AFCEA International Chapter News
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ECUADOR CHAPTER - 05/17/2021
In May, the chapter's Women in AFCEA group held the conference, "Women, Armed Forces and Resolution 1325: Women, Peace and Security of the United Nations Security Council (WPS UNSC).'

In October 2020, the United Nations commemorated the twentieth anniversary of what constitutes an important milestone in the international arena: Security Council Resolution 1325. The document outlines the importance of understanding the impact of armed conflict on women and girls while ensuring their protection and full participation in peace agreements.

It is the first resolution of the United Nations recognizing the disproportionate and unique effect that armed conflict causes on women and girls. It highlights the key role of women in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, which are different from those suffered by men and boys, and in the construction and consolidation of peace.

In addition, the resolution urges the member states and the United Nations organization itself ... READ MORE

Runners join in a group photo at the Young AFCEAN Emerging Leaders annual 5K Race for STEM held in September.  The chapter's Emerging Leaders led by co-directors William Keller, Evan Gaj and Mariah Marquis sponsored its annual 5K Run for STEM in September at the Minute Man National Historical Park in Lexington, Massachusetts. The majority of almost 150 runners participated this year in person while a small group joined virtually. The race benefited the chapter's Educational Fund to the tune of $11,000, which will go to support STEM scholarships. Top finishers received trophies and raffle prizes were gifted to several during the post-race celebration. Overall winner (and co-race director) Evan Gaj led the men with a time of 18:39; Kaavya Chaparala led the women with a time of 23:06. Age group (30-49) winners included Andrew Beckman and Rhonda Needham. Mike Dimauro and Gena Trant won the 50 plus category. The Air Force Detachment 340 Team took the top prize in the team category.

ECUADOR CHAPTER - 04/22/2021
(first line l-r) In April, Carlos Fondevila, regional vice president for South America; Vincenzo Vitiello, chapter president of the International Outreach Subcommittee; María Andrea Cárdenas, member of the Security and Defense Directorate; Maria Dolores Santos, chapter president; (second line l-r) Rut Cidoncha; Col. Mauro Argoti, director of Security and Defense; Maria Grazie Labellarte; Maria Gloria Báez;(third line l-r) Zulma Cristaldo, director, Assistance to Women in Trafficking Situations; Susana Villanueva, clinical and forensic psychologist; Maria Sol Estrada; and Jeimy Chicaiza meet online for a joint virtual conference.
In April, a joint virtual conference was held between the members of AFCEA International and representatives of the Ministry of Women of Paraguay, including: María Gloria Báez, general director of Prevention and Care Against Trafficking of Persons, Ministry of Women, Paraguay; Susana Villanueva, clinical and forensic psychologist; and Zulma Cristaldo, director, Assistance to Women in Trafficking Situations. The AFCEA International participants included Juan Carlos Fondevila, regional vice president for South America; Vincenzo Vitiello, chapter president of the International Outreach Subcommittee, Ecuador; María Dolores Santos, chapter president, Ecuador; Col. Mauro Argoti, director of Security and Defense; María Andrea Cárdenas, member of the Security and Defense Directorate; and Jeimy Chicaiza, member of the Strategic Planning and Management Directorate. The specialist consultant participants were María Grazie Labellarte; Rut Cidoncha; and María Sol Estrada.

Fondevila di ... READ MORE

In June, Thomas McGrath, deputy director for program and resource management in the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Government Contracting and Business Development, visits the chapter to present a general overview of the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contracting Program. In June, the chapter hosted a webinar featuring Thomas McGrath from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). McGrath is the deputy director for program and resource management in the SBA's Office of Government Contracting and Business Development.

Along with colleagues Kelly Jackson and Garrison Anderson, McGrath provided a general overview of the Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program, emphasizing recent procedural changes to the certification process. To help provide a level playing field for women business owners, the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that are certified in the WOSB Federal Contracting Program.

In accordance with the new process, as of October 15, 2020, all WOSB firms must submit documentation to become certified in the new portal to compete for WOSB Federal Contracting Program set-aside contracts. Be sure to check the SBA's preparation checklist of essential documents to prepare for applyin ... READ MORE

ECUADOR CHAPTER - 03/30/2021
In March, (first line from l to r) Lt. Col. Manuel Since January, 2021, Aberdeen and Ecuador Chapters have worked together in several meetings. Susan Emert, director, individual membership and awards, Women in AFCEA, contacted the Ecuador Chapter about this working relationship.

The chapter is grateful for all the collaboration given by Lt. Col. Manuel "Manny" Ugarte, USA, vice president of awards, Aberdeen Chapter. Bill Montgomery, president, Aberdeen Chapter, expressed his excitement for an opportunity to collaborate with AFCEA Ecuador.

Maria Dolores Santos, chapter president, presented a general overview about the chapter, how it began, membership numbers, activities, events and individual member achievements.

Col. Ugarte discussed his meeting with the chapter´s Directorate of Strategic Planning and Management team and presented the proposed chapter strategic plan.

In February, Mallory Arnold, executive vice president, Aberdeen Chapter, explained that chapters look for opportunities that have value to ... READ MORE

In April, the chapter, together with AXIANS Portugal, organized a Web Forum on the theme "Women and the Challenge of the Digital Agenda," under the Women in AFCEA program, which brought together about 40 participants. Underrepresentation of women in the STEM fields is a major global concern, not only as a fundamental human right, but also as a cornerstone of the modern economy that can provide sustainable and inclusive growth. To rationalize this matter, the moderator, Luisa Teixeira, presented updated data that demonstrated the imbalance in the number of women who develop their activity in the areas. The remaining participants in the debate, Carmo Palma and Teresa Romão, gave testimony as to their experience in the business context and in the academic sphere, explaining with tools and practices that can be followed to promote gender equality in the work environment.

