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L Minus 0 Seconds: AFCEA’s Newest Chapter Sees Liftoff

The Florida-based chapter is set to engage a new community of government, industry and academia members.

As the AFCEA International family grows, its newest Space Coast Chapter—lucky number 139—has taken on a mission to give back and add value to the community. 

For Chapter President Tony Brown, his progression from initially joining the association to launching an entirely new chapter comes as a complete surprise. 

“If someone would've told me this a year ago, I’d have said, ‘You’re out of your mind,’” he told SIGNAL Media in an interview. “I took on [this] role because of my passion.” 

Brown, who previously served as the small business chair for the Central Florida Chapter, formerly the Tampa Chapter, was asked to take on the role by Joe Haulton, the chapter’s vice president. 

Eager to get the ball rolling, Brown set out to engage and network with the region’s local communities. Upon attending a trade show, Brown quickly realized that most people had no idea what AFCEA was.

“All of a sudden, I felt like a used car salesperson trying to explain,” he joked. What he thought was mission impossible turned into a group that only continued to grow. While the first event held had just 15 attendees, Brown said, the third event brought a large group of people chanting “AFCEA SPACE COAST, AFCEA SPACE COAST!” 

“When that happened, there was no more choice for me,” he explained. “Once the community started asking for it, then it was only my role to try to serve.” 















As a public-school graduate, Brown has always looked for ways to give back to the community. “My mom was a life longer in the Labor Department so she was always teaching me about trends, so she was the one who made me take typing, so I could learn the keyboard and get into IT,” he said.  

Now, with a leadership team of about 10 people, Brown looks to keep building momentum. 

Educating future generations is one of AFCEA’s core principles, he explained, and that’s what the chapter plans to focus on.  

“The second thing is to really create a collaborative platform for industry and government,” Brown stated. “We really want to help small businesses with how to do business with the government.” 

“AFCEA exists for the community,” echoed Justin Filler, the chapter’s first vice president. “What we’re trying to do is bring together academic, government and industry to align their goals to best serve one another.” The goal is to create and bring value to each member and warfighter, he said.  

The next AFCEA Space Coast chapter event is set to take place on May 22.