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Awards Committee

This committee organizes and reviews the nominations for CCNI award(s) and selects a recommended winner (and finalists, if appropriate) for each.  The CCNI Awards Committee works to:

  • establish, review, and recommend changes for award criteria and guidelines.
  • organize and review information regarding the nominations.
  • fact check nominations submitted.
  • gather additional information from those nominees considered most worthy
    of the award (through telephone or face-to-face interviews, email or written correspondence, or contacting other persons/organizations to verify
  • narrow down to a winner and runner up by simple majority vote of the
  • recommend a winner and runner up to the CCNI Advisory Board. Confirmation of a winner will be made by simple majority vote of the CCNI Advisory Board.
  • procure a picture and bio of the selected recipient. Draft the award ceremony
    statement and press release. 

Members 2014-2016

Renee OscarsonRenee Oscarson, Chair
Renee Oscarson is Associate Professor at South Dakota State University.





Members 2013-14

Curtis Songer, Chair
Renee Oscarson
Mike Pfau
Ellen Hite

Curtis Songer, MBA
Mr. Songer has over 25 years of experience in coaching and consulting. His business consulting expertise includes strategic planning, operations management, information systems design & implementation, and enterprise wide business process reengineering (including lean six sigma). Mr. Songer is also an ordained Christian minister, trained in spiritual development and mentoring. His ministry expertise has been focused primarily in family ministries including marital and parental counseling, as well as personal discipleship. He has a unique blend of applicable education and experience – an MBA from a top-10 business school, as well as extensive Bible training. Combining his business and ministry backgrounds makes him a powerful coaching force able to assist people in their personal, professional and spiritual lives. He is uniquely qualified to assist clients in integrating their faith into all dimensions of their life. He has worked with many senior executives as a leader of leaders, helping them envision and implement ways to make their businesses get stronger, as well as to help their families and marriages grow stronger. He is a very mission minded individual – desirous of doing whatever he can to assist all people with life transformation. For more information, see his resume and spiritual bio at

Renee Oscarson
Renee Oscarson is Associate Professor at South Dakota State University.

Michael Pfau, M.Ed, PCC, BCC
Michael Pfau is Founder and President of Crossways Life Coaching, LLC. Michael is an author, speaker, coach, mentor and trainer.  Michael partners with leaders who feel overwhelmed, stressed and disconnected from life. He helps them authentically and intentionally connect with God, themselves and others. He does this through guiding them to discover their unique design, skills and purpose followed by intentional action to create systems that honor who they are and make the most of their talents, strengths and values. Along with his own successful coaching practice, Michael has logged hundreds of hours as an instructor for the Professional Christian Coaching Institute and also serves as an adjunct professor for the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. You can learn more about Michael at

Ellen Hite
Ellen comes from a business background experience as an independent agent in the State of Illinois for 12 years, serving as the Vice-President for the Independent Insurance Agents of Metro Decatur, Decatur, Illinois. Her focus in education was in Business Management from Lake Land College, Mattoon, Illinois and Organizational Leadership with Greenville College, Greenville, Illinois. In 2007, she was ordained as a chaplain with the International Fellowship of Chaplains, Saginaw, Michigan and is currently serving as Chaplain for the South Macon Fire Dept., Macon, Illinois. 

As a powerful life coach and speaker, she loves to see people succeed. Ellen’s coach specific training and certification is from Erickson College International, Vancouver, BC Canada, under ICF Coach and Trainer Tony Husted, Seattle, Washington with emphasis on Outcome Focused and Creative Solution Finding Techniques. Her focus and areas of expertise through her coaching years include Emotional Intelligence and Neural Linguistics Programming, controlling toxic thoughts and emotions and confidence coaching. To find out more about Ellen, visit her website,  




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