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AFCEA International Awards Program
Distinguished Young AFCEAN (DYA)

The Distinguished Young AFCEAN Award recognizes and rewards exceptional performance in four areas: leadership and guidance for the Young AFCEAN program; superior technical achievement in the professional arena; a record of going "above and beyond" at the local AFCEA chapter or region level; and mentoring provided for other Young AFCEANs.

The AFCEA Regional Vice Presidents have the honor to personally select an individual from their Region to receive the Regional Distinguished Young AFCEAN Award. These honorees represent an elite group of individuals, and one of them is voted Distinguished Young AFCEAN of the Year.

The Distinguished Young AFCEAN nomination will be graded on the following:

  • Specific ways the nominee provided leadership and guidance for the Young AFCEAN program at the chapter or regional level
  • Superior technical achievement in the professional arena
  • The impact the nominee's other contributions have had on their chapter and the AFCEA community
  • Mentoring that the nominee provided for others during the award year


  • Must be a current AFCEA member
  • Must be forty (40) years of age or under as of December 31, 2013
  • Cannot have previously won a Distinguished Young AFCEAN award
  • Individual cannot nominate themselves
  • Nomination must be endorsed by the nominee's AFCEA Regional Vice President (RVP)


Nominations deadline is midnight EDT on October 6, 2013

Awards will be presented at WEST 2014 (February 11-13, 2014)


2011 Regional Distinguished Young AFCEANs


In addition, from the DYA winners, each of the association’s regional vice presidents selects a candidate to represent his or her region.


Regional DYA winners are (l-r) T.J. Greenier; Mariano Michael Reyes III; Lt. Col. Michael A. Anderson, USAF; Penny Morgan; Master Sgt. Todd D. Weingeroff, USAF; Capt. Patrick Rory Tibbals, USAF; Ryan Cox; Christopher R. Molis; Robin Reschke; and Bethany Reese. [Regional-DYA.jpg]


Regional DYA recipients not pictured are David A. Grosche; Ashley Hall; Capt. Walker Hofmann, USAF; Brian P. Murphy; Debbie Roberson; and Rodny Rodriguez.


2011 Distinguished Young AFCEANs


Distinguished Young AFCEAN (DYA) recipients exemplify service to the association at the local chapter or international level with exceptional professional performance in the fields of communications, intelligence and information systems.


DYA winners are (l-r) Adam Owings; Master Sgt. Nathan L. Rose, USAF; Master Sgt. Douglas R. Brock, USAF; Anne-Stewart Downer; Kimberly S. Meyer; and Susan E. Papik. [DYA.jpg]


DYA recipients not pictured are Maj. Oscar Alanis, USMC; Jesse Hamilton; Chris Lumley; Samuel B. Milford II; Kameke Mitchell; Rish Patel; Capt. Patrick A. Penn, USA; and Senior Airman Patrick Weller, USAF.


2012 Distinguished Young AFCEAN (DYA) of the Year Honoree

MSgt Kiyon Buckley, USAF

24th Air Force

Texas Region

Master Sergeant Kiyon Buckley has repeatedly shown that he has the leadership, innovative thinking and tenacious focus on success to create an enormously positive impact on the Alamo Chapter’s Young AFCEANs. His drive to increase the size and capabilities of the Young AFCEAN program has increased recruitment, as well as the level of volunteerism throughout the chapter. MSgt Buckley's leadership was quickly recognized as he was selected among his peers to become Committee Co-Chairman of the Alamo Young AFCEANs. MSgt Buckley planned and organized a series of technology-based career enhancement seminars for Alamo AFCEA members that were regularly attended by more than 40 members of the chapter. He has also ensured that traditionally successful Young AFCEAN events such as Networking Happy Hours and Technology Brown Bag Lunches have continued to grow in participation and scope. His efforts throughout the year have subsequently helped increase the chapter’s Young AFCEAN annual budget over ten-fold! MSgt Buckley was a key member of the 2012 Alamo AFCEA Conference & Exposition planning team, an event that brought 800+ attendees and raised more than $300,000 to help grow the chapter and its outstanding scholarship program. MSgt Buckley’s service to Alamo AFCEA is remarkable in view of his challenging leadership position within 24th Air Force. His dedication to AFCEA and the Alamo Chapter are highly commendable and well deserving of Distinguished Young AFCEAN recognition.