ALAMO CHAPTER - 04/02/2021
The aftermath of Winter Storm Uri that hit Texas in February left many in the Lone Star State without power and water. The nonprofit organization WISH for OUR HEROES (W4OH) is a national 501(c)(3) dedicated to assisting the men and women of the U.S. active-duty military, and in some cases, veterans. W4OH started with the goal of providing one wish for every deserving military member. There are no requirements. Military members simply need to be on active duty at the time the wish is submitted. The organization's priority has always been to grant basic needs or emergencies first.

When Winter Storm Uri left many military members and their families without essential resources and dealing with the storm's damages, W4OH stepped in. On behalf of AFCEA International, the chapter's Wounded Warrior and Military Families Endowment Fund, Jeff Kendall, endowment fund chair and chapter vice president, veteran support and military outreach, presented Jeff Wells, CEO and founder of W4OH, w ... READ MORE

ECUADOR CHAPTER - 12/04/2020
In December, the chapter meets virtually to discuss cybersecurity projects. In December, the chapter applied to an innovation fund for cybersecurity projects and initiatives by the Cybersecurity Innovation Councils.

"Scaling up a cybersecurity solution can be a great challenge, but also an opportunity to improve the industry in the Americas. For this reason, the Organization of American States, Cisco and the Citi Foundation have created the Cybersecurity Innovation Fund to support and spread business initiatives in Latin America and the Caribbean and create the necessary workforce to fill cybersecurity-related jobs in the region." In answer, the chapter proposed the following:

A digital literacy program for women's employability should include education, awareness, hygiene and digital skills. The chapter also proposed micro-companies and startups with innovative ideas, such as ISOCMONITOREO CIA. LTDA. ECUADOR.

These points may be analyzed in the following ways: Describing the problem you are trying to solve; coming up with a solution - ... READ MORE

The chapter installed its slate of officers for 2021. David Dodds, outgoing chapter president, was pleased to announce the elections were complete for the 2021 chapter session. The new officers are as follows:

Chapter President: Yvonne Vermillion
Immediate Past Chapter President: David Dodds
Chapter Treasurer: John Garrity
Chapter Secretary: Adrianna Templeton-Jones
Chapter Executive Vice President: Krystin Fakalata
Chapter Vice President, Operations: Bill McGuffey
Chapter Vice President of Education: Andy Higgins
Director of K-12: Carrie Taylor
Chapter Vice President, Information: Beth Whitehead
Director of Publicity : Brenda Colton
Office of Web Master: Billy Grill
Chapter Vice President, Membership: Maurice Wheeler
Director of Business Memberships: Robert Chevlot
Director of Individual Membership: Ian Bobbitt
Chapter President of Programs: Johi Ahlers
Director of Arrangements : Lisa Reineke
Luncheon Arrangements: Michael Mark ... READ MORE

ECUADOR CHAPTER - 11/26/2020
Over the years, chapter members participate in initial steps: First International Forum AFCEA Ecuador Chapter - 2018; Fair of Technological Development for Defense FEDETEC - 2019; First registered Women FEDETEC June 21, 2019; Manta - IEEE Technology Tour Branch; and Meeting 2019 with Sean McGowan. In November, the chapter held the last General Assembly of Members. Annual report was presented by the first woman president of the chapter, María Dolores Santos.

Santos said that members' synergy and commitment has allowed members to achieve the objectives set in 2020.

The most prominent topics were: An overview of the beginnings of the chapter in Ecuador, until the chapter was formed in June 2020. The members have held at least five meetings: launch of the chapter formation; First General Assembly of members, Second General Assembly of members; leaders first meeting: board of directors, vice presidencies, directors of commissions, advisory council and Third General Assembly of members.

The recruitment and permanence of new national and international members has been managed: Bolivia, Mexico, Peru, Argentina. The chapter has 72 registered members--46 of them are men, 22 are women and two of the members have passed away and two inactive members.

All even ... READ MORE

Brig. Gen. James T. Iacocca, USA (Ret.), delivers the keynote speech at the chapter's General Membership Meeting in December. In December, the chapter hosted its end of year General Membership Meeting online. This event was sponsored by EXETER. The participants enjoyed an informative presentation by Brig. Gen. James T. Iacocca, USA (Ret.), of the Kentucky Regional Development Alliance. The chapter also presented awards to outstanding members and elected the 2021 chapter officers.

Gen. Iacocca spoke about the training and employment opportunities his organization, Knox Regional Development Alliance (KRDA), facilitates for the Knox community through Elizabethtown Community Technical College (ECTC), among others. In addition, he discussed the objectives of his organization to advocate for industry to invest in Fort Knox and the surrounding communities.

During the awards presentation, Christopher Aycock, chapter vice president of awards, presented awards and certificates to outstanding members. Derek Massey, chapter vice president of programs, received the General George S. Patton Jr. AFCEAN Lea ... READ MORE

ECUADOR CHAPTER - 11/19/2020
In November, Women in AFCEA Ecuador chapter held the International Forum: "Women Strengthening La Paz y la Seguridad: Experiences and Challenges," on the occasion of fulfilling the 20 years of Resolution 1325 of the United Nations Security Council.

