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BOWLER AWARD GIVEN TO HALLER

WASHINGTON-Wireless Telecommunications Bureau deputy chief Ralph Haller, characterized by former Federal Communications Commission colleague James McKinney as “just a simple country boy from the wheat fields of Kansas,” accepted this year’s Eugene C. Bowler Award at a May 15 dinner at the National Building Museum.

The award, given annually by the Bowler Foundation to “an outstanding government employee who has demonstrated the career excellence that was the hallmark of Gene Bowler’s life,” was presented to Haller-who plans to retire from public service June 10 after a 25-year career-by Commissioner James Quello.

“What am I doing here, a poor boy from Kansas?” Haller said upon acceptance of his plaque. Regarding the contents of his speech, Haller said, “Chairman Hundt thought that I should auction off my time. Jay Kitchen [Personal Communications Industry Association president] and Alan Shark [American Mobile Telecommunications Association president] said they didn’t care what I said as long as I didn’t announce another freeze.”

Joining Haller on the dais was Sen. Ernest “Fritz” Hollings (D-S.C.), recipient of the Eugene C. Bowler Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his 30-year political career and his more recent role in “restructuring the nation’s telecommunications laws, helping to pave the way to a more advanced, competitive telecommunications industry.”

Also accepting his award from Quello, Hollings alluded to continued reregulation of the telecom industry. “More regulations will be needed before we get to deregulation,” he said, “so that we can break down these monopolies.”

Charles Hamilton and Silvio Tavares, both students at Boston University School of Law who will graduate next year, won Bowler scholarships.

Bowler, a former chief of the FCC’s Private Radio Bureau land mobile and microwave division, died in 1985. PCIA established the award and its sister scholarship program in 1990 in his memory.

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