2012 Distinguished Young AFCEAN (DYA) Regional Honorees

2d Lt Christopher Arnold, USAF

85th Engineering Installation Squadron

Mid-South Region

Second Lieutenant Christopher Arnold is a positive force of energy for the betterment of his chapter, his community and AFCEA. While officially the chapter Secretary as well as Vice President of Sponsorships, his involvement and efforts extend to all aspects of chapter leadership, coordination and volunteerism. He has developed and implemented an extensive list of programs and events for the Gulf Coast Chapter at Keesler AFB. His results-driven, motivating and pace-setting agenda have moved the chapter forward, and his daily involvement has become the model to emulate. Additionally, he was responsible for awarding over $2,000 to AFCEA scholarship recipients. Lt Arnold’s engineering prowess and technical ability set the standard for excellence in his unit and throughout the EI community. Additionally, Lt Arnold has volunteered many hours of his personal time to improve the local community. Lieutenant Arnold’s character, technical ability, and motivation are second to none. His contributions to the Gulf Coast Chapter have been instrumental in the chapter’s success in recruiting, retention, community involvement, military-industry partnership and Young AFCEAN membership! This Young AFCEAN drives the Chapter’s success…all day, every day, playing a huge role in all it attained in 2012.


Anne Wilson Celestin

Aerotek, Inc.

Western Region

Anne Wilson Celestin was recruited by the Los Angeles Chapter to re-energize their outreach to Junior Officers, Enlisted personnel and to bring awareness to Young Industry Professionals. She has established a Quarterly Mixer for interested parties to discuss topics such as UCLA’s Masters of Engineering for Working Professionals, highlighting AFCEA Membership and Scholarship Opportunities. Anne took it one step further by gathering two groups of Young AFCEANs to go to local elementary and high schools to help teach STEM and create enthusiasm for careers in engineering. Last September Anne joined the MILSATCOM Conference Committee to take the publicity lead that helped achieve one of the Chapter’s best events. In early 2012 Anne was asked to accept the role of LA Chapter Secretary, in which she currently serves dedicating many hours working with the Chapter President and other Directors to ensure the successful pursuit of chapter activities. In addition, she consistently volunteers to represent the chapter at awards ceremonies for the ROTC Scholarship winners from USC, UCLA and Loyola Marymount. Anne’s knowledge of her government accounts, customer requirements, and the personnel she interacts with makes her a valuable member of the chapter’s Board of Directors.


Corinne Combeau

The Goal Inc.

National Capital Region

As Chair of the Young AFCEANs of the DC Chapter this year, Corinne quickly conceived and swiftly implemented a plan to reorganize the structure of the Young AFCEANs to align with the chapter’s board model. Each major event and initiative now has one or more Young AFCEAN liaisons dedicated to it. This approach had an immediate positive effect: it promotes more active participation by Young AFCEANs in all chapter activities; provides more effective support to committee chairs; helps plan and execute the chapter’s major events; foments networking and mentorship; and identifies and cultivates future leaders. This year, Corinne has re-energized a series of networking and professional development events designed to inform and educate Young AFCEANs throughout the National Capital Region. Corinne helped conceptualize and launch the Lunch & Learn program. This first-of-its-kind technology education series confers Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to participants. During the 2011-2012 AFCEA year, Corinne served as the Young AFCEAN Chair for Luncheon and Breakfast Programs. In addition, she was an enthusiastic volunteer in support of the chapter’s Mobile Technology Symposium and Emerging Technologies Symposium; black-tie Winter Gala; and elegant Spring Military IT Leadership Awards Dinner.


Matthew Deutsch

Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC/PZE)

New England – Upstate New York Region

Matt Deutsch is the epitome of an exceptional performer! He has been actively involved in all major Lexington-Concord Chapter AFCEA events since becoming a member in 2009. After only a few months he was recognized as a high achiever and was asked to join the Young AFCEAN Executive Committee. Over the past year, he has stepped up and taken on the challenge of building a chapter sponsorship program to help raise money. His sponsorship program will allow the Lexington-Concord Chapter to give more scholarships, further fund educational programs and hold more professional development events. His efforts are greatly expanding the impact of the Chapter on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) - related activity and programs in Massachusetts. Matt is also a vital asset to military/industry relations. He has led the recruiting charge from the front, always attending events with a new member! Matt’s mentorship participation is second to none. He coordinated advertising and transportation for five mentorship events that connected more than 80 Young AFCEAN members with multiple industry and military leaders for open discussions on career and personal goals. His enthusiasm for mentorship knows no bounds, and he has worked with senior military/industry partners directly to set up multiple successful events. In summary, his outstanding dedication to and participation in the Lexington-Concord Chapter of AFCEA make Matt Deutsch singularly well qualified for and deserving of the Distinguished Young AFCEAN Award.


