Greenspan Wins AFCEAN of the Year Award for Exemplary Service

July 27, 2020
By Chuck Griffith

The essential qualities of a good leader include integrity, accountability, humility, vision and positivity, and AFCEA is an excellent environment to grow leadership skills, according to Tamara Greenspan, this year’s winner of The General James M. Rockwell AFCEAN of the Year.  “The world is always changing, and a strong leader needs to be able to adapt to changes in the environment and workforce and consistently look to improve, adjust and innovate,” she suggests.

The Rockwell award is AFCEA’s premier award given for exemplary service to AFCEA over the past year. Greenspan, from the Northern Virginia Chapter (NOVA) and group vice president of public sector applications, Oracle, exemplifies commitment, humility and dedication. As the chapter underwent changes for the first time in a few years, Greenspan dedicated time and energy to helping the board weather the storm by providing leadership and guidance. “I was passionate about working with our board on innovation and encouraged new ideas and making changes if that was the best for our membership,” she says.

“I have had the privilege of supporting the DOD for more than 30 years, and I love working in the public sector industry. I am lucky to work with an amazing AFCEA NOVA board with many different backgrounds, leadership skills and DOD experience.”

Greenspan has been an AFCEA member for many years and has participated in numerous events, but working with the Women in NOVA (WIN) Committee was her first experience with volunteering. The WIN Committee provides a forum for women in government, military and industry, offering them the opportunity to prepare, promote, support and mentor senior and emerging leaders within the STEM fields.

“There are so many amazing leaders in AFCEA International and AFCEA NOVA,” Greenspan says. “Becoming co-chair of that [WIN] committee was how I was exposed to the AFCEA NOVA board.”

Greenspan has always been passionate about helping women in the workforce, and WIN was the perfect way for her to engage with AFCEA NOVA. After joining the leadership team, she was elected to the board and eventually became president, a position in which she has excelled for the past two years.

With over 6,500 members, the chapter’s mission is to connect membership with the government through a variety of meetings and events. These include popular monthly luncheons that run September through June and feature leading government speakers giving presentations about information technology and its relationship with national security, as well as other relevant U.S. Defense Department topics.

“We hold larger full-day IT Day conferences, featuring speakers … from the Army, Navy, USMC [U.S. Marine Corps], Air Force, DOD and other federal agencies,” Greenspan says. “We also provide our members with more intimate settings to connect one-on-one with industry and government leadership, including Small Business Breakfasts, Annual Golf Outing, Women in NOVA speaker series and our popular Young AFCEAN social events.”

The chapter’s monthly luncheons, IT Days, breakfasts and special events allow members access to government speakers who are experts in current policy and possess insight into future objectives. “[We] have the Pentagon in our back yard, the nation’s capital right next door and the backbone of the Internet at our center,” Greenspan says.

Greenspan advises AFCEA members interested in becoming chapter leaders to “get involved, engage and find your passion.” She recommends that members reach out to their local chapter, volunteer and offer assistance. “I think the best way to get involved is to join a committee and help with a program or event. You will understand how the chapter works and how best your skill sets can support the chapter.”

Greenspan champions AFCEA’s rewarding leadership opportunities, and she has taken advantage of as many as possible. “It has been an amazing experience, and I have truly enjoyed my time as president and look forward to engaging and helping as a past president.”

Chuck Griffith is the vice president of information for the Northern Virginia Chapter.

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