It is with great enthusiasm that the AAPG Foundation announces that Donald A. O’Nesky is the 2016 Chairman’s Award recipient.
This award is given by the AAPG Foundation in recognition of persons who have made extraordinary contributions (monetary or service) to the AAPG Foundation while calling attention to the role and value of the Foundation.
O’Nesky has certainly met the qualifications for this award, not only through his service, but through his monetary donations as well.
O’Nesky’s Career with AAPG
O’Nesky joined AAPG staff in 1978 after retiring from the U.S. Air Force as a lieutenant colonel. He was appointed deputy executive director of the Association and the Foundation in 1985, and in 1997 was appointed executive director of the Foundation, in which capacity he served until 1999.
During this time, O’Nesky saw the Foundation through the process of becoming an Oklahoma non-profit corporation, and he oversaw the establishment of the Members of the Corporation.
O’Nesky joined the Trustee Associates, the major donor group of the AAPG Foundation, taking an active role in the organization by regularly attending the meetings and serving as vice-chair in 2009 and chairman in 2012. He continues to serve the Foundation as a part of the Members of the Corporation and as a member of the Fundraising Advisory Committee.
While O’Nesky never had a formal course in geology, the opinion of his friends and colleagues is that he has earned “a degree by association” and in 2002, they established the Donald A. and Mary O’Nesky Named Grant, as part of the Foundation Grants-in-Aid Program. This fund annually provides grants to graduate students whose thesis research has application to the search for and development of petroleum and energy-mineral resources, and/or to related environmental geology issues for their research projects.
Throughout the years, anyone who has stopped by the Foundation booth at the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition has likely spoken with O’Nesky, who is ever present and enjoys sharing the benefits of supporting the geosciences through the Foundation programs.
Military Veterans Scholarship Program
When the Foundation established its newest program, the Military Veterans Scholarship Program, it turned to O’Nesky – a graduate of the U.S. Air Force’s prestigious Air Command and Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, as well as a 2000 inductee into “Who’s Who in the Military in Oklahoma” – to assist with the development of the program.
O’Nesky’s background provided him the knowledge and leadership skills to make the program a reality. He now serves as the chairman of the Military Veterans Scholarship Committee, which oversees the selection of the scholarship recipients on an annual basis.
O’Nesky currently resides with his wife of 55 years, Mary, in Venice, Florida. The AAPG Foundation will present O’Nesky with his award at the 39th Annual Trustee Associates Meeting in Hawaii this October.
For more information on the Foundation, Trustee Associates and Grants-in-Aid program, visit foundation.aapg.org.