The IEEE-USA George F. McClure Citation of Honor recognizes IEEE members who have made exemplary contributions toward securing recognition of professional activities in the United States.
One need not look very far to find those exemplary contributions in the work of the two 2020 honorees for this award: Michael Andrews and Zafar Taqvi.
Michael Andrews is Managing Partner of Andrews & Associates, a business consulting firm specializing in new product creation, business leadership, logistics, and more. He is also a Founding Partner of consulting firm Inception Advisory Group.
Within IEEE, Andrews is a Life Senior Member, and has been heavily involved in the organization for many years, including serving as IEEE Region 6 Director (2013-2014). He continues to give generously of his time, with current roles such as AdCom member for the IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society, IEEE Awards Board Presentation and Publicity Chair, IEEE VICS (Vision, Innovation and Challenges) Summit Chair, EPICS Committee member, IEEE Life Members Committee and Region 6 Life Members Affinity Group Coordinator, Executive Producer of the IEEE Rising Stars Conference, and member of the Phoenix Section Executive Committee.
“Mr. Andrews has served IEEE members for many years through almost all of the IEEE Operating Units,” said Dr. Vasudeva Prasad Atluri, IEEE Phoenix Section Awards Committee Chair, in his nomination of Andrews. “He has shown his commitment to the community and engineering professionalism at every level, from the section to region to national and beyond.”
Dr. Atluri spoke of Andrews’ long history of actively encouraging the growth of IEEE and the engineering profession: “He actively promotes IEEE in his personal and professional life, within both the public and private sector. His efforts increase the visibility of IEEE and provides access to IEEE members where it had not previously existed.”
One of Andrews’ biggest achievements has been the success of the IEEE Rising Stars Conference. “As the founder and driving force of the conference, Mr. Andrews continues to lead, mentor, guide and develop young leaders,” said Dr. Atluri. “He teaches skills to students and young professionals that go beyond standard conference organization, including personal confidence and value that will help them throughout their careers.”
IEEE Life Senior Member Ralph Hogan agreed in his endorsement: “When working with Mr. Andrews, I have always been impressed with his clarity and focus when working on a project or plan that will improve and benefit others. He’s a true leader who seeks to engage others and help them develop their professional skills.”
Second endorser Russell Kinner has worked with Andrews on several IEEE committees, and raves about his ability to get things done. “Mike has what appears to be a never-ending wealth of knowledge and contacts that often provide solutions to the myriad of issues that confront a committee,” Kinner said. “He is able to quietly convince supplies to serve the members, advancing our interests. He recently helped us take a virtual conference worldwide, providing avenues to promote it to a whole new audience of members with aligned interests.”
And believe it or not, IEEE isn’t even Andrews’ only volunteer commitment. He also serves the community as President of the Smart Education Foundation, Host of the SMART Competition, Commissioner on the City of Phoenix Youth and Education Commission, Member and Past Chair of the Salvation Army Advisory Board, and more.
So, what does volunteering mean to Andrews himself?
“Volunteering is not about giving back. It’s all about giving, sharing and engaging with others who have the same vision and passion,” Andrews said. “What’s important is that you don’t have to talk about the weather, politics, sports, or work. When you are at a social event or meeting, volunteering provides a source of stories. You can talk about the impact you’ve made on others and the impact that others have made on you, all because of volunteering.”
That spirit is also found in this year’s other honoree in spades.
Zafar Taqvi has been involved with IEEE for 50 years, including volunteer roles at the section, branch, region, society, IEEE-USA and global level. Recent and current positions include Galveston Bay Section Treasurer, Chair of the Section Communication Society Chapter, Chair of the Section Education Committee, Chair of the Section Consulting Affinity Group, Region 5 History Chair, Member of the IEEE-USA Committee on Transportation and Aerospace Policy, and many, many more.
“Dr. Taqvi is a dedicated volunteer and exemplary leader,” said Ishaq Unwala, 2020-2021 IEEE Galveston Bay Section Chair and Taqvi’s nominator. “He excels in planning and execution, believes in the organization, and is always willing to step in when needed.”
As one of the founding members of the IEEE Galveston Bay Section, Taqvi helped boost membership numbers in the area by providing many engineers working on the space program at NASA with a place to attend IEEE activities and meetings.
“As a NASA manager before retirement, Dr. Taqvi encouraged many young engineers to join IEEE,” Unwala said. “This had a major long-term effect on member growth in the Galveston Bay area.”
Taqvi also took it upon himself to help ensure that new members stayed. Unwala said: “In October each year, he personally reminded all members about renewals, talking about the enhanced benefits and leadership opportunities that IEEE provides.”
And Taqvi’s promotion of IEEE extended far beyond Galveston Bay, in fact beyond even the United States borders. Unwala explains: “As the Director of Chapter International Relations of IEEE/AES, Dr. Taqvi visited membership groups in Brazil, Argentina, Russia and Ukraine to organize events and make presentations. This resulted in the formation of several new IEEE chapters.”
Dr. Thomas Harman, IEEE Life Member and Chair of Engineering at University of Houston Clear Lake, spoke very highly of Dr. Taqvi in his endorsement.
“In all of my dealings with him professional and socially, I have found that Dr. Taqvi represents the best professional and ethical standards for our profession and the IEEE,” said Dr. Harman. “He has been a mentor for our students at the university, encouraging them to enter IEEE-sponsored contests, and goes out of his way to assist in keeping our IEEE groups active.”
IEEE Fellow Dr. Kaushik Rajashekara also endorsed Taqvi’s nomination: “Dr. Taqvi has made significant contributions and exemplary service in advancing IEEE Region 5 activities through his sustained leadership and professionalism.”
Dr. Taqvi had this to say about receiving this honor: “As a volunteer, I have supported IEEE objectives at the section level, at the regional level, society levels for ComSoc and Aerospace Society, EMBS, PES, RAS, and also MGA level for student activities for almost half a century. I am delighted to receive this award.”
Michael Andrews and Zafar Taqvi represent some of the very best volunteers in this organization, and IEEE-USA wishes to congratulate both of them for this well-deserved award!
To learn more about award criteria, see past winners, or nominate someone for next year’s awards, please visit the IEEE-USA Awards page.
Corey Ruth is IEEE-USA’s media relations associate.