The CRO Awards Program

The CRO Awards Program is intended to honour Circassian individuals or groups who made significant contributions investing their energy and resources, inspiring others and going above and beyond to support the Circassian people, community, language or culture.

1. Objectives

▪ Recognize exceptional efforts that serve the Circassian community and express the public appreciation of such efforts.
▪ Raise Circassian public awareness of the significant achievements across the Circassian community.
▪ Present successful role models to the young Circassian generations.
▪ Promote a culture of contribution within the Circassian community.
▪ Support volunteering initiatives.

2. CRO Award Categories

A. CRO Lifetime Achievement Award
Recognizes dedicated individuals who made exceptional contributions to the Circassian public affairs, language or culture for at least 25 years.

B. Circassian Person of The Year
Recognizes distinguished individuals or groups, aged 18 or above, who made exceptional contributions to the Circassian community, language or culture in the previous calendar year.

C. The Satanay Award
Recognizes distinguished female individuals or groups, aged 18 or above, who made exceptional contributions to the Circassian community in the previous calendar year.

D. Project of The Year
Recognizes outstanding ideas or projects, executed in the previous calendar two years, to preserve the Circassian language or culture.

3. Nomination Submission

▪ Nominees shall be 18 years old or above.
▪ Nomination shall be submitted via Nomination Form.
▪ Nomination forms shall be submitted to CRO Awards via email to:
▪ Nominations which are submitted after the deadline shall be deferred to the following year.
▪ An e-mail confirming the receipt of the submitted nomination shall be sent to the nominator within 10 business days of the submission date.
3.1. Nomination Form
▪ The nomination form can be downloaded from the CRO website.
▪ Nomination forms can be submitted in any language.
▪ The nominator shall:
– Fill the nomination form.
– Briefly describe the nominee’s contributions. This description may be used for CRO publications.
– Indicate the number of service years of the nominee.
– Explain how the nominee meets each of the five criteria.
– Answer the questions listed under each of the nomination criteria.
– Meet the word limit for each question.
– Attach all letters of support (if any).
– Meet the deadline of nomination submission.
▪ Three letters of support may be submitted along with the nomination form.
▪ For assistance to complete the nomination form, please contact CRO Awards at
3.2. Letters of support
▪ The letter of support is a document that highlights the contributions of a nominee, from a person with direct knowledge of the nominee’s contributions.
▪ Letters of support (if any) shall be attached to the nomination form.
▪ Letters of support shall include specific examples and stories to present how the nominee meets one or more of the award criteria.
▪ Each letter shall not exceed two pages for each letter.
▪ A maximum of three letters for one nominee is accepted.
▪ If more than one letter of support is provided.
▪ All letters of support shall include the name, e-mail and phone number of the letter issuer.

4. Nomination Criteria

▪ Nominees shall be assessed based on the following 5 criteria:
1. Role 15%
2. Impact 30%
3. Reach 25%
4. Challenges 15%
5. Inspiration 15%

4.1. Role
▪ Highlight the Nominee’s contributions that benefited the Circassian community.
▪ Indicate the strategies and approaches used by the nominee to address issues and concerns regarding the Circassian community.
▪ Point out the leadership shown in addressing Circassian related matters.
▪ State the time and effort consumed and the resources dedicated.

4.2. Impact
▪ Breadth and depth of the nominee’s contributions.
▪ How the benefiters of the nominee’s contributions were affected?
▪ How the nominee’s contributions made a lasting effect?
▪ How will the benefits of the nominee’s contributions remain when the nominee is no longer involved?

4.3. Reach
▪ Who benefited from the nominee’s contributions?
▪ How many people were affected?
▪ Have the contributions expanded to benefit other people or groups?
▪ Have the benefits expanded beyond the nominee’s local Circassian community?

4.4. Challenges
▪ What challenges (personal, social, etc.) the nominee had to overcome?

4.5. Inspiration
▪ How did the nominee share his/her experience and knowledge?
▪ Who did he/she share it with?
▪ How the nominee has influenced others?
▪ How the nominee shows the qualities of a role model in the community?

5. Assessment

▪ The CRO Awards Committee shall review and assess all the nomination forms and all supporting materials.
▪ The CRO Awards Committee shall select the winners of the awards and pass the list of winners to the CRO’s Board of Executives.
▪ Two or more nominees may be selected if their contributions are similarly distinguished for the following awards:
– Circassian Person of The Year.
– The Stanay Award.
– The Project of The Year.
▪ An award or more may be withheld in the absence of a nominee who is deemed deserving the award.
▪ Non-winners of the CRO awards may be reconsidered the following year, with no need to submit a new nomination form.

6. Recognition of Award Winners

▪ The CRO’s Board of Executives shall announce the winners.
▪ Winners shall be recognized in a ceremony to highlight their outstanding achievements.
▪ Winners of all CRO awards shall receive a plaque, a lapel pin and a certificate.
▪ The winner of CRO Lifetime Achievement Award shall receive a cash prize of $500 in addition to the plaque, a lapel pin, a certificate.
▪ Brief biographies and photos of award winners may be used for CRO publications to promote their outstanding achievements.
▪ Winners may be interviewed.
7. Important Dates

Feb 1 Nomination submission opened
May 31 Nomination submission closed
Aug 15 Award Committee’s decisions received
Sep 15 Award Winners announced

  • The winners in 2019:

The 2019 CRO Lifetime Achievement Award 

Kadir I. Natho

Nalbi Qoueqoua

The 2019 CRO Satanay Award:

Raya Hazeka

The 2019 CRO Circassian Person of The Year:

Günsel Surdum Avci

  • The winners in 2018:

The 2018 CRO Lifetime Achievement Award  was introduced to

Dr. Ehsan Saleh