Betty Mueller Memorial Honor

Betty Mueller was a member of the Exotic Fish Society of Hartford (EFSOH) for many years. She had a strong and pleasant personality and most everyone loved her. She never married and never wanted to, but she had nieces and nephews and she doted on them.


Her hobby and her passion was tropical fish. She kept fish her whole life and enjoyed it so much she went to a meeting of the EFSOH to teach and learn about her hobby. She became the editor of their ‘Newsletter’ and kept that position for 15 years.

The NEC formed in 1956 and Betty became involved around 1958. In 1970 the idea of a Weekend Workshop was proposed by Don Johnson, but its birth did not come easy. Turned down by the NEC BOD for the first few years, it was finally approved in 1975 with a tiny budget of $200. In 1976 the NEC held the first weekend workshop with 60 people attending.

Attendance the second year was only slightly higher and Chairperson Penny Faul wanted to increase that number. She asked everyone who had attended and enjoyed the weekend workshops to write a short  paragraph that could be sent to the clubs to encourage people to attend the 3rd weekend workshop (being held in Boston).

The only person to do so was Betty Mueller, but her enthusiastic “paragraph” was two pages long! After some editing to shorten it, Betty, at her own expense, mailed the letter to everyone in every club in the NEC. Then after Christmas that year, without being asked, she sent another letter to everyone, again encouraging them to attend. Although expecting only 80 – 100 attendees that year, 187 people attended!

The Committee wanted to give something to Betty as a thank you for all her efforts in supporting the Workshop and the NEC, so they gave her a plaque and she accepted it gracefully. The following year the NEC BOD wanted to give Martin Bernard a thank you gift, so the second one was given out. This “thank you” continued year after year, being presented to grand supporters of the NEC and the hobby. When Betty Mueller passed away, the NEC BOD voted to name the award after her, so the newcomers would know that she was one of the NEC’s strong workers and was truly appreciated.


Betty Mueller Memorial Award
(NEC Annual Lifetime Achievement Award)

This annual lifetime achievement award, orignanally named The President’s Award, has been given annually since 1979.  In 1991 this award was renamed as a memorial to the late Betty Mueller. This annual presentation gives special recognition to an individual who has demonstrated overwhelming dedication and support to the aquarium hobby and to the NEC.

The criteria are very simple:
Your club or any NEC member can nominate up to three persons a year. Each nomination should be accompanied with a paragraph explaining why you feel this person is qualified. You cannot nominate anyone who already has received this award. The decision will be made by a committee of persons who have received the award and are still active in the NEC. The deadline for submitting a nomination is January 31st of each year (extended to March 10th for 2021). Nominations should be submitted to janinebanks at

The  Recipients to Date Have Been:
1979 Betty Mueller
1980 Martin Bernard
1981 Penny Faul
1982 Ray Horn
1983 Lee Finley
1984 Ann & Walter Howe
1985 Kathy Beebe
1986 Jack Adinolfi
1987 Sandy Billings
1988 Al Faul
1989 Dave Quinn
1990 John Galvin
1991 John Stankevitch
1992 Bill Kenney
1993 Aline Brousseau
1994 Faith Quinn
1995 Tony Terciera
1996 Don Johnson
1997 Sue & Wally Bush
1998 Diane Adinolfi
1999 Chuck Davis
2000 Aline Finley
2001 Janine & David Banks
2002 Wayne Leibel
2003 Karen Randall
2004 Mark & Anne Broadmeyer
2004 Honoree, Ray Lucas
2005 James White
2006 Rit Forcier
2007 Christine & Frank Policastro
2008 Joe Masi
2009 Linda & David Giza
2010 Barbara Day
2011 Bill Cole
2012 Claudia Dickinson
2013 Leslie Dick
2014 Richard Pierce
2015 Rosario Lacorte
2016 Nancy Villars/Hallgring
2017 Barbara Romeo
2018 Fran Masi
2019 Joe Ferdenzi
2019 Honoree, Laura “Peach” Reid
2020 Michael Liu
2021 Dr Paul V Loiselle
2022 Joe Dinho
2023 Scott Dowd