Adrian Felts


Virginia Region

Adrian has been an integral part of the setup, growth, and continual evolution of the Central Virginia Chapter of AFCEA. He and a colleague set out to start the chapter in 2010, and since that time it's grown from 25 Plank Members to 146 members and two University sub-chapters. As the Central Virginia Chapter President, Adrian has personally spoken to each of the three graduating classes about how to find jobs in the Intelligence field as well as the job search outlook in Central Virginia. Adrian was also an integral part of the team that helped set up the student sub-chapters at James Madison University and Liberty University. Adrian has worked with the Educational Foundation at AFCEA to provide each university with $5,000 grants to be given to students each year they're an active chapter.


SSgt Eric M. Garcia, USAF

51st Combat Communications Squadron

Georgia Region

Staff Sergeant Eric Garcia has proven himself an outstanding addition to the Middle Georgia Chapter in bringing to it his communications systems knowledge and expertise as a Cyber Transport Technician. His professionalism as a Non-Commissioned Officer and his dedication to duty is shown in every task he tackled. SSgt Garcia has contributed to the AFCEA Middle Georgia Chapter as Deputy Vice President of Programs. His event management skills proved instrumental in coordinating ten monthly luncheons, with over 600 total attendees, throughout 2012. Eric ensured proper protocol was maintained and provided first-class service to our distinguished guest speakers, which included the Secretary of the Air Force’s Chief of Warfighting Integration and Chief Information Officer and Air Force Space Command’s Vice Commander.


Tim Jahnigen


Maryland Region

Tim is currently the Chapter VP for Young AFCEANs, serving in this capacity in his second year. Supporting the Aberdeen Chapter, Tim willingly volunteers his time promoting AFCEA at local and national conferences and events. During the TechNet Land Forces Conference, Tim successfully co-hosted the Young AFCEAN (YAC) social with the Central Maryland Chapter in conjunction with the conference to include planning, logistics, securing funding, and registering attendees. Tim has also vastly expanded the Aberdeen Young AFCEAN program this year by establishing a YAC Executive Committee, which mirrors the parent EXCOM. Tim holds monthly meetings with the committee and has grown the Aberdeen YAC program significantly; he now has them operating on a stand-alone budget. He took the initiative to meet with local Harford County Public School administrators and started a formal mentor program with Edgewood Middle School. Tim personally mentored two middle school students over the past year, volunteering his time before work two days a week. Subsequently, he was recognized by the Northern Maryland Technical Council as a Visionary Award Winner in the area of mentorship. Under Tim’s leadership, the Young AFCEANs hosted their First Annual 5k Run in November 2012 with proceeds benefiting STEM initiatives and education. Tim has also participated in YAC Collaboration Forums as well as the AFCEA Boot Camp, sharing lessons learned and initiatives with his fellow AFCEANs. Tim’s charismatic leadership style, hundreds of volunteer hours, dedication to AFCEA’s mission, and willingness to help the Aberdeen Chapter any way he can makes him a worthy recipient for this award.


Kashif Janjua

38th Cyberspace Engineering Installation Group

Great Plains – Rocky Mountain Region

During his four years as Vice President for Programs and Arrangements, Kashif Janjua has been an absolute pivotal member of the Oklahoma City AFCEA Chapter. He has successfully recruited many influential speakers for the Chapter’s monthly Professional Speaker Series, including IT and security industry representatives, members of key research institutions and military experts. Mr. Janjua painstakingly accommodated each of the speakers’ audio/visual needs, base access issues, and other miscellaneous requirements. His efforts in the specific chapter task and overall board participation paid off, as attested to by the increase in meeting attendance and the ensuing rise in membership. In fact, the parade of insightful and dynamic speakers who presented at the Chapter’s general membership meetings has generated a tremendous amount of chapter participation, driving the chapter to reach a 10-year high for membership in 2010. The additional interest in the Chapter spurred an increased demand for local community academic outreach services, allowing the Chapter  to raise and award $40,000 in scholarships.


Aaron Jones

Lockheed Martin

South Florida Region

Aaron Jones has taken the initiative to move the South Florida chapter from an inactive status to a vibrant, growing organization. As the Chapter’s 2nd Vice President, his dedication and enthusiasm inspired other chapter members to assist in formulating aggressive actions to re-energize the chapter. His leadership at the chapter Executive Leadership meetings has guided the discussions that have produced increased military participation, renewed corporate investment, increased member participation and increased community involvement. His take-charge actions have resulted in two profitable fund-raising luncheons and the chapter awarding $1,000 in scholarships to local teachers. He provides decisive leadership to each subcommittee while emphasizing teamwork to take the chapter to a new high. Aaron was also instrumental in working with the Chapter President to develop the 2012 Model Chapter goals while providing continued leadership to assist with achieving them. In addition to his primary job, Aaron takes time to attend each chapter Young AFCEAN event. His attendance continues to improve his professional development while encouraging his peers to increase their active involvement as AFCEA members. He has represented himself, the South Florida Chapter, and AFCEA in a truly outstanding manner. As such, he has earned recognition as this year’s South Florida Distinguished Young AFCEAN.


