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AFCEA International Awards Program
Emerging Leadership Award

The Emerging Leadership Award is given for exceptional service to AFCEA at the local and/or international level. This award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated continuous leadership in Young AFCEAN activities since winning the Distinguished Young AFCEAN award.


  • Individual must be a current AFCEA member
  • Previous Distinguished Young AFCEAN (DYA) Winner
  • Individual cannot already have won an Emerging Leadership Award
  • Actively mentoring and involved with the Young AFCEANs
  • Has demonstrated continuous leadership in Young AFCEAN activities since winning the DYA award
  • Nomination must be endorsed by the nominee's AFCEA Regional Vice President (RVP)
  • Nominations open Monday, August 13, 2012 and close Friday, September 21, 2012 at midnight EDT

Nominations are due September 21, 2012. Awards will be presented at West 2013 (January 29-31).

2012 Emerging Leadership Award Winners


Emerging Leadership Award


The Emerging Leadership Award, presented by AFCEA International, recognizes former DYAs who have demonstrated continuous leadership in Young AFCEAN activities since being designated a DYA and who have been actively mentoring other members.


See complete listing below for winners not pictured.

Michael Bowen

Praxis Engineering

Aberdeen Chapter

Michael Bowen has been involved in defense contracting for more than eight years and has been a member of the AFCEA Aberdeen Chapter since 2008. He has served as Vice President of Programs and is currently the First VP for the chapter. Since winning the Distinguished Young AFCEAN award two years ago, Mike has continued to lead the refinement of the often sold-out chapter monthly luncheons and has been integral in mentoring and supporting the new VP of Programs to keep the luncheons running smoothly. He was also responsible for the successful implementation, planning, and execution of the Aberdeen Chapter's first two Awards Dinners, which received many positive comments from attendees. Mike is highly motivated in promoting the chapter and works tirelessly behind the scenes to refine procedures and increase efficiency. He has represented the Aberdeen Chapter at AFCEA International meetings on several occasions and participated on several scholarship and STEM grant review panels for the chapter. Additionally, Mike has been an integral part of the planning committee for the chapter’s annual golf tournament, which generates significant revenue used for STEM education scholarships and initiatives. Mike’s solid vision for the chapter and his motivation to make things happen set him apart as an excellent recipient for the Emerging Leadership Award.


Anne-Stewart “Stewi” Downer

Northrop Grumman

Bethesda Chapter

Stewi Downer began her Young AFCEAN involvement at a bag-stuffing event. Since then, she’s successfully chaired two AFCEA Bethesda Senior Government Executive Dinners with over 30 government CXO speakers and brought in over $40,000 in sponsorships. The numbers speak for themselves; under Stewi’s leadership the membership involvement has significantly risen, the money raised for the Montgomery County IT Scholarships has doubled, the number of successful events has increased, and she’s also come up with new creative programs. In addition to supporting all of her Chapter initiatives, she is an active member of the Regional Young AFCEANs and supports other local chapters by cross promoting their events, hosting collaborative forums, and creating events to co-host. Since winning the DYA award, Stewi has served as President-Elect and now is currently serving as President. During this time, Stewi made mentoring and professional development a priority. She oversaw the first ever AFCEA Bethesda Mentor-Protégé night and participated in an outreach program to mentor the Bethesda Chapter’s scholarship recipients, allowing the next generation of YACs to develop themselves professionally. Thanks to her dedication, leadership, and mentorship the Bethesda Young AFCEAN program is remarkable, and for that she deserves to receive this award!


Kameke Mitchell

Program Executive Office – Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS)

Montgomery Chapter

Kameke Mitchell’s contributions during 2012 earned her the chapter’s annual Government AFCEAN of the Year award. Although Ms. Mitchell could not attend the Chapter’s seminal annual event, the Montgomery IT Summit, due to Air Force mission requirements, she dutifully supported four months of meetings between government stakeholders and the Renaissance Hotel staff, ensured 100% reliable communications, prepared the execution of more than $80,000 in spending with the hotel, and trained a “floor leader”, a future “Kameke”, to manage the execution of the two-day conference attended by more than 600 Air Force and Industry IT practitioners. Ms. Mitchell’s dedication to duty and superb organizational skills allowed her to effectively manage and assist in the complete setup and management of the YAAC’s monthly Business Over Breakfast series, manage the “Get Fit with YAAC” initiative, and assisted in the coordination and management of the registration process for all AFCEA functions, including the management of the volunteers supporting each activity. Ms. Mitchell distinguishes herself by providing exceptional service in all her activities. Her untiring efforts and “Can Do” attitude are instrumental to her success as an outstanding AFCEAN and Civilian for the U.S. Air Force.


