The ICA Member Meeting in Las Vegas this year was a wonderful gathering of ICA members who learned, discussed, and connected. In addition to networking activities, sessions, and dinners, members who attended were also part of a very special event – the seventh annual Lonnie Borck Memorial Award (LBMA) Ceremony. The ceremony was held during the closing reception on Friday, January 19th.
The Lonnie Borck Memorial Award is more than an award; it embodies the generous and community-minded spirit of Lonnie Borck by honoring those who make exceptional contributions to fostering a sense of community within the domain name industry. The process of selecting the recipient is community-driven, with members of the domain name industry nominating individuals they believe truly represent the spirit of the award. Following these nominations, ICA members cast their votes to choose the winner, ensuring that the recipient reflects their collective voice.
This year’s ceremony was particularly moving as it celebrated an individual whom, similarly to Lonnie, we lost too soon but whose impact and memory continue to resonate deeply within our community. In a moving reveal, the recipient of this year’s award was announced as Jason Sheppard. Jason’s dedication and passion for the domain name industry were well-known. His untimely passing left a void that was deeply felt by all who knew him. The decision to posthumously honor Jason, who passed away in 2023, with the LBMA was a fitting tribute to his significant contributions and the lasting impact he had on our community.
Jason’s sister, Kelly Sheppard Murray, accepted the award on behalf of her brother. Her presence and acceptance speech were a touching homage to Jason’s legacy.
The ceremony featured emotional tributes from Jason’s friends and colleagues. Mike Cyger, a former LBMA recipient and founder of DNAcademy, where Jason was an instructor, and Braden Pollock, an ICA Board Member and a friend of Jason’s, spoke about their shared experiences.
One of the most moving moments of the evening was a video message from Ronit Borck, Lonnie’s widow. Although she couldn’t attend in person, her words powerfully conveyed the importance of the LBMA to her family and her personal connection with Jason. Her message underscored the human connections that form the foundation of our professional lives.
The seventh LBMA Ceremony was more than an event to honor an individual; it reminded us of the profound impact one person can have on a community.
In remembering Jason and Lonnie, let’s celebrate their contributions and continue to build a community that honors the legacy of those like them, whose lives and work inspire us to be better, do better, and connect with one another.
You can watch the whole ceremony here.
Photos by Jeff Brooks, video footage from the event by Billy Tenenbaum