Joe Voskerichian knew he was to receive a prestigious award.
What the Carrollwood resident didn't know was that three family members were arriving from Buffalo, N.Y., just in time to see him honored with the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Tampa Bay Area Chiefs of Police Association.
Voskerichian got the surprise when his two brothers, Jerry and George, and a nephew, Kirk Voskerichian, joined about 150 attendees at the Jan. 10 presentation at the association's luncheon meeting.
The award recognizes an individual's long-term contributions in law enforcement or in support of law enforcement in the Tampa Bay community. Previous award recipients are George Steinbrenner, Sheriff Walter Heinrich, Vivian Reeves, Phil McNiff and John Sykes.
Joe Voskerichian, known as Joe V., serves as executive director of the Gold Shield Foundation, an organization that assists family members of law enforcement and firefighters killed in the line of duty. He previously worked for Tampa Police Department and in the banking industry. He also served as a referee for baseball and basketball.
Tom Shannon, president of the board of directors of the Gold Shield Foundation, introduced Voskerichian for the award.
"There is no definition of his job," Shannon said. "It is just to be sure we are organized and make sure we are there when needed."
He continued, "I've been with this man where we were handing out checks for funerals to widows and widowers. I can see his passion."
Voskerichian said he was touched by the award and the attendance of his so many members of his family, which also includes Ann, his wife of nearly 58 years, three children, their spouses and nine grandchildren.
"I couldn't do it without my chief of staff, Ann. Babe, love you," he said.