The presentations emphasized the importance of the active participation of women in strengthening peace and security at the regional and international levels.

The forum also sought to promote the exchange of experiences and challenges of strengthening peace and security in the incorporation of women in accordance with the application of Resolution 1325 of the United Nations Security Council.

Organizers: AFCEA Internacional; AFCEA Internacional - Capítulo Ecuador; Women in AFCEA; Instituto Científico y Tecnológico del Ejército de Perú - ICTE; Escuela Superior de Guerra del Ejército de Perú - ESGE; Ballet Kallpañan - Ecuador

ECUADOR CHAPTER - 11/18/2020
In November, Lenin Barrionuevo is named the Regional Distinguished Young AFCEAN. The chapter is honored to have two winners of the Young AFCEAN and Women's Appreciation Awards.

The Young AFCEAN Awards Committee selected Lenin Barrionuevo as the Regional Distinguished Young AFCEAN for 2020. He is very excited to work hard as the vice president of the chapter's Young AFCEANs and to promote all the goals of membership, leadership, events, community, awards and other pursuits around the region.

The election took place through voting, and there were 18 great women nominated. María Dolores Santos was chosen as a winner of the Women's Appreciation Award for 2021. Santos is a big supporter of women in the workforce and the first woman member registered since June of 2019. She is a founding member and the first woman president of the chapter. She encourages women from different countries to be part of the chapter. Santos is a member of the AFCEA International Membership Committee, Women in AFCEA and a Women's Outreach leader.

ECUADOR CHAPTER - 11/13/2020
Participating in the November event are (l-r) Mercy Denisse Anchundia Ruiz, Carol Almeida, Byron Illapa, Joel Estuardo Quilligana Barraquel, Stalin José Mina Chilla and Salome Rosa Mantilla Guayasamín. In August, six chapter members arranged to participate in the First National Cybersecurity Championship of Ecuador. After nearly 60 days of dedication, arduous study and responsible and harmonious volunteering, this multidisciplinary group showed courage, synergy, unity and passion.

In October, the inauguration was celebrated. The team was named AFCEA Ecuador and represented by three women-Carol Almeida, Mercy Anchundia and Salome Mantilla-and three gentlemen-Joel Quilligana, Stalin Mina and Byron Illapa. This team of excellent professionals was comprised of great human beings with wisdom, patience and camaraderie. They reaped what they sowed, reaching seventh place out of 44 teams nationally.

In November, the closing of the First National Cybersecurity Championship was held in a virtual format. The winners were awarded in the following categories: undergraduate and graduate; recognition of teams in CTF and ON FIRE modality; individual recognitions to cyber warriors a ... READ MORE

Posing for a photo at the Little Free Arthouse in November are (l to r) Brandi Pickett, chapter secretary; Capt. Kebin Umodu, USAF, chapter vice president; Robin Jones, director, Bossier Arts Council; and Lt. Col. Michael Harris, USAF, chapter president. The chapter is proud to be sponsoring '5 Months of STEAM' with Digifest South, supporting content during November for technology. The chapter will highlight Women in Cyber content and how kids can get involved.

With the help of AFCEA International, the chapter donated 150 SIGNAL Kids Magazines, over 100 AFCEA slime kits and AFCEA candy. All of this can be picked up at participating Bossier Parish Libraries and the Bossier Arts Council Little Free Arthouse for kids to take home.

Digifest South 2020 is happening from October 2020 through February 2021 in Bossier City, Louisiana. Digifest South is a STEAM Expo for middle and high school students in Northwest Louisiana. The event is being held virtually this year due to COVID-19 restrictions with the Bossier Arts Council organizing the event. The event's goals are:

• To inspire students to seek education in the arts
• Demonstrate economic significance of digital skills
• Emphasize the importance of STEAM educa ... READ MORE

In September, special guests and combat veterans (from l-r), Spc. John Looker, USA (Ret.), recipient of three Purple Hearts, Vietnam; Maj. Alex Ross, U.S. Army Ranger, recipient of a Purple Heart, 101st Airborne; pose with David Hart, the regional vice president, Midwest, and vice president of Segue Technologies; Jeff Vigne, executive vice president of Exeter; and David Cox of CACI. In September, the chapter hosted its Annual Scholarship Fundraiser Golf Scramble Tournament. This tournament raises funds for Lift Off Scholarships for local outstanding high school seniors who have been accepted to pursue STEM studies in college. This event was hosted at the scenic Lincoln Trail Golf Course in Vine Grove, Kentucky.

The chapter would like to express its deep, heartfelt thanks to all of the sponsors, participants and volunteers who came out to support this important community event. Platinum Level Sponsors were: Perspecta, CoreSys, NTT Data Services and Deloitte. The Platinum Level Lunch Sponsor was Exeter. The Gold Level Sponsor was TEKSystems and the Silver Level Sponsor was Segue Technologies. The primary organizer of this event was Derek Massey, vice president of programs. The chapter's executive committee and volunteers worked hard to prepare for the event, ensuring that registration ran smoothly and all players received gift bags along with an opportunit ... READ MORE

ECUADOR CHAPTER - 09/24/2020
In September (from top to bottom) María Dolores Santos, chapter president, and Carlos Rodríguez Arrieta, first chapter vice president, meet with Susan Emert, director, individual membership, AFCEA International, and Col. Lourdes Barriga, from Peru. In September, the chapter officers met Susan Emert, director, individual membership and awards, Women in AFCEA, and Brenda Puch, corporate development coordinator for AFCEA, at the AFCEA International headquarters.

