Emerging Leaders

The Emerging Leaders program offers professionals 40 years old and younger unparalleled professional growth and development opportunities. 

The AFCEA Emerging Leaders Program is a dynamic initiative dedicated to empowering members under the age of 40 to accelerate their professional growth and cultivate invaluable connections within the industry. Through a comprehensive framework of networking events, volunteer engagements, leadership development opportunities, and tailored events, this program fosters a vibrant community where Emerging Leaders can thrive. By leveraging the collective expertise and resources within AFCEA, young professionals gain access to a wealth of knowledge, guidance, and support, propelling them towards fulfilling and impactful careers in the ever-evolving landscape of technology and defense.

Get involved! Be sure to include/update your birth year in your AFCEA profile to get the latest Emerging Leaders information and events.

 

SIGNAL Media's Disruptive by Design: What You Need to Know About AFCEA's Emerging Leaders

We repurposed a recent webinar for and by AFCEA's Emerging Leaders for this Disruptive by Design podcast episode — and you will learn from some of the brightest association ambassadors all about the initiative dedicated to empowering members under the age of 40 to accelerate their professional growth and cultivate invaluable connections within the industry.
Disruptive by Design Podcast Series
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Benefits of Membership for Emerging Leaders
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BUILD YOUR NETWORK
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Building your network through participating in the AFCEA Emerging Leaders Program offers a multitude of career benefits for young professionals. By connecting with peers, industry veterans, and experts across various sectors within AFCEA's extensive network, young professionals gain access to invaluable insights, opportunities, and resources that can catalyze their career advancement. Building and nurturing relationships with like-minded individuals not only fosters a supportive community but also opens doors to collaboration, mentorship, and potential career opportunities. Whether it's forging connections with potential employers, seeking guidance from experienced mentors, or uncovering new pathways for professional growth, expanding their network within AFCEA equips young professionals with the tools and connections they need to thrive in their careers and make a lasting impact in their fields.

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BECOME A LEADER
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At AFCEA, the spectrum of leadership opportunities is as vast as it is dynamic. Whether you envision spearheading an entire event, assuming a pivotal role on your local chapter's board, assisting in orchestrating a membership recruitment campaign, or actively contributing to AFCEA International committees like the IDEA Committee, Membership Committee or the EPIC Committee, the avenues for involvement are boundless. Alternatively, you can help shape the trajectory of the Emerging Leader program by immersing yourself in the Emerging Leaders Advisory Council. 

Engagement in these leadership endeavors isn't just about serving a role; it's a transformative journey. The skills honed and experiences gained within AFCEA's leadership ecosystem translate seamlessly to your professional sphere, enhancing your efficacy as an employee. From cultivating adeptness in decision-making and strategic planning to fostering adept communication and team management abilities, each leadership opportunity is a steppingstone towards becoming a more proficient and influential member of your organization. Ultimately, your involvement with AFCEA not only enriches your personal growth but also fortifies your capacity to drive positive change within your workplace, making you an invaluable asset.

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YOUR COMPANY BENEFITS
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Membership in AFCEA represents a strategic investment with far-reaching benefits for your company's bottom line and growth trajectory. Beyond the nominal fee, membership translates into substantial savings across various facets of your organization's operations.

Membership serves as a cost-effective avenue for professional development, providing access to a wealth of resources, workshops, seminars, and industry insights that would otherwise require significant financial outlay. This continual enrichment of skills and knowledge not only enhances employee competencies but also cultivates a culture of innovation and adaptability within your workforce.

AFCEA membership also offers unparalleled opportunities for business development and heightened market visibility. By affiliating your organization with a prestigious industry association, you amplify your brand's visibility and credibility, positioning yourself as a key player in the ever-evolving landscape of technology and defense sectors. This heightened visibility serves as a catalyst for forging new partnerships, fostering collaborations, and expanding your client base, thereby driving revenue growth and market penetration.

Furthermore, membership grants you privileged access to decision-makers across government, military, and industry sectors. This direct line of communication with key stakeholders facilitates a deeper understanding of customer needs, pain points, and strategic priorities. Armed with this invaluable insight, your organization is empowered to tailor its products, services, and solutions to meet evolving market demands, thereby enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Ultimately, the cumulative effect of AFCEA membership is the creation of a fertile ecosystem for business growth and success. By leveraging the myriad benefits of membership, your organization not only realizes tangible cost savings but also unlocks a wealth of opportunities for strategic expansion, innovation, and competitive differentiation in an increasingly dynamic marketplace.

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WRITE FOR SIGNAL MEDIA
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The Disruptive by Design column in SIGNAL is open to AFCEA’s Emerging Leaders to share innovative ideas regarding disruptive technologies. Being published helps expand visibility, strengthens your resume and can lead to opportunities based on the thought leadership and expertise you share.

WRITE FOR DISRUPTIVE BY DESIGN

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ADVANCE YOUR CAREER
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No matter where you stand in your professional journey — whether you're transitioning from the military, an industry professional, or eagerly embarking on your first job hunt — active engagement with Emerging Leaders holds immense potential to propel your career forward. At its core, Emerging Leaders is designed to empower individuals with the tools, resources, and networking opportunities essential for success in today's competitive landscape.