Andrea Julius


Carolinas Region

For years the South Carolina Low Country Chapter has paid “Lip Service” to the idea of Young AFCEANs. In 2012 that lip service became a loud roar. The call to members 40 years of age and younger is being heard thanks to the chapter’s newly appointed Young AFCEAN, Andrea Julius. In the short time Andrea has been the Chapter’s Young AFCEAN, she has dramatically grown the program membership from zero to a vibrant group of over 40 involved individuals. Andrea has also been instrumental in assisting with the bi-annual AFCEA Golf Tournament which has supported the annual award of 25 $3,000 scholarships to Low Country High School seniors over the past several years. She also has been instrumental in seeing that the monthly General Membership Luncheons are conducted without a hitch, as well as volunteering her time to support the various functions that AFCEA Low Country either supports or sponsors. Andrea is that leader who people follow with a willing heart. She can always be counted on and never expects the spotlight. Her unswerving devotion to bringing this program back to life is commendable and deserves the highest possible level of recognition.


1Lt Robert M. Lee, USAF

693rd Intelligence Support Squadron

Central Europe Region

Continuing to use his cyber expertise combined with his talent for writing, First Lieutenant Robert Lee published six papers on cyber security, nation-state cyber threats, and protection of critical infrastructure from attacks. Recently his paper "The History of Stuxnet" placed second in the AFCEA and Cyber Conflict Studies Association's Cyber History Writing Contest. Building upon his passion for the cyber domain and education, he founded HACKINT; providing free offensive, forensic, and defensive based Cyber Security classes to AFCEA members in Europe. He developed training and competition to attract, educate, and motivate AFCEANs on how to defend critical networks. Lt Lee has already taught 45 students in four classes with more planned. His HACKINT program has earned interest throughout AFCEA and he hopes to expand HACKINT's scope to include chapters worldwide. As publicity committee chair, he authored and edited eight SIGNAL Magazine submissions, five local newspaper submissions, as well as three host-base and community public affairs specials. In summary, Lt Lee's efforts led to the Kaiserslautern Chapter earning its 2012 "Model Chapter of the Year" award, raising membership to an all-time high. Furthermore, his HACKINT program and leadership has energized Young AFCEANs throughout Europe and AFCEA.


1LT James P. Micciche, USA

Alpha Company 307 ESB

Pacific Region

First Lieutenant James Micciche has served AFCEA Hawaii as its VP of Young AFCEANs/DoD dutifully for 18 months, filling one of two newly created positions at AFCEA Hawaii. The other position, VP of Young AFCEANs/Industry was vacated shortly after LT Micciche began his term, leaving him to single-handedly execute until a replacement was found. LT Micciche was new to Hawaii, new to his demanding position as Aide-de-Camp for the Commanding General of the 311th Signal Command, and new to AFCEA, but he quickly became an essential asset to AFCEA Hawaii. He was able to work with a pre-determined budget and a mission plan written before his tenure to create the first and very successful Young AFCEAN program at TechNet Asia-Pacific. With the opportunity to submit his own budget and strategic objective plan for 2012, James has been able to exponentially grow AFCEA Hawaii’s Young AFCEAN Community (YAC) program. LT Micciche’s two main objectives were to increase AFCEA Hawaii’s YAC membership and provide reasons for YACs to become involved in AFCEA. He has accomplished the first objective by organizing two YAC socials and by ensuring that an AFCEA Hawaii Young AFCEAN of the Month is recognized at each luncheon meeting. James is achieving his second goal through programs for YACs to participate in and venues for them to communicate. LT Micciche is an amazing young man who readily steps up and embraces the task at hand and does so with unmatched enthusiasm. AFCEA Hawaii will miss and pray for LT Micciche during his upcoming deployment to Afghanistan, but know that wherever he is, he will continue to be an exemplary model of a Young AFCEAN.