María Dolores Santos began the meeting discussing AFCEAN women in Ecuador, a presentation called "Heroines of the Southern Cone," in memory of the women and heroines of Ecuador´s history, such as the three Manuelas: Cañizares, Sáenz, Espejo.

The chapter´s organizational structure emphasizes the positions that women currently occupy: Santos, chapter president; Valentina Almedia, chapter secretary; Rosalía Arteaga, chapter vice president of foreign affairs; Carol Almeida, Young AFCEANs and social communication; Ingrid Marchán, social communication; and Capt. Diana Vallejos. The women in the chapter hold many respo ... READ MORE

ECUADOR CHAPTER - 10/01/2020
"AFCEA Ecuador confers this memory in gratitude and support in the formation process of our chapter to AFCEA International. June 2020."

During the first official meeting of the chapter held in February at Circulo Militar in Quito, Ecuador, the old staff members selected new officers. The selected officers were: María Dolores Santos, president; Carlos Rodríguez Arrieta, first vice president; Col. Patricio Salazar (Ret.), second vice president; Valentina Almedia, secretary; Luis Recalde, treasurer.

As the new president of the chapter, Santos is strongly motivated to support all of the chapter's activities and planning.

Currently, Ecuador requires a lot of support, cooperation, investment, development and international innovation, to rescue the country from its problems that include social, political, economic difficulties, as well as those arising from COVID-19 and corruption.

Despite quarantine and considering that Ecuador has been suffering one of the ... READ MORE

Community service, military-business networking and professional development are the foundations of the chapter. The chapter is the premier information technology organization in the River Region with connections to thousands of people in River Region Cities, U.S. Defense Department, information technology (IT) companies and academia. These municipal and military organizations, companies, universities, colleges and K-12 schools are invested in the River Region, and the organization aims to be one of the primary connective forces to work with these entities to improve STEM education and representation in this area.

For the past 15 years, the AFCEA Montgomery Education Foundation (EdF) has invested a significant amount of time, money and resources to foster STEM education and drive the growth of the Montgomery area's tech ecosystem. With the help of committed corporate sponsorship, the chapter has raised well over $500,000 to grow the next generation of STEM professionals, to i ... READ MORE

ECUADOR CHAPTER - 08/27/2020
In August, the chapter held one of its first official events, featuring presentations on the uses of satellites as efficient means for the protection of marine resources. The meeting began with introductions from María Dolores Santos Vidal, chapter president, who welcomed all those present, explained AFCEA International's mission and its global representation, mentioned the chapter's connection with the Rome, Silicon Valley and Argentina Chapters, informed the audience about SIGNAL Magazine and SIGNAL Media, and commented about Women in AFCEA, Young AFCEANs and AFCEA's Educational Foundation. She also explained the categories of membership-individual, corporate, student or military/government-and detailed the benefits of becoming a member of AFCEA. The chapter's inaugural event in June launched with 40 active members composed of eight women and 32 men.

Attendees and participants included Ambassador Alejandro Suárez, director of the Academia Diplomática; Carlos Rodríguez Arrie ... READ MORE


The chapter held its annual Awards Night virtually in June with 107 people attending. Jessica Morgenstern, chapter vice president of scholarships, served as master of ceremony, and sponsors helped make the presentations. Nineteen students received scholarships totaling $185,000. At one point in the meeting, the chapter boasted 44 people on the screen in total. This was an impressive group! Each student responded to a thought-provoking question. One student sent an email, which included the following statement of gratitude: "... a huge thanks to all board members and sponsors that have provided me with such an amazing opportunity to advance my education. I am truly grateful to have received this Merit Scholarship, and I am confident that I have what it takes to be an exceptional computer scientist. I am happy to be a part of the AFCEA community and look forward to keeping you updated while in college. Thank you, and I am honored to be a part of this wonderful community."

ECUADOR CHAPTER - 06/26/2020
Chapter members pose for a photo. Sitting from l-r: Rafael Tenor Linares, Grad. (SP) Roque Apolinar Moreira Cedeño, Grad. (SP), Carlos Modesto Rodríguez Arrieta, María Dolores Santos Vidal, Valentina Estefania Almeida Terán, Francisco Javier Delgado Villarreal, David Villacis and Col. E.M.T. Avc. (SP) Patricio Roberto Salazar Benavides. Standing from l-r are Capt. de Navío Juan Oscar Mariscal Pérez, Mayor (SP) Patricio Eduardo Chacón Mejía, Mayor (SP)  Luis Lenin Recalde Herrera, Jaime H. Endara, Luis Pazmiño, Francisco Reyes Mena and Bruce Schulte.
In June, members of the new chapter met online for a virtual event. Photo taken at a previous event. In June, members of the first AFCEA chapter in Ecuador and the second in Latin America (after Argentina), enjoyed a virtual meeting.

The festivities began with the Ecuador National Anthem and a memorial to Col. Marco Ernesto Miño Montalvo, who recently passed away. Col. Montalvo was a military and academic leader and a devoted member of AFCEA. Tina Jordan, vice president of membership, AFCEA International, delivered the welcome message. Brenda Puch, corporate development coordinator, AFCEA International, gave the AFCEA International Headquarters message in Spanish.

