ESTA, the Entertainment Services and Technology Association presented the 2001 Eva Swan Award was presented to Michael J. Garl, President of James Thomas Engineering, Inc. The presentations was made at the ESTA dinner held the evening for Lighting Dimensions International in Orlando, FL, on November 1.

The Eva Swan Award is presented to a member who has put forth exceptional efforts in time, expertise and personal resources on behalf of ESTA; been instrumental in shaping and promoting the strategic direction of the Association; made major contributions to the realization of the mission, goals and objectives; and enhanced the value of membership for all.

The 2001 Award was presented by Wally Blount of Columbus McKinnon Corp. who said, " The most important attribute this person has could be summed up in one word: willingness. His willingness to give his time for the betterment of the entertainment industry; his willingness to share his knowledge so that others may learn; his willingness to work without expecting any compensation for his efforts; his willingness to spend weekends away from his family helping to build an industry he loves; his willingness to take a leadership position while others are trying to figure out what to do next; his willingness to take on more work than one person can possibly do; his willingness to work quietly behind the scenes just to get the job done; and his willingness to stay calm when others are not."

Michael has been a member of ESTA since the early days of the association. He has served on the Technical Standards Committee since its inception, and he has chaired the Rigging Working Group from the beginning. The Rigging Working Group is the most productive group in ESTA's Technical Standards Program having produced two American National Standards with five more on the way. Blount remarked, "Now, one man does not write a standard, but one man can help energize a group and organize it so that the group can write a standard, and this is what Mike has done with the Rigging Working Group. You might say that his willingness inspires willingness in others: fierce rigging competitors have been willing to lay aside their differences and work together. Mike deserves a lot of the credit for making that happen."