This year’s TSA Honorary Awards ceremony will have a special feel. TSA will present the first-ever “Blogger Bob” Award, honoring well-known TSA blogger Curtis “Bob” Burns whose sudden death in October 2018 shocked all of us.
Starting his TSA career as a frontline screener, Bob used his gifts through social media to educate the public about TSA and the items passengers may and may not take on airplanes. Thanks in large part to Bob, TSA’s Instagram account won three Webby Awards in 2018 and was ranked fourth best by Rolling Stone in 2015.
Now, TSA is rolling out an award to pay tribute to Blogger Bob. Scott Craver, a member of TSA’s National Advisory Council and a master security training instructor at Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, coordinated the effort to launch the award.
“The whole goal behind the award is to try to find somebody who represents what Bob stood for in reaching out to the public,” said Craver. “What he was able to do with social media was amazing and how he could make a government entity look like family entertainment and allow people to correspond and want to be a part of it. He used his dad humor. He made it so families could understand it and want to question things and figure it out. Bob was able to connect, and that’s what we need.”
Bob’s family is planning to attend the TSA Honorary Awards ceremony on November 7, and present the inaugural “Blogger Bob” Award. “What a wonderful opportunity for his daughters to witness this firsthand and see how loved and valued their dad is to TSA and the public,” said Candy Creech, Bob’s sister-in-law. “I think of how proud Bob would be of this recognition. He loved his job, and he took such pride in making a difference in how people viewed TSA. So, to have this award recognize the values Bob brought to his job, to be carried on annually, we can’t express the heartfelt gratitude it brings to us. This award is going to be there for his children, his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren, and we couldn’t be more grateful.”
“Bob was an icon at TSA,” added Jim Gregory, acting assistant administrator for Strategic Communications and Public Affairs. “Before I started working here, I knew his name. His work, his writing and his wit made me feel like TSA was something I wanted to be part of. Bob impacted nearly a million (now over a million) followers on Instagram each week. He was the reason so many people – from senators to journalists to business leaders to other government agencies – all said TSA has such great social media.”
Gregory said, “Bob is missed, but I promise you he will never be forgotten.”