María Dolores Santos, chapter president, also gave a welcome message and presentation. A group of distinguished speakers followed, including Dra. Rosalía Arteaga, former president of Ecuador and current executive president of the FIDAL Foundation, and Luis Lenin Recalde Herrera, director of the Center for Scientific and Technological Investigations of the Army and dean of the School of Electronic Engin ... READ MORE

In April, the chapter hosts the Spirit Parade at the Radcliff Veterans Center, Fort Knox, Kentucky. In April, the chapter hosted a Veterans Appreciation Parade at the Radcliff Veterans Center in Fort Knox, Kentucky, during the COVID-19 pandemic quarantine to bring some cheer to the veterans and to let them know they were not alone. Thank you to everyone who joined in to support the parade! The turn-out was great, and there were lots of donations for the veterans to enjoy.

Chosen in January, the 2020 Fort Knox Gold Vault Chapter Executive Committee members are (from l-r)  Domanic Ledbetter, vice president of operations; Sydney Tague, chapter vice president of Young AFCEAN affairs; Richard Roda, chapter executive vice president; Karen Barry, chapter executive secretary; Gina Dowell, vice president of Women in AFCEA; Jessica Camacho, chapter vice president of membership; Angela Alexander-Mendoza, chapter president; Derek Massey, vice president of programs; Michael Tague, chapter treasurer; and Christopher Aycock, chapter vice president of awards. The new chapter officers met in January to plan events for 2020 and again in February for an idea generation-session in Kentucky.

Posing for a photo with guest speaker and former Miss America Heather French Henry (c) are (from l-r) Martin Harbolt, chairman; David Hart, regional vice president; Michael Tague, treasurer; Derek Massey, chapter vice president of programs; Karen Barry, chapter executive secretary; Richard Roda, chapter executive vice president; Domanic Ledbetter Sr., chapter vice president of operations; Angela Alexander-Mendoza, chapter president; Jessica Camacho, vice president of membership; and Gina Dowell, vice president of Women in AFCEA, at the Women in AFCEA event in March sponsored by CoreSys Federal. In March, the chapter was proud to present guest speaker, former commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs and former Miss America Heather French Henry. What an exciting luncheon we had with the former Miss America, sharing her experience in winning the pageant in 2000. She is an advocate for veterans, and she told of the many possibilities for veterans that others may not be aware of. She also brought her crown and sash to share with everyone and photo opportunities followed. She spoke about working with The Rosemary Clooney Museum, along with being a wife and mother. She is a busy lady. It was such an honor to have her, and it was a great turnout.

Keynote speaker Kevin Fahey, assistant secretary for acquisition, Office of the Secretary of Defense, U.S. Department of Defense, discusses the Defense Department’s efforts to transform the acquisition process during the 42nd New Horizons Symposium in March. The chapter hosted its 42nd annual New Horizons Symposium in March at the Boston Marriott Newton Hotel, Newton, Massachusetts. Industry co-chair, Angela Dupont-Hevey, chapter board member, served as mistress of ceremonies and welcomed over 700 attendees to this annual scholarship fundraising event that provides industry partners a preview of pending new federal business opportunities. She thanked her co-chairs Lt. Col. JJ Haramiyo, USAF, Hanscom Air Force Base (AFB), and Jonathan Learn, The MITRE Corporation, and the many symposium sponsors, including Double Diamond sponsor Raytheon, and Diamond sponsor Oasis Systems, for their support before introducing Patrick Marr, board chair, who then provided chapter updates and invited special guest, AFCEA International President and CEO Lt. Gen. Robert M. Shea, USMC (Ret.), to offer opening remarks. Thereafter, Gen. Shea joined Marr, Tina Jordan, AFCEA International vice president of membership, and Mary Ann Carlson, regional vice president, ... READ MORE

Lt. Col. Elizabeth M. Popiak, USA, deputy director, Office Chief of Cyber, U.S. Army Cyber School, acts as the Attract and Recruit chairperson by guiding and collecting key points of the conversation from the group at the January event. The chapter assisted in the breakout panel sessions at the Cyber Education, Research, and Training Symposium (CERTS) 2020. The United States is falling behind in the race for STEM-related skills to compete in the future. The attendees discussed why the United States is falling behind near-peer competitors and others. The discussion included how skills, knowledge and behavior develop and shape the future of our young men and women. Education teaches young men and women how to think, not what to think. So what tools do we use to coach our youth to move into STEM-related skills? Kindergarten is the starting point, followed by elementary and secondary school. Each individual develops a talent, introductory skills, knowledge and behavior as they grow. Parents, teachers and advisors are key components for young peoples' choices. Are we using the right approach to coach toward a STEM-related career, or is something missing? What are the right curriculums-starting with the building blocks ... READ MORE

During the December event, volunteers show Girl Scouts how a computer works. In December, the chapter hosted a cybersecurity event for the Girl Scouts based in Montgomery. The event included five tables of activities to teach the importance of cybersecurity. The girls rotated through tables that included the following topics: How to Use Technology; How Computers Work; How to Protect Something Valuable; Safety Rules Online; and How the Internet Works. The young women learned a variety of Internet safety tips, such as changing/setting up difficult passwords, safeguarding personal information, and how to recognize safe sites that they can use. The event culminated in six girls receiving their Cybersecurity Basics badges.

