We at Columbia Association (CA) don’t do all we do expressly for the sake of recognition. Nonetheless, it’s great news when CA and its staff receive awards. These honors demonstrate the commitment CA team members have to fulfilling our mission through a wide range of programs and services.

Aquatics International magazine bestowed its “Best in Aquatic Programming” award to CA in 2015, highlighting the number of outdoor pools in the community; the Columbia Neighborhood Swim League, Columbia Clippers and master’s swimming programs; and CA’s swim lessons, aqua fitness classes and special events.

The enhancements CA made to its tennis programming helped bring an innovation award from the United States Tennis Association; CA also was among the finalists for the USTA’s Organization of the Year.

Barbara Kellner, director of Columbia Archives, received a “Preservationist of the Year” award from Preservation Howard County for the many ways in which she and the archives educate individuals about the history of Columbia and its visionary founder, Jim Rouse.

Safire Windley, program coordinator for CA’s Youth and Teen Center, received the “Community Servant Award” by the Howard County NAACP Youth Council. She also was recognized for her efforts by several local elected officials.

The Howard County Council commended CA for its new Sister City relationship with Tema, Ghana, and the cultural programming that has come from that relationship.

Hobbit’s Glen Golf Club was designated a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, one of just 910 courses in the world recognized for preserving and enhancing wildlife habitats and protecting natural resources. The director of golf maintenance at Hobbit’s, Nick Mooneyhan, is now just one of only about 1,500 professionals worldwide to be named a Certified Golf Course Superintendent.

CA was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency with an “Award for Excellence in ENERGY STAR Promotion” for its outstanding efforts in promoting energy efficient products and residential energy efficiency.

And CA was assigned an issuer rating of Aa1 by Moody’s Investors Service, a rare and desirable position for a non-stock, nonprofit corporation.

As wonderful as it is to receive awards from peers in our respective industries, it’s just as important to know that community members appreciate our commitment to them.

In 2015, the readers of Howard Magazine named Hobbit’s Glen Golf Club as the best golf course, Columbia Gym as the best gym, Swansfield Mini-WaterPark as the best pool for kids and BodyPump as the best workout class. In addition, CA received honorable mentions in the categories of first date location (the Columbia Lakefront), gym (Supreme Sports Club), kids’ activity (Columbia SportsPark and SplashDown), personal trainer (Bonnie Pace at Columbia Gym), place to enjoy the arts (Columbia Art Center) and pool for kids (River Hill Pool).

All of the above, when taken together, reflect the high standards required in pursuing CA’s vision of making Columbia a community of choice, today and for generations to come. The final four words in that vision mean that we will continue to strive to do even better.

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