Aaron Miller

Wright State Research Institute

Mid-West Region

Aaron was elected to the position of Vice President for Operations in 2012 for the Dayton-Wright Chapter of AFCEA where he oversees and directs chapter efforts for Education and Scholarships. He began by refreshing chapter agreements with area higher education partners to ensure educational investments and worthy recipients sought educational programs aligned to the chapter’s mission. These efforts were long overdue and Aaron achieved excellent outcomes with little to no fanfare. Aaron helped join area community leaders represented by the Dayton Development Coalition (DDC), numerous colleges and universities represented by the Southwestern Ohio Council on Higher Education (SOCHE) and the Dayton-Wright Chapter for the purpose of advancing internship programs by the hundreds. Under Aaron’s leadership and direction, the Dayton-Wright AFCEA Chapter is the region’s coordination point for marketing and aligning interns supporting those interested in career fields related to STEM and defense contracting. While the program is just underway, interest is very high with over 900 internship applications received. The overall effort represents truly “big thinking” on behalf of the broader community in which Aaron lives and in the profession in which he works. While the Chapter is still just beginning to realize the benefits of Aaron Miller’s great work, it’s important to recognize and reward this kind of innovative thinking, collaborative approach and very considerable effort. He is a real credit to the ideals and values of AFCEA and to the Dayton-Wright Chapter.



2012 Distinguished Young AFCEANs


Nikolas Acheson

ClearEdge IT Solutions, LLC

Central Maryland Chapter

A graduate of AFCEA’s Leadership Forum, Nik is very involved with AFCEA internationally and locally to include the following: International Young AFCEAN Advisory Council (YAAC) Committee Chair, Maryland Regional Young AFCEAN, AFCEA International Strategic Planning Committee Member and Young AFCEAN Section Book Boss, founder and program manager for the quarterly MD, DC, & VA Young AFCEAN Collaboration Forum, VP of Individual Membership for the Central Maryland Chapter, and VP of Outreach for the Central Maryland Young AFCEANs. Nik also serves as the military outreach initiative leader for the chapter, which resulted in exponential growth in military and government membership and participation. He performed outreach and negotiated with University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) to reorganize the Young AFCEAN Training Week Program by offering increased donations, better management and tracking, and new ongoing discounts to Central Maryland AFCEA membership for any training offered via UMBC. He is currently working with the local military education offices and Central Maryland AFCEA Executive Committee to develop a new Military Excellence Award/ Scholarship to recognize active military members excelling in areas of education, community, and/or service.


Ashley Becker

Booz Allen Hamilton

Belvoir Chapter

The Belvoir Chapter has experienced tremendous growth in Young AFCEAN involvement over the last year. Growth in this area has surpassed 200% and continues to rise. This is a direct result of Ms. Becker’s leadership, motivation, and drive. What is most impressive is her ability to portray the AFCEA brand in such a fashion that it seems natural for individuals to join AFCEA and the Belvoir Chapter. This chapter has gone from having a very fragmented Young AFCEAN program to one that is growing and integrated with the neighboring chapters in the Washington, D.C. area. Ms. Becker has also completed the AFCEA Leadership Forum and was elected to represent the Belvoir Chapter and AFCEA International as the Program Support Lead for PlugFest.


Jesse Cosme


South Florida Chapter

In a chapter currently trying to reestablish itself, Jesse has taken the initiative and dedicated countless hours in support of the Young AFCEAN Program. As the South Florida Young AFCEAN Officer, Jesse created contact lists, interfaced with corporate sponsors, solicited new sponsors, and maintained direct communication with current Young AFCEAN members associated with the South Florida Chapter. His efforts have allowed both small and large corporations to participate and sponsor events, as well as allocate much needed donations for future Young AFCEAN activities. He also has ensured that recognition of sponsorship is a touchstone in every program he runs. Through his dedicated efforts, Jesse has increased the Young AFCEAN membership by 20% and jump-started a forward movement for increased participation and involvement regarding the Young AFCEAN community in South Florida. His diligent and focused planning efforts have made it possible for the chapter to shape and budget many more planned events for 2013. Additionally, Jesse’s friendly personality and positive attitude have also been a pleasure for the team and have been another contributing factor to his unquestionable success.


Ryan D. Fedell

Aerotek, Inc.

Hampton Roads Chapter

Ryan Fedell has directly contributed to the 30% increase of Young AFCEAN membership in recent years. He provides unwavering support to the AFCEA Hampton Roads Chapter through his help with monthly luncheons, STEM initiatives, and recruiting of Young AFCEANs. Before luncheons, Ryan ensures that the venue is properly set up and double checks all presentation material and equipment. In addition to dedicated support and volunteer activity for AFCEA, Ryan actively mentors transitioning military and job seekers within AFCEA through notification of open positions within the IT/Information Professional community and support of resume writing and networking events. In Publicity, he maintains and updates information on the Young AFCEAN Facebook page to ensure knowledge of AFCEA Hampton Roads events is spread in a timely manner. Ryan also supported the AFCEA Hampton Roads official Cornhole Tournament in both set up and execution. Additionally, he volunteered over 12 hours in the planning, preparation, and execution of the region’s flagship event (Joint Warfighting Conference), by providing behind-the-scenes coordination between local chapter officials and AFCEA International.