Active participation in Emerging Leaders serves as a potent catalyst for fortifying your resume and enhancing your career prospects. Whether you're aiming to secure a coveted position within your organization, transition to a new role, or explore entrepreneurial endeavors, the skills, experiences, and connections forged through your involvement with Emerging Leaders serve as compelling assets that set you apart in a crowded job market.

In essence, Emerging Leaders isn't just a program; it's a transformative journey that empowers you to realize your full potential, achieve your career aspirations, and make a lasting impact in your chosen field. Whether you're seeking to acquire new skills, expand your network, or elevate your professional profile, Emerging Leaders provides the tools, resources, and support needed to turn your career ambitions into reality.

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EARN RECOGNITION AND AWARDS
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Active involvement with AFCEA Emerging Leaders yields both personal and professional rewards that extend far beyond the confines of your career.

The association's recognition programs, including the prestigious Distinguished Young Professional, Emerging Leadership, and 40 Under Forty awards, serve as beacons of excellence, spotlighting individuals who are not only shaping the future of their respective industries but also making indelible contributions to their organizations and to the AFCEA community at large. These accolades not only honor outstanding achievement but also serve as catalysts for further success, elevating recipients' profiles, opening doors to new opportunities, and inspiring others to strive for excellence.

AFCEA's commitment to nurturing emerging talent is further underscored by awards bestowed upon chapters for their exemplary efforts in fostering the development of young professionals. Recognitions such as the Model Emerging Leaders Chapter Recognition Program award celebrates chapters that have demonstrated exceptional dedication to cultivating the next generation of leaders within their local communities. By nurturing a culture of mentorship, collaboration, and innovation, these chapters play a pivotal role in empowering emerging leaders to thrive in their careers and make meaningful contributions to the advancement of technology and defense sectors.

AFCEA's recognition programs not only honor individual achievement and organizational excellence but also serve as catalysts for collective growth, innovation, and collaboration within the broader AFCEA community. By celebrating the achievements of outstanding professionals and chapters, AFCEA reinforces its commitment to fostering a culture of excellence, leadership, and innovation that propels the entire industry forward.

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GIVE BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY
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AFCEA chapters across the globe are committed to supporting the next generation of leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through scholarship initiatives. Whether you possess a knack for strategic planning and event coordination or simply wish to lend your support as an attendee, there are ample opportunities to make a meaningful impact.

As a member, you can choose to join the planning committee, where you'll collaborate with like-minded individuals to devise innovative fundraising strategies and ensure the success of these events. Alternatively, you can participate in the events themselves, immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere while also lending a helping hand in presenting scholarships to deserving recipients.

From exhilarating 5K runs to exhilarating cycle marathons like Cycle for STEM, from gatherings like Bull and Oyster Roasts to golf tournaments, there's an event to suit every preference and passion. By actively participating in these fundraising activities, you not only contribute to the advancement of STEM education but also become an integral part of a community dedicated to fostering innovation, excellence, and opportunity for future generations.

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HAVE FUN
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Emerging Leaders within AFCEA enjoy a vibrant and fulfilling experience, marked by a diverse array of engaging social and sporting events tailored to their interests and aspirations.

From lively receptions to dynamic sporting competitions, AFCEA gatherings offer an array of opportunities for Emerging Leaders to connect, collaborate, and unwind in an inclusive atmosphere. What sets Emerging Leaders apart is their active involvement in shaping the direction of the organization and its activities, providing valuable input that reflects the unique perspectives and priorities of their demographic.

Through their active participation in committees, brainstorming sessions, and leadership initiatives, Emerging Leaders not only contribute to the growth and vitality of AFCEA but also forge lasting bonds with like-minded individuals from around the globe. These connections transcend geographical boundaries, fostering a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose that extends far beyond professional affiliations.

Emerging Leaders in AFCEA not only embark on a journey of personal and professional growth but also cultivate lifelong friendships and networks that enrich their lives both within and outside the realm of the organization. /p>

Events for Emerging Leaders

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Kim Eldridge
AFCEA has given me the opportunity to connect with key industry and government contacts, while helping to raise money for important causes such as STEM scholarships for local students. The sense of community, collaboration, and community outreach has expanded my network and brought me incredible opportunities from a mentoring, partnerships, and business perspective. My involvement with AFCEA has greatly benefited my professional path and development, as well as giving me the opportunity to give back to my community and peers.
Kim Eldridge
2023 Emerging Leader of the Year Award Winner - Capture Analyst; Softrams
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Dondre Lawson
When we first joined AFCEA, I must admit, I had reservations about its potential impact on our business. Little did I know the extent of AFCEA's influence, the invaluable relationships we've made, and the experiences my team has encountered along the way. From both business and technical perspectives, AFCEA has surpassed my expectations, and I eagerly anticipate the opportunities that lie ahead in our continued journey with this remarkable organization.
Dondre Lawson
CEO, Emerald Technical Solutions
AFCEA EMERGING LEADERS
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