The Mel Schulstad Professional of the Year award was created in November 1979 by Jay Lewis, former editor and publisher of The Alcoholism Report, and a select group of his peers and colleagues, to recognize an individual who has made outstanding and sustained contributions to the advancement of the addiction counseling profession. Any NAADAC member in good standing may nominate an individual for this award, which is selected by the NAADAC Awards Committee. Current members of the NAADAC Executive Committee are ineligible for this award.