Every year the OSGEO awards the Sol Katz Award for Geospatial Free and Open Source Software to people who have demonstrated leadership in the GFOSS community and contributed significantly through their activities to advance open source ideals in the geospatial realm. Sol Katz was an early pioneer of GFOSS and among many other things assisted in the development of a public domain GIS package called MOSS (Map Overlay and Statistical System), arguably the first open source GIS software in the world. Previous recipients of the Sol Katz award are 2011: Martin Davis, Helena Mitasova, Daniel Morissette, Paul Ramsey, Steve Lime, Markus Neteler, and Frank Warmerdam.
Prof. Venkatesh Raghavan of Osaka City Univiersity was awarded the 2012 Sol Katz Award for Geospatial Free and Open Source Software during the first session of the FOSS4G-India 2012 conference in Hyderabad, India. Venka has been involved in OSGeo since the foundation was formed in 2006. I remember his very early involvement in organizing the first open source geospatial symposium, at an early Map World Forum in Hyderabad if I remember. His committment to open source geospatial and his community work, particularly in Japan and India, promoting open source geospatial is well-known to everyone in the GFOSS community.