Mary Edith (Mel) Lillis , 2000
Mel is a founding member of the Underwater Society of America and co-author of the first international SCUBA triathlon rules. She was the first woman to receive a NOGI award in 1963 for her sports involvement, and in 1994 received a second NOGI (one of two women) for distinguished services. Since 1960, of the 166 award presentations, only nine women have been so honored. Mel is past president of the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences and has been their executive secretary for the past 30 years.