Thursday 18, July 2019

The langley crier fall 2018 icon
The Langley Crier
Fall 2018

"AFA National Convention

AFA convention image1The Air Force Association held their annual National Convention at the Gaylord Conference Center at National Harbor Maryland on 15-16 September 2018. Delegates from the Langley Chapter included Mark Douglas, DJ Baylor, Rich Shook, Nikki Barry, Ken Spencer, Linda and Brian McMahon. The Convention began at 1000 Saturday with a Delegate workshop. During the workshop topics such as ideas for revenue generation and leadership development concepts were covered. Additional details on these topics with best practices and ideas can be found at the AFA website,  Social media was also a topic of discussion with a goal of getting 30% of chapters to have a social media presence by next year’s conference. AFA Langley Chapter’s Instagram Account was highlighted as a best practice for other AFA chapters to emulate!

The formal convention was gaveled in by Chairman of the Board Whit Peters at 1300 on Saturday. Gen (r) Spencer attending his last Convention as AFA President presented an emotional report to the delegates highlighting being President of the AFA as one of the Top 5 experiences of his life. His report included a membership drive of 100k or bust. Our own Tyler Johnson has been leading AFA efforts in this area and the General highlighted numerous success stories regarding increasing AFA membership. He also noted that AFA convention image2AFA was recognized by a professional convention organization as the fastest growing convention in the country. In addition, General Spencer discussed the positive impact of AFA’s Cyber Patriot Program, its value to the United States and how it has been certified as the largest cyber competition in the world. Finally, he covered AFA financial status with the organization being in the black for the first-time last year and expects to break even or be in the black again this year. A significant positive financial turnaround under his tenure resulting in two standing ovations for his leadership.

The convention then moved to business. National convention rules were adopted as written. Changes to the National Office Terms to the AFA Constitution were briefed. The concept is to stagger election of the top 3 leadership positions to provide continuity through transition vice having all three positions turn over at the same time. After some discussion and clarification, the motion was adopted by voice vote. Administrative changes to the governance documents associated with the election process to stay consistent with the constitution changes were briefed, no vote was required.

The Nomination Committee then reported on their search for future leaders to be elected to open positions and the continued challenge to find volunteers to lead. Most positions were elected unopposed. Whit Peters was elected Chairman of the Board, Gavin MacAloon elected as Vice Chairman of the Board (VCB) for Field Operations, Jim Hannam was elected as VCB Aerospace Education, Rick Hartle was elected Secretary, and AFA convention image3Steve Lundgren as Treasurer. There were 3 National Director at Large positions open. Two, 3-year term and one to fill the remainder of a two-year term. The two-year term was unopposed and will be filled by Gerald Murray. The Nominating Committee had two names for the remaining two 3- year terms with Mark "Buster” Douglas being nominated from the floor. Buster as a write in candidate and Mike Liquori received the highest number of delegate votes to win the remaining two National Director at Large positions.

Keith Zuegel led the AFA Policy Determination Session and briefed the AFA Top Issues which can be found here. The AFA Teacher of the Year, Beth Leavitt, gave an inspirational presentation about why she teaches and why it is important to inspire the next generation of technical leaders. Finally, on the first day, Kari Voliva and Christine Brown provided an overview of the Wounded Airman program, its personal impact on how it is improving and saving lives. AFA has donated over $500,000 to the Wounded Airman program since its beginning 5 years ago.

During the award ceremony Saturday evening Langley AFA Chapter was awarded the AFA’s Best Single Program award for the work Rich Shook did for the 1st Fighter Wing 100th Anniversary Celebration. Langley Chapter was also awarded the AFA Unit of the Year Award. Also, Lloyd Swede was awarded the Medal of Merit during the evening caucus meeting.

The second day of the conference consisted of various reports and program updates, many of which can be found online at  Chairman Peters continued to express concern this year of a perceived schism between National Leadership and the Field. He emphasized that it is the Board that is elected by theAFA convention image4members that make the decisions and that to get the AFA back on solid financial ground spending cuts were required to many programs. The Chairman would like to resolve any friction through professional, courteous communication among members.

Vice Chairman of the Board Mac MacAloon covered Field Operations Update. The 2018 Exceptional Leadership Program participants were recognized. Langley’s own Llyod Swede was one of the Exceptional Leaders completing the program. An Aerospace Education Report along with a Treasure’s Report were also provided. An audit of the AFA finances last year showed the organization was in the black for the first time in the past 8 years and it appears revenues will continue to increase through more sponsorships and larger conventions in the future. The biggest budget expense continues to be the monthly magazine. An AFA magazine brief was provide by the Editor in Chief Tobias Naegele. Arnold Air Society and Silver Wing program updates were provided by Cadet Jake Marino the AAS National Commander and Mr. Everest Berggren the SW President. Overall there is a positive movement of increased membership and participation in both organizations. Finally, Dave Deptula provided a Mitchell Institute overview of the value of that organization as an Air Power Think Tank and how it provides vital analysis and input that serves to influence Congress and the nation in general. Gen (r) Deptula also provided current talking points from the Mitchell Institute regarding an independent space force. In general the position is not if but when the US will have an independent space force but now is not the right time.

DJ Baylor, Executive Vice President
AFA Langley Chapter

Entire Edition Available in pdf format or flip format

The Langley Crier is a publication of the Langley Chapter 323 of the Air Force Association, P.O. Box 7370, Riverdale Station, Hampton, VA 23666

For Information or Questions:
Buster Douglas: 850.218.4015 or Steven Bryan: 757.880.6540


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