"Bud Walters' exemplary leadership and his enthusiasm for Radio has had a positive impact on the industry," said NAB Executive Vice President of Radio John David. "We salute Bud for his tireless devotion to serving local communities through the power of Radio."
Walters founded The Cromwell Group in 1972. He currently owns and operates 28 radio stations (six AM, 17 FM and five HD2+ translators) in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.
Since building his first station in Hawesville, Ky., which he still owns, Walters has focused on start-up stations and upgrading licenses in small markets. He has also ensured that each station plays a vital role in its local community.
Walters currently serves as Chairman of the RAB Board of Directors and on the Radio Music Licensing Committee and DePauw University boards. In addition, he has served on the boards of NAB and the Kentucky and Tennessee Broadcasters Associations. Walters has been honored with Broadcaster of the Year Awards in Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee and the Broadcasters Foundation of America Pioneer Award. Before founding The Cromwell Group, he served four years in the U.S. Air Force.
The National Radio Award honors an individual for outstanding leadership in the radio industry. Previous recipients include Ginny Morris, Dan Mason, Steve Newberry, Charles Warfield, Ed Christian, Bruce Reese, Jerry Lee, David Kennedy, John Dille, Lowry Mays, Jeff Smulyan, Bill Stakelin and Erica Farber.