I am honored to have been presented with this award, but it should, by rights, go to the entire CHCS team, since all of us have worked on the NARP website project.
NARP CEO Jim Mathews, Charlie Hamilton and Board Chairman Robert Stewart
NARP presented the Jack Martin Passenger Rail Advocacy Award to at-large Council Member Charlie Hamilton. The award, established in honor of the association’s late president, was given to Hamilton at the April Spring Council meeting.
The award is given to individuals who have given a significant and valiant effort to the cause of America’s rail travelers. Hamilton, who has been a NARP volunteer since 1979, received the award for his efforts to help NARP’s advocacy efforts. His plaque reads: “For his efforts in bringing the Association’s advocacy efforts into the Twenty-First Century. Though his contributions travel through the ether, they have, and continue to have, substantive impact for those traveling aboard high iron.”
Hamilton is the founder and co-owner of CHCS Internet Development, which has designed websites since 1994.
“We have helped many nonprofit organizations develop websites,
including several train-related sites here in the Northwest,” he said. “I offered our services to NARP when the previous site needed to be updated. We put it together quickly, as NARP wanted to discontinue its relationship with the previous vendor as soon as possible. There are more improvements on the way.”
Hamilton has donated hundreds of hours in choosing vendors, building NARP’s website, moving to its new system and donating time of his staff to help the association. He is always on call for any technical issues with the website.
Hamilton’s advocacy work also includes creating and managing
Facebook groups for every Amtrak route , including vetting volunteers to administer all of them. People like the open discussion format, and they like to focus on their home train, he said.
“The Empire Builder, Cardinal and Starlight groups have been particularly active, but all of them have been lively,” Hamilton said. “I feel that these venues make it easy for interested people to participate in rail advocacy, and the groups have been responsive when asked to contact their elected representatives.” The current list of groups is available at http://www.growtrains.com/amtrak-communities-on-facebook/ Contact Hamilton through the website to add new groups to the list.
“Hamilton has given what would have been thousands upon thousands of dollars in technical advice so NARP can have a professional website,” said President and CEO Jim Mathews. “NARP and its members continue to reap the benefits of his invaluable contributions.”