ALAMO CHAPTER - 10/27/2019
In October, members of the IDEA [Individuals Dedicated to Excellence and Achievement] Benito College Prep team pose with Karen Rolirad, chapter vice president of scholarships and educational grants, after receiving their $3,000 scholarship. The award was deemed the Women in STEM and promoting diversity within the STEM fields has been the theme of 2019. In October, the chapter had the pleasure of sponsoring the San Antonio Boosting Engineering Science and Technology (SA BEST) robotics competition. Karen Rolirad, vice president of scholarships and educational grants, explained that this is the chapter's fourth year supporting the competition. "We have been able to purchase all supplies and kits for the students and participate in the actual judging during the competition. It's amazing to see the creativity and ingenuity of each team." Forty-three schools participated, with one team outshining the rest in supporting and promoting females. IDEA [Individuals Dedicated to Excellence and Achievement] Benito College Prep garnered a $3,000 scholarship and the chapter's Diversity Award for their support and efforts in including and promoting "Women in STEM." Congratulations!

ALAMO CHAPTER - 10/09/2019
In October, the chapter hosts a luncheon to recognize the chapter and international-level award recipients from the fall of 2018 and spring of this year. In October, the chapter's annual luncheon brought together winners of the chapter and international-level awardees who were recognized for their outstanding contributions in disciplines such as cyber, IT, and intelligence, as well as various categories such as Service, 40 under 40 and Women's Appreciation. There were 29 awards presented. Khurram Qureshi, vice president of awards, has been planning the event for months to bring forth an event dedicated to the award winners. "In the past, we had announced winners in conjunction with one of our monthly luncheons, but these folks work hard and deserved a standalone event." Rick Lipsey, chapter president, stated that the chapter is very proud to be the members' professional organization. "We are the organization that brings together the people involved with cybersecurity and intelligence that supports national and homeland security." Lipsey closed with the importance of recognizing what's going on in the community and the impressive acco ... READ MORE

Participants join in a group photo at conclusion of the annual Young AFCEAN (YAC) 5K Family Fun Run for STEM in September. The chapter's Young AFCEANs, led by race director William Keller, Booz Allen, sponsored its Annual 5K Family Fun Run for STEM in September at the Minute Man National Historical Park in Lexington, Massachusetts. A large field of runners and walkers, from toddlers to seniors, participated in this event to benefit the chapter's Educational Fund with proceeds backing scholarships in STEM disciplines. Top finishers received awards, and several raffle prizes were gifted to participants at the post-race celebration. Overall race winners included Brian Schneider for the men with a time of 19:05. For the women, Gina D'Addario ran away with a finish of 19:31.

Seth Martinez, technical subject matter expert and government lead for the Application Security Team, U.S. Army, presents at the Women in AFCEA August event. Seth Martinez, technical subject matter expert and government lead for the Application Security Team, was the chapter guest speaker for the August Women in AFCEA event and did an exceptional job speaking on Security +, Cyber Security and IT. Seth Martinez is originally from Weslaco, Texas. After graduating from high school, he first attended South Texas Community College, McAllen, Texas, and then the University of Texas Pan-American, obtaining a bachelor's in English in 2006. After receiving his degree, he entered into military service for nearly a decade, serving first at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, for seven years with the Third Psychological Operations Battalion, then finishing out his service at Fort Knox, Kentucky, with the Third Expeditionary Sustainment Command. In the military he served in roles such as AV technician, VTC technician, satellite communications technician, IMO, first and second tier technical support, concierge technician, and help desk supervisor. After leavin ... READ MORE

Tija Brown (center l), Charisse Stokes (c), Cheryl Brown (far r) are part of the YAAC team ready to Walk for Life at the April event. In April, The Young AFCEAN Advisory Council (YAAC) "Get Fit" program participated in a second great event: the 17th Annual Walk for Life. The team consisted of young professionals from the military, government and industry, who met up Saturday morning in downtown Montgomery, Alabama, to run/walk for a good cause. The Walk for Life is sponsored by the Joy to Life Foundation, which provides free mammograms and breast cancer screening to medically underserved men and women in Alabama. The YAACs are proud to support worthy causes and look forward to enjoying more fun and fitness at their future "Get Fit" events.

The chapter transitioned into the summer with its monthly luncheon held in May. Government and industry officials showed their dedication and proactive business efforts by attending the event, engaging with the keynote speaker and participating in an open-ended and lively discussion. The highlight was Robin P. Swan, director, Office of Business Transformation, Office of the Secretary of the Army, Washington, D.C., who delivered an engaging, direct and informative speech about Army Reform and Futures Command. For those who missed the lunch, no need to fret because here is the rundown on what transpired during the day. Starting off the luncheon on an interactive note, attendees filtered into the Sheraton of Tysons Corner, Virginia, where they had the opportunity to network and expand their business connections. When the main doors opened, it was unclear whether it was the carrot cake or chimes that enticed people to come in. All chapter members should note that there was an update to ... READ MORE

Kris Lester, federal Defense Department/Intel client executive, Oracle MySQL, addresses the chapter members and attendees during the May Women in AFCEA event. The chapter's first Women in AFCEA event of 2019 was sponsored by Oracle MySQL. The chapter welcomed Kris Lester, federal Defense Department/Intel client executive, Oracle MySQL, and Benjamin Wood, Oracle MySQL field engineer, to speak and discuss MySQL's ability to use NoSQL document storage with JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) and its ability to convert between relational structures and the document structures on the fly. Instead of requiring two databases for an application that uses document and relational storage, MySQL can do both. This interactive technical session was led by Wood, and attendees learned about the InnoDB Cluster, JSON/CRUD capabilities and security features and functions of the MySQL Enterprise Edition. Wood also mentioned a database firewall as an additional defense that can be placed on the database to protect against SQL injection attacks without requiring application modifications. In addition to the MySQL presentation, Kathryn Thompson, chapter executiv ... READ MORE