Jessica Gressett


Northern Virginia Chapter

Jessica Gressett has been an active AFCEA NOVA volunteer since 2008. Jessica is currently serving as the Vice President of the Chapter’s Young AFCEANs, providing critical leadership and coordination to over 500 Young AFCEAN volunteers in support of 25+ events throughout the year. She has served as the Young AFCEAN lead for several of the AFCEA NOVA IT Day conferences and has developed the “how-to” guide for future Young AFCEANs volunteering in support of event planning and execution. Jessica has also served as the co-lead for AFCEA NOVA’s annual Mentor-Protégé Night. As a result of Jessica’s leadership, the event has become a mainstay on the AFCEA NOVA schedule of events and hosts 125 attendees during the spring and fall. In addition, she served as a member of the Scholarship Committee, a team that ultimately distributed over $140,000 in college scholarships in 2012. Jessica also takes an active role to promote coordination and collaboration between other National Capital Area AFCEA chapters, taking part in coordinating events for AFCEA DC as well as AFCEA Belvoir.


Capt Thomas C. Hamlyn, USAF

2nd Air Postal Squadron

Kaiserslautern Chapter

Captain Thomas Hamlyn serves as the Publicity committee chair for the Kaiserslautern Chapter. Capt Hamlyn authored or edited eight SIGNAL Magazine and 10 local newspaper submissions as well as coordinating host-base and community public affairs specials that highlighted the chapter’s events. He orchestrated the chapter’s social media efforts posting news, events, and opportunities to Facebook and LinkedIn. These efforts combined to give the chapter access to over 55,000 American and NATO military, contractors, and family members within the Kaiserslautern military community. Identifying an information gap, Capt Hamlyn used his ingenuity to create a monthly chapter newsletter that succinctly highlights chapter news, events, and opportunities. For the Summer Technology Exposition, his publicity team arranged a live broadcast from the event, bringing in 844 visitors to the expo, 128 attending seminars, and recruiting 54 new AFCEA members. Furthermore, Capt Hamlyn is reaching out to Young AFCEANs across Germany planning future trips to T-Systems Gallery of future technology and a Cisco demo facility in Frankfurt with AFCEA Bonn.


Stacy Kauffman

Beacon Associates, Inc.

Aberdeen Chapter

Stacy serves as the director of programs for the Aberdeen Young AFCEANs. In that capacity, she is directly responsible for the execution of events such as the Young AFCEAN Crab Feast and the First Annual Young AFCEAN 5k Run at Ripken Stadium. Stacy was instrumental in coordinating sponsorships for the Young AFCEAN crab feast and negotiated the contract with the venue. She coordinated logistics and volunteered her time by setting up, collecting door prizes, procuring sponsorship materials, and running registration. The event was a huge success, sold out, and included a plethora of both government and non-government personnel, while raising money for the Young AFCEAN operating budget. For the 5k Run, Stacy did an incredible amount of work, coordinating with local authorities for road closures, negotiating with the venue, putting together an event plan, coordinating volunteers, advertising and marketing the event, updating the local website, and establishing and executing a milestone plan. The event benefited STEM initiatives and education for local schools and the Aberdeen Boys and Girls Club in the spirit of the chapter’s mission. Stacy coordinated and held weekly teleconferences with a volunteer committee that she assembled. Stacy goes above and beyond to ensure the success of the Aberdeen Young AFCEAN program.


Tamar Mintz

MetroStar Systems

Bethesda Chapter

Tamar Mintz currently serves as the Vice President/Chair of the Bethesda Young AFCEANs. For her first event, Tamar led the 2011 Federal Technology Spring Fling. The event brought together Young AFCEANs from AFCEA Chapters in NoVA, DC, Bethesda, Central MD, and Belvoir; along with numerous local industry/government groups; 300+ attendees; 14 high profile chairs (7 government, 7 industry); and it raised over $5,700. The event she created was so successful that the Chapter used her model for the Fiscal New Year Networking Event in October of 2012 and raised attendance by 500% and proceeds by 1000%! In addition, while serving in her role she recruited more new members than any other Young AFCEAN during the AFCEA Bethesda recruiting contest. Not only did Tamar recruit these new members, she also took time to mentor and advise them by helping them get on committees that aligned with their goals and expectations for the Young AFCEAN program. It was amazing to see someone that received very little guidance and mentorship spend so much time with others to make sure they received the support they needed!


