is at stake when evaluating a medicolegal case. Unfortunately, too often the medical examiner/coroner do not have a positive relationship with the donation community and refuse donation on these cases. To overcome this "disconnect", education and communication are necessary on both sides.

The authors developed a training and guidance document to address these issues, educate the donation community, and improve communications between the two groups. Information and education are powerful; however, if they cannot be communicated, then the knowledge is lost. The authors’ goal is that this document will work to solve many of the aforementioned problems and increase the number of organ and tissue donors that fall under medical examiner/coroner jurisdictions.

Outstanding Public Education Award

Project Title

Leaving a CodeR Legacy


Tonnie Boston

BloodCenter of Wisconsin/Wisconsin Tissue Bank

Gretchen Budde, CTBS

BloodCenter of Wisconsin/Wisconsin Tissue Bank

About the Program

BloodCenter of Wisconsin (BCW), Wisconsin Donor Network/ Wisconsin Tissue Bank, is helping diverse communities in Milwaukee become active advocates of donation and transplantation with its newly-launched program, CodeR (Churches for Organ Donation Education and Registration). Wisconsin is a very generous state in support of organ and tissue donation with only 5 of 72 counties falling below the fifty percent mark of residents registered as donors. Milwaukee County, however, has struggled over the past several years with only 44.5 percent of its drivers and ID holders identified as registered donors. With only a quarter percent (respectively) of the city's African Americans and Hispanics as registered donors, both communities present a major opportunity to increase the overall registration rate. CodeR was designed to elevate a casual conversation about donation in Milwaukee’s African American and Hispanic communities by serving as a formal way to track the quantity and type of tissue information that was infused into the community.

Groundbreaker Award

Project Title

Bridge2Life App


Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates & Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks' Trust For Life

About the App

Americans register as a donor while obtaining a driver's license or ID. In today's environment of Uber, Lyft and urban living, we see fewer 16-19 year olds obtaining a license. Using grant funding, Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates & Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks' Trust For Life met the challenge to educate this important demographic and offer them the option of registering and learning about organ donation in a different way. Using what is known about this audience, a "paperless binder" cell phone app was developed for quick facts and registry options. The app was utilized by implementing it in Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates & Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks' Trust For Life annual High School Challenge.

More about Past Winners

Rose Parade Sponsorship 2019 Winner

Bill Bourbeau

Tissue Recipient

Nominated by We are Sharing Hope SC

More about Bill