Col. Kyna McCall, USAF, chapter president (c), poses with participants and pilot during the March Eyes Above the Horizon Event. In March, Col. Kyna McCall, USAF, chapter president, represented women in AFCEA as a chaperone and mentor at the Eyes Above the Horizon event presented by Legacy of Flight Academy and the Red Tail Scholarship Foundation. The event took place at the legendary home of the Tuskegee Airmen, Moton Field in Tuskegee, Alabama, and provided 105 youths with an opportunity to be exposed to STEM programs and the field of aviation. Students received the chance to be mentored by Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, USAF, commander and president, Air University, and Col. Charles McGee, USAF (Ret.), one of the last living Tuskegee Airmen. Students were also given a chance to fly in various aircraft. Many of the participants came from an underprivileged background, and the opportunities provided by Eyes Above the Horizon inspired them to recognize the sky is the limit. Finally, all participants were furnished information on colleges, scholarship and employment opportunities in both civilian and military aviati ... READ MORE

Women in NOVA (WIN) panelists and participants (l-r) Kristyn Jones, chapter WIN co-chair; Col. Claire Cuccio, USA (Ret.), president and CEO, SNVC; Eileen M. Vidrine, Air Force chief data officer, Headquarters, United States Air Force; Meg Mitcham, moderator; and Kelly Wenner, chapter board member, pause for a photo following the April discussion, The Risk that Changed My Career. In April, Women in Nova (WIN) conducted a panel discussion: The Risk that Changed My Career. In conjunction with Take Your Child to Work Day, attendees were encouraged to bring their high school-aged child (or older) to the event. A few took up the offer, and it was a well-attended, lively group. The speakers were Eileen M. Vidrine, Air Force chief data officer, Headquarters, United States Air Force; Col. Claire Cuccio, USA (Ret.), president and CEO, SNVC. The moderator, Meg Mitcham, vice president, Reingold, introduced the panelists by asking questions regarding risk-taking. Needless to say, both panelists took the risk. Some of the questions for the morning were the following: Are you a natural risk taker? Why do we take risks? How do risks pay off? Neither of the panelists believed they were taking risks in their career and saw everything as an opportunity. The overall message conveyed the following: Since you never know when the next opportunity will present itself, you must sei ... READ MORE

The April event was true to form, and the take-aways were numerous and heartfelt by those who attended.  "A remarkable and inspiring experience" were the words used by one attendee at the WIIG In A Minute conference, which took place in April. WIIG In A Minute is one of the signature events held by the Women In Intelligence Group, and its purpose is to foster information sharing via conversational mentorship circles. Each circle is hosted by a subject-matter mentor, who imparts expert insight quickly and candidly while attendees freely engage via Q&A and networking. The event at BrainTrust Holdings was well attended, and Denise Desien, WIIG president, BDTI, along with Shana Cosgrove, event chair, Nyla Technology Solutions, facilitated activities with the help of several other outstanding volunteers: Margot Blackard, SRC Technologies; Maria Booker, Booker DiMaio LLC; and Ceil Paul, BrainTrust Holdings. This year's mentors brought esteemed insight from a variety of different perspectives and continued the evolution of the event with the addition of the category, Business Strategy - Ask ... READ MORE

Maj. Gen. Randy Taylor, USA, commanding general of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command, and senior commander for APG, speaks to a table of young women during a speed mentoring session at the February event. In February, the chapter's Young AFCEANs (YACs) held their fourth annual Mentor Protégé and Networking Night at Top of the Bay, Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG), Maryland. This highly anticipated annual event is the most high-profile function organized by the chapter's YACs. Each year, a new crowd of eager young professionals attend this event in search of top-notch professional advice from leaders in government, military and industry. During the event, attendees are treated to a Q&A Panel with senior leadership from the APG area. Following this panel and a brief networking session, YACs are then split into small groups to take part in a rotating "speed mentoring" session, which allows them the opportunity to connect with the mentors on a more personal level. This year's event drew a crowd of more than 120, including a multitude of new faces and potential members, and featured a record number of female leaders on both the senior leadership Q&A panel and the speed mentoring session. Th ... READ MORE

In March, Stephanie Hutch, leader, AFCEA International Women's Subcommittee and Women's Outreach, Greater Boston, welcomed guests to the chapter's "Women in STEM" panel discussion presented in partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lincoln Laboratory. Panelists included Melissa Flagg, regional lead, U.S. Army Research Laboratory Northeast; Col. Amanda Kato, program executive officer, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Nuclear Command, Control and Communications; Joyce Sidopoulos, a founding member, MassRobotics and community manager, Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council; and Gretchen Stewart, director of high performance computing, Intel Corporation. Discussion focused on the important role diversity plays in successful organizations, particularly within or directly supporting the Department of Defense. Topics included how each panelist came to their respective STEM fields; their experiences as "the only woman with a seat at the table"; perceived or act ... READ MORE