Capt Charles O’Connor, USAF


Lexington-Concord Chapter

Captian Charles O’Connor has emerged as a vital asset to the Lexington-Concord Young AFCEAN leadership team. Elected as the Lexington-Concord Young AFCEAN Government Co-President in 2010, he increased the Chapter’s Young AFCEAN membership by 16% and directly initiated the Lexington-Concord AFCEA ”Rocket Box” program, a STEM initiative which drew 680 middle school participants. By blending the talents of both military and industry members, Capt O’Connor has proven that he is instrumental to the success of the Chapter’s operations. Through his endeavors, he has demonstrated to young industry employees, Air Force officers, airmen and government civilians how AFCEA can positively affect professional and personal development. In sum, Capt O’Connor (who is currently deployed in Afghanistan) leads by example. His hand on the helm has been evident in virtually all he has done, and he has set the standard for all of the Young AFCEANs in the Lexington-Concord Chapter.


Bethany Reese

Hilton San Antonio Airport

Alamo Chapter

Bethany continues to provide superb leadership and support for AFCEA daily, serving on the Alamo Chapter's Young AFCEANs Board and also in her new role as Texas Regional Young AFCEAN. A 2011 Regional DYA awardee, Bethany has again raised the bar. Throughout 2012, she more than tripled Young AFCEAN participation by enhancing mentorship programs, advocating and securing military senior leader engagement in Young AFCEAN activities, and bringing revenue-neutral YAC initiatives to chapter members. She established new social networking venues and delegated the management of these events among the growing team of young professionals. She donated her time and experience to arrange and coordinate new programs including the first of a kind Business to Breakfast event and Alamo’s first ever Mentor-Protégé Night. Her leadership raises the bar for other Young AFCEANs in the Chapter, while her engaging personality and innovative thinking continues to create growth in the Young AFCEAN program. At the Regional level, Bethany has presented the Young AFCEAN program benefits and best practices to peer chapters around Texas, creating interest to establish Young AFCEAN programs throughout the state. Bethany’s continued contributions as the top Chapter Young AFCEAN have more than earned her the honor of being designated an Emerging Leader.


MSgt Todd Weingeroff, USAF

86th Communications Squadron

Kaiserslautern Chapter

Master Sergeant Todd Weingeroff was awarded the Distinguished Young AFCEAN Award in 2011 and has since continued as Chairman of the Membership Committee. MSgt Weingeroff and his membership co-chair set out to increase the total chapter membership by a minimum of 10% for a second year in a row and they are well on their way; membership has increased 35% since February 2011. In addition, he single-handedly recruited an unprecedented 55 new members! He has spurred the chapter toward numerous awards to include the Albert J. Myer award for membership growth and the Model Chapter of the Year award. Eager to recognize the accomplishments of others, he has served a key role on the chapter’s monthly Emerging Young AFCEAN Leader award selection committee. MSgt Weingeroff has been an invaluable addition to the Young AFCEAN team. His involvement with the Young AFCEAN program is far-reaching, serving as the initial POC for the annual Bazaar fundraiser, coordinating with multiple corporate sponsors to obtain tours of their respective companies, establishing communications with the Bonn and Stuttgart chapters and setting up two meet-and-greet events for Young AFCEAN representatives. Furthermore, he has coordinated multiple cyber defense/offense training seminars. His innovative ideas and active leadership have greatly benefited this organization. MSgt Weingeroff clearly embodies all of the characteristics of an AFCEA Emerging Leader!


Mary Allison Yourchisin

Intelligent Decisions

Tampa-St. Petersburg Chapter

Mary Allison Yourchisin has delivered sustained outstanding results in creating meaningful programs for the Tampa “Pelican” Chapter Young AFCEANs. She is the primary source for Young AFCEAN activities in the South Florida Region and has shown outstanding leadership by collaborating and sharing positive results and ideas with the Young AFCEAN groups in the region. When Mary Allison took over leadership of the Pelican Chapter Young AFCEAN program there were five members; she has since increased membership to 180. This has been done through her leadership in creating several monthly Young AFCEAN programs, her active participation in these programs and her excellent communication to the chapter membership and other local organizations of like-minded personnel. Mary Allison also created four committee chair positions within the Young AFCEAN program. This has helped distribute responsibility while providing leadership opportunities for the chapter’s Young AFCEANs and a pipeline of young leaders to the chapter as a whole. Her leadership by example and her positive attitude inspire her peers to step up and add value to the Chapter. She has set a very high standard for not only the Young AFCEANs, but everyone in the Tampa Pelican Chapter.

2011 Emerging Leadership Award Winners

2010 Emerging Leadership Award Winners

2009 Emerging Leadership Award Winners

2008 Emerging Leadership Award Winners

2007 Emerging Leadership Award Winners


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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