In March and April, the chapter proudly recognized four members as winners of significant awards from AFCEA International. These awards are reserved for individuals who distinguish themselves in service to the association and to their respective career fields. The winners are: Dave Kovach, Telos Corporation and chapter executive vice president, Leadership Award; Col. Paul Welch, USAF, 24th Air Force, Medal of Merit; Bill Robinson, Diligent Consulting and chapter vice president for corporate affairs, Meritorius Service Award; and Victor Helbling, chapter vice president for scholarships and grants, Special Award of Merit.
This was truly a team effort, Bill Morrow, chapter president, said. “I could not be prouder of the chapter and our winners. Way to go, Alamo!” Each of these men has demonstrated levels of dedication to the organization beyond question.
As a result of Kovah's leadership, the chapter has won three consecutive Model Chapter awards; experienced annual membership growth from 250 to more than 750; and melded cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaisance, education and medical information technology communities under the umbrella of the Alamo AFCEA Chapter Event (AACE)—AFCEA's fastest-growing collaborative showcase. In organizing the 2012 AACE (which shattered previous attendance records with 1,200 registrants), Kovach was the "go to" leader whenever a keynote speaker or innovative idea was needed for an event to succeed.
As senior military adviser to the chapter's board of directors, Col. Welch is credited with driving the success of the 2012 AACE (which drew more than 600 Defense Department participants) in key vectors, including the creation of an extensive training program, a robust technical agenda and a volunteer staff of more than 100 from military ranks. His 23 years of service to AFCEA, both locally and strategically, have established a gold standard of performance and value that is mirrored in his achievements in the C4ISR career.
Robinson's creativity and drive have been indispensable to the chapter's growth since 2010, during which time he has secured sponsors for "first-ever" events like the 2011 Cyber Intelligence Unclassified Tradecraft conference; established new AACE sub-events such as the Defense Department Acquisition and Small Business forums; and invigorated corporate sponsorship of chapter events to such a level that a "cap" was enacted in 2012, due to overwhelming interest and participation.
Helbling has led a broad range of fundraising initiatives that spiked the chapter's annual scholarship contribution to $11,500 in 2012—an incredible year-on-year growth of 40 percent in funding and contributions over each of the past four years. He shaped a 2012 scholarship program focusing on the development of engineers and technicians, especially in hard science disciplines that are under-represented in San Antonio's predominantly Hispanic community. His efforts have aided students at more than a dozen universities, several area high schools and Chamber of Commerce STEM outreach programs, among others. In 2012, the AACE generated total revenue of more than $450,000, seeding a robust benefit program for 2013 and beyond.