By Dolly Rairigh Glass

After kicking off the inaugural ceremony last year, National Center for Simulation (NCS) announced that May 12 will be this year’s Modeling and Simulation Hall of Fame ceremony at the Orange County Convention Center. The NCS Board of Directors selected four individuals who will be included in the 2015 induction ceremony, three of whom having personal experience and relationships with Team Orlando.


This year’s initiates are Lt. Col. Earle L. Denton, USA (Ret); Asmund Laerdal: Hank Okraski, SES, USN (Ret); and Col. James Shiflett, USA (Ret). These four honorees will be added to the 10 founding members who were inducted last March, and their accomplishments will be displayed on the Hall of Fame wall in the Orange County Convention Center South Concourse.

The NCS Modeling and Simulation Hall of Fame was established to recognize pioneers whose passion, dedication and perseverance laid the foundation for what has continued to grow and develop over the past 50+ years. Additionally, it also helps to raise the level of the community of the nearly $5 billion Modeling and Simulation industry that calls Central Florida home.

In Feb., NCS inducted Denton at a special ceremony due to his failing health. More than 130 of his colleagues, friends and family attended the ceremony and listen intently to the story shared by NCS board member and Denton’s friend, Mary Trier, about the Silver Star award he received for his heroic actions during the Battle on Pork Chop Hill during the Korean conflict. Denton passed away on March 1, and the simulation community lost a great friend.

Denton is being honored on May 12 for his 40 years of leadership in the MS&T industry. His service, both in uniform and as a member of the simulation industry has been influential in creating and implementing a comprehensive strategy that is directly responsible for the growth of the industry in Orlando, throughout the state and the nation.

Laerdal is being recognized for his life-long devotion to innovative medical simulation and training, pioneering medical simulation in the late 1950’s with the creation of the Resusci Anne manikin.

As founder of Laerdal Medical, he permanently changed the way medical training is conducted and forged a new frontier in medical simulation with early inventions in CPR training and Airway Management, igniting a revolution in training that today includes training aids and simulations in almost every aspect of medical training.

Henry “Hank” Okraski, a retired SES with the Navy, is a familiar face around the Team Orlando community, and especially within the STEM community. Okraski is being recognized for his leadership and for inspiring the Modeling and Simulation community to “reach beyond the present” to deliver integrated training systems and solutions for generations of serviceman and women.

He was instrumental in establishing the National Center for Simulation, and introduced Modeling and Simulation to all levels of schools programs inspiring future generations of M&S employees. Currently he is championing for the state of Florida what could very well be one of the first 4-year high school Modeling and Simulation curriculums in the nation.

Retired Colonel James “Jimmy” Shiflett is being recognized for his vision and leadership that culminated in the development of Distributed Interactive Simulation standards, changing training and simulation for not only the U. S. Army but also the Department of Defense and NATO partners.

Shiflett was a leader in developing IEEE simulation standards, ISO terrain representation standards and open systems for Distributed Simulation and simulation innovation. His early work at DARPA, the Defense Modeling and Simulation Office, and subsequently as PM for Combined Arms Tactical Trainer, paved the way for linking disparate simulation systems for combined arms training.

The NCS M&S Hall of Fame induction ceremony is May 12 at 6:30 p.m. and will take place at the OCCC South Concourse, Southside Restaurant. For more information or to R.S.V.P, please call Carla Hoskins at 407-384-6111, or visit the NCS website.

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