TRR’s Best of 2017 EDITOR’S CHOICE Winners!

Feb 20, 2018
The Reptile Report
by Judy Clothier

The Reptile Report - Congratulations to our Best of 2017 EDITOR’S CHOICE Winners!  These winners were hand-picked by the editors and managers of The Reptile Report.  We believe they are deserving of recognition for the work they do and the examples they set for the herping community.

The results of our Reader’s Choice polls will be announced on Feb 23rd, so stay tuned for more winners soon to come! 

All winners will be contacted within the next few days by Judy, the Managing Editor for the Awards.  She will be asking for a little bit of information regarding your trophy and will have a digital badge for you to use on websites and social media.  If you don’t hear from her within a few days, please reach out to so she can take care of you!

If there are any errors on the names listed here, or if you’d like a website link included that has not been, please write to Judy and let her know and she’ll get it sorted out asap!

And now, on to the fun part!


First, our Editor’s Choice Only categories:


Business Person of the Year
Amir Soleymani of XYZ Reptiles


Legend Award
Eugene Bessette

Eugene Bessette was one of the first, if not the first professional reptile breeders in the country. In a herpetological era marked by a stamp collector mentality, of one of every species, followed closely by a Noah’s Ark mentality of a pair of every species, Eugene had the vision of larger scale commercial reptile breeding. The idea of supplying captive bred animals to collectors, which in the past could only be filled by wild caught animals, was revolutionary. In the 1970’s, Eugene could possibly even be the first private keeper to captive breed ball pythons. Although Eugene’s breeding endeavors have shifted greatly over the years from a large collection of venomous reptiles, followed by the production of Burmese pythons, boas, and other larger constrictors, to the current pet trade staples of ball pythons, rainbow boas and colubrids, the vision of producing captive bred snakes and reptiles has not changed.

For decades Eugene has also been involved heavily in reptile specific legislation occurring in the state of Florida. Because of how large the reptile industry is in the state of Florida, any legislation there often sets the tone for reptile based legislation in other states, making his input all the more important. For all of these reasons and more, Eugene is most definitely deserving of the Legend Award.

-Steve Tillis


Lifetime Achievement Award
Bob Mailloux

Bob Mailloux is the the Godfather of the bearded dragons in captivity. There really isn’t any other way to put it. Bob was the first commercial breeder in the world of bearded dragons. His selectively bred red “Sandfire” Dragons are what started the bearded dragon craze back in the late 80’s early 90’s…and set the groundwork for this species to become the most popular pet lizard in captivity.

Bob was also one of the pioneers of lizard and frog breeding in herpetoculture. While he is best known for his work with bearded dragons, he actually pioneered commercial frog breeding as well, and along with Philippe de Vosjoli, was the first to breed horned frogs, White’s tree frogs, waxy monkey tree frogs, and many other species on a commercial scale.

The success of Sandfire Dragon Ranch was, and still is today, the inspiration for countless aspiring hobbyists to start their own small business raising reptiles and amphibians of all kinds. His achievements have forever shaped our hobby and I am proud to have called him my mentor, partner, friend, and confidant over the last 30 years.

-Allen Repashy


Vanguard Award
Josh Halter of TheBioDude


Next, our primary Editor’s Choice Awards:

Amphibian Personality of the Year
Mark Mandica of the Amphibian Foundation

Artist of the Year
Katie Karl of Blue Iguana Art

Boa Personality of the Year
John Chausmer of John Chausmer Reptiles

Business of the Year

Chelonia Personality of the Year
Anthony Pierlioni of theTurtleRoom
Honorable Mention: Steve Enders of theTurtleRoom

Colubrid Personality of the Year
Dan Eby

Community Service of the Year
Herps Alive Foundation

Field Herper of the Year
Lou Boyer 
Honorable Mention: Ari Flagle

Forum/Group of the Year

Gecko Personality of the Year
Jen Boeke of JB’s Cresties
Honorable Mention:

Herp Educator of the Year
Brandon Fowler of Roaming Reptiles
Honorable Mention: Emily Roberts

Invertebrate Personality of the Year
Ruth Cowper of Mostly Reptiles

Lizard Personality of the Year
Joe Ball of

Photographer of the Year
Candi Perkins of Welsh Morphology Photography

Python Personality of the Year
Justin Kobylka of J. Kobylka Reptiles

Radio Show of the Year
Corallus Radio

Venomous Personality of the Year
Julian Clare

Video Show of the Year
Triple B TV with Brian Kusko
Honorable Mention: The Reptile Channel – HerpersTV with Dav Kaufman


And last but surely not least, our Editor’s Choice for Photos and Video:

Amphibian Photo of the Year
Kurt Orion G

Honorable Mentions:
Nick Stacey

Mark Mandica


Chelonia Photo of the Year
Christopher Gillette

Honorable Mention:
Monica Houghtling


Crocodilian Photo of the Year
Myke Clarkson

Honorable Mentions:
Christopher Gillette


Invertebrate Photo of the Year
Michael Pankratz


Lizard Photo of the Year
Christopher Gillette

Honorable Mentions:
Mike Schultz

Ross McGibbon Reptile Photography


Silly Photo of the Year
Michael Stein & Logan Lutes

Honorable Mention:
Mike Schultz


Snake Photo of the Year
Vipul Ramanuj

Honorable Mention:
Stevan Zugic

Video of the Year
Timothy J Swaan
The story of the Northeastern Reptile Welfare League and how they began their mission of rescuing reptiles and educating the public

Honorable Mention:
Dav Kaufman / The Reptile Channel – HerpersTV
Dav gets a tour of Kevin McCurley’s amazing monitors and great tips on how to earn their trust


A HUGE Congratulations to all our 2017 Winners

And a HUGE Thank You to our sponsor, RodentPro

All of this is made possible by ShipYourReptiles

For any questions or concerns regarding these awards, please email

  • Freedom Breeder CocoBlox