Sharon Morrisey

HQ US Army Forces Command

North Carolina Chapter

Sharon Morrisey is the consummate Young AFCEAN, tireless worker, and leader behind the scenes. Sharon joined AFCEA in May of 2012 and quickly picked up the mantle of North Carolina AFCEA VP Young AFCEANs. She has taken the lead for the Chapter’s luncheon and golf tournament raffles, organizing the volunteers to sell tickets and raising a record high of $700 for the scholarship fund. Ms. Morrisey contributed her energy and enthusiasm as a member of the review board for scholarships, resulting in $20,000 in undergraduate scholarship applications, investing wisely in the lives of future technology leaders in and around the Fort Bragg, North Carolina area. She played a key role in developing the annual Chapter exposition by designing the webpage, creating a contemporary look that is attractive and functional. Ms. Morrisey is an energetic and persistent recruiter for AFCEA; in the five months she has been a member she has brought 15 new prospective members to AFCEA activities. She works very hard leading by example, recruiting new members, planning and executing events, and serving the Chapter Board in a number of important capacities. Ms. Morrisey exemplifies the volunteer spirit that every chapter needs. She is a true ambassador for AFCEA and its goals.


SSgt Andrea M. Murray, USAF

55th Strategic Communication Squadron (55 SCS/STZM)

Greater Omaha Chapter

Staff Sergeant Andrea Murray has been a stalwart performer for the Greater Omaha Chapter (GOC). This Young AFCEAN single-handedly re-invigorated life into the stagnating annual golf tournament, enabling it to re-emerge as the premier fund raiser for chapter scholarships. Faced with a weakened economy and reduced contributions from sponsors, SSgt Murray proposed a schedule shift from fall to mid-spring, which made it one of the first golf tournaments of the year. This strategic thinking drastically increased the attendance and ensured the tournament was successful. As a result of Andrea’s efforts, the chapter was able to apply $5,098 towards the scholarship program.


Stephan Nadeau


Lexington-Concord Chapter

Stephan Nadeau is an exceptionally valuable Young AFCEAN. Since joining the Lexington-Concord Chapter in 2010, Mr. Nadeau has played an active role in the Young AFCEANs Executive Committee (YAC EXCOM). He has engaged himself in the chapter as a key program coordinator, volunteer, event organizer and chapter recruiter. He exhibited exceptional leadership, organizational and communication skills which initiated the Lexington-Concord YAC EXCOM to choose him to be the primary Lexington-Concord YAC coordinator for the Electronic Systems Center (ESC) funded DoD STARBASE Academy program. This federal government-funded program focuses on STEM initiatives for elementary students. Mr. Nadeau continues to play a vital role in helping to stand this program up at Hanscom AFB by facilitating volunteer teams to set up the classrooms and labs, advising the ESC STARBASE program coordinators with program planning and creating a strategic fundraising plan to help garner support from the local community. Mr. Nadeau has also helped coordinate Leadership Luncheons which bring together key military/industry senior leaders and young members of the Hanscom community in a more intimate setting. Mr. Nadeau has demonstrated that he is a dynamic producer and a key Young AFCEAN leader of the Lexington-Concord Chapter.


LCDR David Pereira, USN


Hampton Roads Chapter

Lieutenant Commander David Pereira currently fills an executive position on AFCEA Hampton Roads Chapter Board of Directors and is serving his second year as VP for Military Affairs. He organized, planned and executed a highly successful Lunch and Learn event to bring AFCEA on base and expose the organization and its capabilities to Sailors, Marines, and also non-uniformed personnel. LCDR Pereira is planning a follow-up event to include a panel of speakers and an invitation to the AFCEA Tidewater Chapter to add even more diversity to the event. Because of his efforts, the number of young uniformed attendees at recurring AFCEA functions has increased by 30%. He has been the leader in nearly every Cyber Professional of the Month - Military and Civilian nomination, and specifically works with both Senior Enlisted and Officers to find the junior candidates and get them recognized. LCDR Dave Pereira’s contributions to the Hampton Roads Chapter as a Young AFCEAN and as a Navy Information Professional Officer have had a direct, measurable impact on the growth and success of the chapter and he is most deserving of this award.


