AFCEA International Chapter News
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BELVOIR CHAPTER - 12/16/2021

Students at Fort Belvoir Upper School in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, familiarize themselves with Microbit devices that will be used in the Escape the Planet hackathon in December. The chapter is excited to announce its inaugural Escape the Planet hackathon event. Developed in conjunction with the AFCEA Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) Student Chapter, AFCEA International, representatives from military academies and Fairfax County Public School faculty and high school students, Escape the Planet is a series of basic coding challenges built around a space exploration mission storyline. The challenge engages middle school students to assist the fictional Belvoir AFCEA Space Alliance (BASA) on their mission of discovery to Planet X to bring back recently detected evidence of "proof-of-life."

This pilot effort is scheduled for December 16 - 17 and will support ongoing coding curriculum being taught at each of the competing schools with the hope of seeding future interest and participation in Science Technology Engineering Arts & Math (STEAM) events. As part of the ongoing mission of the chapter, grants are being offered to each of the competing sc ... READ MORE


In November, the chapter presents $25,000 to Veterans Inc. to support its veterans education and training program. Pictured (l-r), Lisa Bousbouras, senior leadership giving officer, Veterans Inc.; Linda Sasser, Veterans Inc.; Jamie Thurber, chapter president; Lt. Col. Vincent Perrone, USAF (Ret.), president of Veterans Inc.; Joyce Sidopoulos, chapter secretary; Claire Goulet, chapter vice president of operations; Allison Alaimo, vice president of finance and development, Veterans Inc.; and Amanda Riik Herron, director of administration and employee relations, Veterans, Inc., pause for a photo. On Veterans Day, Jamie Thurber, chapter president, accompanied by Joyce Sidopoulos, chapter secretary, and Claire Goulet, chapter vice president of operations, proudly presented a $25,000 grant to Lt. Col. Vincent Perrone, USAF (Ret), president, Veterans Inc., at a breakfast honoring the nation's veterans in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Veterans Inc., is a Worcester-based, totally volunteer, nationally recognized, model veterans' assistance organization, which provides a host of vital services to area veterans in need. These services include housing, employment, health, education, legal and a multitude of others. The chapter's grant will be used to support the organization's education and training program.


Adrienne Pierce, chief commercial officer, New Sun Road, speaks to the chapter at the November event. In November, Adrienne Pierce presented "Sustainability for Profit and Growth" for the chapter meeting.

There is a universal understanding that a "new normal" can be a result of the pandemic. For many, the path to a "new normal" leads into unknown territory. How can we know if we are on the right trail? The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals provide help for the journey. There are concerns that changing methods could decrease profit, impede production and limit growth. Pierce discussed following the "Do Well by Doing Good" path to a better future for your company and for the planet.

BELVOIR CHAPTER - 11/03/2021

The chapter hosted its annual Industry Days event at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, November 3-5, 2021. The theme of this year's event was Data: The Ammunition of Digital Modernization. This year's hybrid event allowed simultaneous in-person and remote viewing. More than 900 participating attendees would agree that the event was a huge success!

"This event brings together the contracting community and the government customer, so they can hear directly from one another," noted Jim Evans, chapter president.

"It's very important for government and industry to understand current and future needs to work together on solutions that benefit our warfighters," added Bill Jones, past chapter president.

A roster of more than 85 speakers provided briefings and panel discussions covering program updates, contracting opportunities, evolving requirements and program-specific challenges. Joining the agenda this year were Rich Aldridge, program executive of ... READ MORE


This year's October Topgolf Tournament sponsored by Microsoft is a huge success! The chapter's Topgolf Tournament and STEM Scholarship fundraiser was a huge success!

The chapter would like to offer congratulations to all winners!

In first place was Robert Donner, Guardian Cybersecurity Consulting; Amer Haddadin, Taylors International Services, took second place; and Efrain Rivera, GDIT, came in third place.

A huge thank you to the chapter's event sponsor, Microsoft, and all of the other sponsors, including: Meridian Partners, Venatore, GDIT, Taylors International Services, Guardian Cybersecurity Consulting, Topgolf, U.S. Army NETCOM and U.S. Southern Command.

The event raised $3,500 for STEM Scholarships and the AFCEA International Scholarship Foundation! The chapter looks forward to hosting all sponsors and scholarship recipients at an awards banquet in May 2022.

Thanks to everyone for supporting the chapter and this fundraising event!

LAS VEGAS CHAPTER - 10/21/2021

In October, the chapter hosts AFCEA Las Vegas Tech & Cyber Days with 150 attendees. The chapter serves the greater Las Vegas area, including Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases. The chapter strives to provide training, collaboration and networking opportunities to military, government and industry professionals. It also provides a conduit to the advancement of STEM education in the local community. During the AFCEA Las Vegas Tech & Cyber Days event, the chapter connected 25 vendors with 284 attendees to showcase technology capabilities that are applicable to the Nellis mission set. The chapter also sponsored three technical training presentations during the event with 150 total attendees.


Lt. Col. Mike Plantenga, USAF (Ret), chapter president, leads the Space Systems Command Space Industry Days in October. The chapter held Space Industry Days October 20-21. Presentations were provided by Gen. John Hyten, USAF, Joint Chiefs of Staff (virtual); Brig. Gen. Jason Cothern, USAF, deputy, Space Systems Command; and Brig. Gen. (S) Timothy Sejba, USAF, program executive officer, Space Enterprise, and director, Enterprise Corps.

Approximately 500 registered for this annual AFCEA event.


At the October event, (l-r) Arlene Rodriguez, interim provost and vice president, Academic Student Affairs, Middlesex Community College (MCC), and Jeannine Robbins-Murphy, daughter of Tom O'Mahony, join Philip Sisson, president, MCC (far r), in congratulating Tyler Galvin (second r), this year's recipient of the AFCEA Thomas O'Mahoney Jamie Thurber, chapter president and senior manager, Government Affairs, Lockheed Martin, awarded $16,000 in STEM scholarships to eight Middlesex Community College (MCC) students in a ceremony in October, at the school's Bedford, Massachusetts, campus. Each of the seven students received $2,000 scholarships plus an additional $2,000 went to Tyler Galvin, recipient of the Thomas O'Mahony "Spirit of Excellence Award." This special scholarship honors the late Tom O'Mahony, former chapter president, board chairman, retired Senior Executive Service member, Hanscom Air Force Base, and prior chairman of the MCC Board of Trustees. In his thank you letter, Galvin wrote: "The day I was notified that I received this scholarship was June 29, 2021. On June 29, 2020, my father ...passed away from a heart attack. This award was a great thing to share with my family during that day, and to assume the two events are unconnected is hard for me to believe. I hope you can understand how this felt and h ... READ MORE

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