The Jim Finnemeyer Service Award

Recognizing Service to this Organization and to Whom it Serves

To honor the service of Jim Finnemeyer (pictured at right) who served as the second Executive Director of this organization from 2013 to 2022, this award was establised by the NA4SA Board of Directors in 2022 to recognize an outstanding individual who demonstrates exemplary service to this organization over the years, along with such exemplary service to the Student Activity Professionals for whom this organization is dedicated to - just like Jim did througohut his career as an educator, advisor, and unparalleled leader.

For 47 years, Jim Finnemeyer of Pennsylvania was an active and cherished member of the National Association of Workshop Directors (NAWD), which became NA4SA in 2021 under his leadership. A past Workshop Director of the Year (DOTY) and long time Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils, Jim became the second Executive Director of this organization, taking over from Genel Hodges in 2014 and serving in that capacity for the next 9 years until his retirement in December 2022.

Through everything he has done or inspired others to do for this organization – and for so many of us personally – H. James Finnemeyer stood as an exemplar of the self-evident truth that Leadership is Service.

Through the selfless leadership and dedication to service that he brought everywhere he served – North Penn High School, the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils, the National Association of State Student Council Executive Directors (NASSCED), the Horatio Alger Association, and ultimately NAWD/NA4SA - Jim Finnemeyer truly made the world a better place one person at a time, and each of those he worked with a better person.

Jim Finnemeyer passed away on April 20, 2023 at the age of 76, after a courageous 18 month long battle with cancer. This battle did not stop Jim from attending and speaking at (see photo above) the 2022 National Conference on Student Activities in Boston - a moment that truly captivated and inspired everyone in the room. During the same conference, Jim was also present for the inaugural presentation of the newly created Service Award named for him to long time colleague Kathy Coll, who worked with Jim for over 30 years as his Assistant Executive Director for the Pennsylvania Association of Student Councils and then joined him again to work as Registrar for NA4SA, a position she continues in today.

There was and will only ever be one Jim Finnemeyer – his name and inspiration live on, not only through this Service Award that bears his name but also in countless students and adults who have been touched by his caring guidance and leadership over the years.

We cherish and honor the memory and lasting legacy of H. James ("Jim") Finnemeyer:

  • CLICK HERE to view a Special Edition of Reumors that was published in June 2023, dedicated as a tribute to the lasting memory of Jim Finnemeyer with photos and remembrances from many of his NAWD/NA4SA friends and colleagues.

  • CLICK HERE for a link to a video of the Celebration of Life Ceremony which took place on August 11, 2023 at North Penn High School in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, where Jim taught for over thirty years.

Current Recipient

As presented by Executive Director Lou Miller:

This year’s recipient of the Jim Finnemeyer Service Award has been an integral part of every NAWD/NA4SA conference since 1990, not only contributing immensely to the professionalism of our events but becoming a cherished member of the NAWD and now NA4SA family. But the contributions of this individual are not limited to our association.  Through those three plus decades, this individual has done the same for our friends at the National Association of Secondary School Principals, State Student Council Associations, and various Career Technical Student Organizations throughout the United States.  Always behind the scenes, this individual truly makes us all better at what we do, and does so with little recognition – well, until today.

During the recent pandemic, this individual helped keep us all going as we and everyone else transitioned to virtual conferences that kept the Advisors, Administrators, Advocates, and Allies of Student Activities engaged – and in many cases, their organizations alive, until we could all return to being together in person. Yes, this year’s honoree makes things happen, and whenever he does the results are truly magical.

In the words of his nominator, “I remember when he was just starting out, doing conference slideshows with actual slide film developed in hotel bathrooms; it has been a genuine pleasure to watch him learn and grow over the years into an indispensable master of his genre. He has done more than anyone I can think of to facilitate and elevate the professional development of student activity advisers and student leaders.”  I could not agree more.

For his outstanding service to this association and to the Student Activity Professionals that few serve, we proudly present the 2023 Jim Finnemeyer Service Award to the one and only…David Brame.

Past Recipients

  • 2023 - David Brame, New Mexico
  • 2022 - Kathy Coll, Pennsylvania

Our Friends & Sponsors

Please CLICK on the images below to visit their websites!

National Association of Secondary School Principals


Alliance for Student Activities

Cool Speak

Dynamx Digital

Mike Hall Speaks




Five Star Students


The Fisher Agency