MSgt Neil Stewart, USAF

PEO for Business Systems

Montgomery Chapter

Master Sergeant Stewart has worked tirelessly behind the scenes in every AFCEA activity and was instrumental in the launch of the Young AFCEAN membership drive as part of the Young AFCEAN Activity Day. He coordinated volunteers and was responsible for all food, beverages and refreshments to ensure the event was a success. He also aided in the advertising, marketing and recruiting effort before the event which garnered more than 20 new memberships throughout the day. MSgt Stewart also made the annual Montgomery Information Technology Summit (MITS) a huge success by sourcing over 30 volunteers for different activities, from set-up to clean-up of the Annual Golf Tournament that raised over $140,000 for the AFCEA Educational Foundation, to the MITS where he ensured all DVs were handled professionally. Finally, MSgt Stewart also participates on the AFCEA Board as a liaison to the Top3 organization. He has displayed commitment, dedication and selfless service in all his work. The Montgomery Chapter is a vibrant, growing, and friendly entity because of MSgt Stewart.


1Lt Heather Vander Wyst, USAF

4th Communications Squadron

Vandenberg-Central Coast Chapter

First Lieutenant Heather Vander Wyst volunteered to lead the Vandenberg-Central Coast Chapter Young AFCEAN program and established the newly created position of Community Liaison. She developed from scratch the first chapter Teacher Grant Program and Student Scholarship Program in recent history. The chapter had very little relationship with the community and was unable to effectively execute a core AFCEA function of developing tomorrow’s STEM experts. Lt Vander Wyst single-handedly got the chapter on track creating the foundation of the Chapter’s future endeavors in community outreach, educational support, and Young AFCEAN initiatives. Lt Vander Wyst worked to build on her success and developed a student scholarship program. Her efforts resulted in a record-setting number of applicants for the grants, and awarding of four scholarships to students who had high GPAs, were leaders in extra-curricular activities, had financial need, and were accepted to STEM programs in schools such as Cal Poly and Berkley. Lt Vander Wyst has been the Chapter President’s right hand in revitalizing the chapter; she has done more for the chapter than any junior officer has done in years. She was key to the chapter earning its first Model Chapter award, and has been recognized by AFCEA International as the AFCEAN of the Month for September as well as for her contribution to education.


Scott Vines

Logic Nation

ArkLaTex Chapter

Scott Vines distinguished himself and the ArkLaTex Chapter through his position as the Chapter’s VP for Publicity. Scott ensures the chapter routinely receives positive media attention by drafting and submitting articles and photos for publication in the monthly SIGNAL Chapter News column. He further represented the chapter through a close relationship with LA Tech’s Computer Science faculty while mentoring graduating Computer Science students, helping grade senior projects and teaching mobile applications development classes for the iPhone. Scott also devoted significant time helping local and regional colleges and universities develop curriculum supporting requirements and needs in NW Louisiana and throughout Texas for an ever-growing IT workforce pipeline. He teamed with the Chapter’s Young AFCEAN Chairperson to create and implement the new Young AFCEAN Continuing Education Lunch & Learn series providing educational opportunities for local IT professionals. As a Certified Ethical Hacker, Scott was the featured inaugural speaker of the series and taught a Hacking 101 class to over 35 attendees. Scott is a valued board member and a shining star that truly deserves this recognition.


Capt Joseph Watson, USAF

83 NOS Detachment 4

Kaiserslautern Chapter

As the Young AFCEAN Chairman of the Kaiserslautern Chapter, Captain Joseph Watson has encouraged the Young AFCEAN ranks to take on a life of their own. He created a team of five committee chairs to help him coordinate efforts which contributed to the Chapter receiving numerous awards, including the Albert J. Myer Award for membership, and the Model Chapter of the Year award. Capt Watson personally instituted recognition programs and has led efforts to coordinate with neighboring chapters. He has planned multiple joint engagements with surrounding chapters and encourages information sharing and camaraderie between Young AFCEANs. Under Capt Watson’s leadership, the Young AFCEANs championed the first Hacking Competition in Europe and have conducted multiple cyber defense and offensive training classes. They also lead the annual Bazaar Fund Raiser, offering 150+ hours of support and raising money for STEM Scholarships throughout the area. His enthusiasm, enabling capability, and innovative ideas have greatly benefited the Kaiserslautern Chapter, and have laid the foundation for continued success in the years to come.


2011 Distinguished Young AFCEANs

2010 Distinguished Young AFCEANs

2009 Distinguished Young AFCEANs

2008 Distinguished Young AFCEANs

2007 Distinguished Young AFCEANs


Click here for a complete list of AFCEA Awards and nomination forms.


Award Questions?

Please contact Susan Emert
(703) 631-6191



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