When nominating someone for an award, you'll want to read the application to be sure your nominee fits all required criteria. Some of those that might trip you up are a residency requirement, or is there a certain period of time that the person needs to have lived in the area. Has this person demonstrated qualities that are a fit for the award? If not, find a different recognition for this person.
Set a meeting time with your friend to get the information needed. Ask the questions and take notes of what he says. We are all schooled to not brag, but this is the time to help him to do so. Draw more out of him. Ask him to tell you a story. Don't worry about the length of your answers now, just get as much information as possible.
Most selection committees don't want generalities for answers. "He's a wonderful business person," doesn't help them or your friend. Instead a statement similar to, "He has acted as a mentor to five business people to help them start and maintain ongoing businesses in our community. Combined they employ a total of 26 people," gives the committee an idea of this person's accomplishments.
During this process I promise you that you will find out really interesting and surprising information about your friend.
What's the most interesting thing you found out about a friend?