Introduction by Dick Gulmon
"A lifetime achievement award is a prestige's award savored for the recognition of a career of significant contribution, and impactful influence, a career which exceeds the requisite of high standards, achievements, leadership, respect, and loyalty for the sport of softball and its participants, on the local, state, and national level.
It is fitting that the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a man who in 2019 has been part of our softball program in North Dakota for 60 years. This man registered as an ASA Umpire in 1959 and worked his first state tournament in 1963. He was soon recognized for his leadership in the umpire world and served as North Dakota UIC on two occasions for almost 30 years.
He gained Charter membership status in the National Indicator Fraternity and earned Elite Umpire status. He was elected to the Northern Region Umpire in Chief and served on the ASA National Staff for 6 years. He was recognized with the Northern Region Award of Excellence and recognized for 50+ years of service as an ASA Umpire. He was elected to the North Dakota Softball Hall of Fame in 1987 and has been President of the Hall of Fame Society and selection committee for the last 35 years. He served on the NDASA Executive Board for 30 years and Co-Founded the NDASA Softball News in 1979 and continues as its Editor today. He was involved with the first McQuade Softball tournament with Sam McQuade Sr in 1976 and served on its board of directors for 30 years. He was also instrumental in bringing many National Tournaments in both FP and SP to North Dakota. He worked in 20 National tournaments and served as the UIC for 13 National Tournaments around the country throughout his career.
It is such an honor for me to present the first ever USA Softball of North Dakota Lifetime Achievement Award to a mentor of mine, a colleague, someone whom I have great respect for, and most importantly a special friend of mine and yours. Walt Stack is one of the finest people I have ever known or been associated with. I have been fortunate to have witnessed and experienced the value of people like Walt Stack. His leadership, people skills, mentoring, dedication and commitment to this game has truly made him one of the outstanding leaders in ASA/USA Softball in our time."
Introduction by Dick Gulmon
Sue Heilmen played with a variety of women and coed teams, mostly recreational - from the age of 19 to 62 . Sue was elected to the BWSSA advisory board in 1979 and has held many positions on the board from President, vice president, secretary/ treasurer to current position of league secretary.
Sue assisted the Bismarck Parks and Rec with several National Tournaments doing tournament statistics. This is a critical position at National Tournaments as we select the All America teams from statistics and need to depend on quality statistics. She also served on the planning committees prior to all the national tournaments hosted by Bismarck. She also assisted with statistics on at least 3 national tournaments hosted in Mandan. I don't believe we held a National Tournament in Bismarck or Mandan where Sue was not a key volunteer to its success. Sue also had the privilege of being on a team to represent Bismarck at National softball meetings to bid for some of the first National tournaments.
She currently holds the title of president of the North Dakota Women's Division and serves on the State Advisory Board. Sue has been the tournament manager for the ND women's Masters Tournament since 1999 - She has assisted with the McQuade Tournament by managing the McQuade Complex for women's division.
Sue was also recently inducted into the McQuade softball hall of fame.
Sue has been a key member of our State Softball Association for many years. It takes people like Sue Heilmen with passion for the game to provide a quality program. She has indeed been a difference maker in every sense of the word.
Introduction by Dick Gulmon
Sharon's softball career began with the F-M Women's Softball League in 1960. She was elected President of the league in 1963 and began representing the league at State meetings in 1963. She was instrumental in running the Red River Women's Softball Tournament and involved in securing the first Class A Women's National tournament in Fargo in 1976. Sharon's team Sweeny Brothers played in the event and placed 5th.
Sharon has been key player on committees in the Fargo market hosting both Men's and Women's Fast Pitch Tournaments over the years.
Sharon was inducted into the North Dakota Softball Hall of Fame in 1986 and has been a member of the Hall of Fame Selection Board of Directors since 1991, and is the current Vice President of the Hall of Fame Society.
Sharon's contribution to Softball in North Dakota the past 50+ years has been significant and she has indeed been a difference maker in the quality of our program at all levels.
Pat "Rock" Healey
Introduction by Mike Wolf
2019 will mark Pat (better known by everyone as Rock) Healey‘s 45th year as a North Dakota ASA/USA registered softball umpire. During that time, he has umpired well over 3000 men’s and women’s league, invitational and state tournament games in both Fastpitch and Slowpitch. Rock has also umpire at 11 ASA national Fastpitch and slow pitch tournaments, eight of those coming in men’s Fastpitch. He also umpired in Men’s A and AA Fastpitch regional and national qualifier tournaments.
Rock was the Grand Forks umpire in chief and schedule her for over 20 years and a few years after taking that position, was elected as the north east region deputy umpire in chief for NDASA. He served in that capacity for over 20 years also, retiring as State DUIC after the 2017 season. His favorite part of all the UIC duties was being a clinician: teaching, training, and mentoring umpires and watching them improve their skills from year-to-year. His greatest source of pride was having 22 different Grand Forks umpires that he nominated, be selected to work ASA/USA national tournaments and having that fantastic experience help take their umpiring to a higher level! Current state umpire in chief, Mike Wolf said that anytime Rock submitted nominations for national tournament umpire berths, that he knew Rock would be sending top notch and well prepared umpires.
Rock also served as assistant commissioner for the Grand Forks softball association for five years, was the UIC for several years of men’s Fastpitch state tournaments as well as being the UIC for many men’s and women’s state, invitational,and J.O. Tournaments. He umpired and scheduled many years of college and high school Fastpitch softball and has served in the capacities of assistant umpire in chief and umpire coordinator for ASA national tournaments.