The chapter's Young AFCEANs hosted their inaugural Mentor Protégé Night in October, where more than a dozen senior military and industry leaders shared their experiences with up-and-coming area professionals. The chapter deemed the entire event a great success thanks to hard work from a great team and the shared experience from the Northern Virginia Chapter, which hosts a similar event. This is clearly a prime example of what we can accomplish as Young AFCEANs, remarked chapter leaders. It also highlights the importance and desire for all within AFCEA to share knowledge, said Emily Rausch, chapter vice president representing the Young AFCEANs. The diverse crowd of enthusiastic protégés included students from Our Lady of the Lake University, as well as local industry professionals and active duty military. The San Antonio Airport Hilton ballroom was filled with the buzz of excitement as the networking began, joining mentors and protégés in lively discussions.
Mentors included San Antonio's most respected military and business leaders—the colonels and chiefs, and chief executive officers and managers that make the city one of the centers of excellence in the cyber world. Each mentor shared their best lessons learned with the protégés around them. Steve Hennessy, director, San Antonio Operations at TRI-COR Industries, opened the program with insights about what it takes to be a mentor. Dinner was served and a hum of conversation filled the room as the young professionals began to quiz their mentors on the secrets to success. The discussions were lively and interesting, said Dave Kovach, adding that he was impressed by the exceptional attention to detail from the event programs to the table layouts and discussion aids. After a thank you to all of the mentors and speakers, the audience unanimously agreed that this is a must-repeat event and each was looking forward to participating in similar events hosted by the chapter's Young AFCEANs. The chapter will certainly be hosting another Mentor-Protégé night in 2013, said Rausch. Tom Allen of KGS stated, “There were a lot of smiles, and after it was over, no one wanted to go home. Now that's a sign of success! I'm so glad that I attended.” In fact, the hotel staff had to usher stragglers out in order to clean the room. It seems that the only complaint of the evening was that there was clearly not enough time to engage in all the questions and exchanges participants wished to make.