ALAMO CHAPTER - 03/30/2019
Chapter President Rick Lipsey (far r) and Vice President of Scholarships and Educational Grants Karen Rolirad (2nd to r) present the Best All Female Team, Alamo Heights Army JROTC, with $6,000 in scholarships during the 9th Annual San Antonio Mayor's Cyber Cup in March. The chapter was proud to once again support the 9th Annual San Antonio Mayor's Cyber Cup in which 317 teams competed. The large number of competitors produced the highest quality and quantity of teams in the U.S. Guest speaker Maj. Gen. Robert Skinner, USAF, commander, 24th Air Force and commander, Air Forces Cyber and Commander, Joint Force Headquarters-Cyber, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, explained there's a significant difference between other cities and what San Antonio brings to the fight. "If we would've come in the military today with the capability we had from back when I came in, we would be at the low end of the totem pole. These individuals are much brighter today." San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg added that San Antonio is leading the world and preparing for the jobs of the future by building on the relationships between government, industry and academia. "The CyberTexas Foundation's positive momentum helps our cybersecurity ecosystem as we invest and grow in th ... READ MORE

Military and industry experts meet during the Wiesbaden Tech Expo in February in Wiesbaden, Germany. U.S. Army photo by William B. King. More than 40 companies displayed some of their latest and emerging technology to military leaders at the Wiesbaden Tech Expo in February at the Tony Bass Fitness Center in Wiesbaden. The expo was hosted by the U.S. Army Europe G-6 and brought together current and potential military customers with representatives from companies providing a wide range of commercial technology.

Col. Jeffrey Johnson, USAF (Ret.), vice president, JMark Services Inc., presents declassified Cold War era depictions during the February luncheon. The chapter hosted Col. Jeffrey Johnson, USAF (Ret.), vice president, JMark Services Inc., as our February luncheon keynote speaker. Col. Johnson presented declassified information and personal anecdotes from the Cold War era and framed it in context with today's cyber environment. The discussion was thought-provoking and provided a backdrop for critical thinking in a changing world.

BELVOIR CHAPTER - 03/21/2019
In March, don't miss this phenomenal panel of women leaders, featuring Col. Laurie Buckhout, USA (Ret.); Major Gen. Jennifer Napper, USA (Ret.); and Brigadier General Lorna Mahlok, USMC, chief information officer for the United States Marine Corps.  Creating Innovative IT Acquisition Solutions... Defending Tomorrow, Today

The chapter supports the Fort Belvoir, Virginia community, by connecting the government with IT industry professionals. Fort Belvoir, Virginia is home to over 90 diverse tenant and satellite organizations. Chapter members, non-members, government, academia, students and industry members are encouraged to participate in supporting the chapter's mission. There are multiple reasons to attend the AFCEA Belvoir Industry Days 2019 in March but here are the 3 top reasons:

1. Face-to-face interaction. Attendees will get to meet with over 100 vendors and can set up one-on-one meetings with speakers.

2. Grow your network. Make valuable connections within your industry.

3. Attend over 30+ sessions. Hear from top government and industry thought leaders including Army contracting officers from the Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS).


ROME CHAPTER - 10/12/2018
At the chapter's October event, Fiorella Lamberti, coordinator, communications team, IEEE Women in Engineering Affinity Group, introduces the chapter’s Women in AFCEA subcommittee and describes the group’s main objectives. The October event represented an opportunity to analyze the initiatives for increasing women's roles in STEM and to support this cultural change, as well as to introduce the chapter's Women in AFCEA subcommittee. Gen. B. L. Carpineto, chief, Italian Army Transmission Command, welcomed all participants, underlining the growing presence of women in the armed forces. The opening remarks were given by Lt. Gen. Antonio Tangorra, ITAF (Ret.), chapter president, and he illustrated how AFCEA is paying more attention to the themes in which education plays a crucial role. Fiorella Lamberti, coordinator, communications team, IEEE Women in Engineering Affinity Group, introduced the chapter's Women in AFCEA, describing the group's main objectives and the activities in coordination with AFCEA International. Tina Jordan, vice president, AFCEA International, sent a video message with her greetings. Monica Parrella, coordinator, Office for Equality and Equal Opportunity Action at the Italian Prime M ... READ MORE

In February, the chapter's Women in NOVA lunch panel gathers for guest speakers' presentations on Innovation and Agility. Pictured (l-r) are Melissa Sathmary, Kristyn Jones,  Patty St. George, senior partner, KPMG Inc., Lt. Col. (P) Anne Wiersgalla, USA, director, Strategic Initiatives Group/Strategic Communications Headquarters Department of the Army, Chief Information Officer/G6 and Lt. Col. (Ret.) Samantha Haberlach, deputy director, Human Capital Management Practice, Definitive Logic. In February, the chapter's Women in NOVA (WIN) lunch panel discussed Innovation and Agility. Our speakers were Lt. Col. (P) Anne Wiersgalla, USA, director, Strategic Initiatives Group (SIG)/Strategic Communications Headquarters Department of the Army, Chief Information Officer/G6 and Lt. Col. (Ret.) Samantha Haberlach, deputy director, Human Capital Management Practice, Definitive Logic. Our moderator, Patty St. George, senior partner, KPMG Inc., introduced the panelists and engaged them in a variety of questions about how their organizations are supporting innovation and the challenges of doing this within the Defense Department policies and regulations. Col. Wiersgalla spoke about innovation in terms of the era of strategic competition. She cited innovations in warfare throughout the ages: fortified buildings, stirrups, gun powder, tanks, airplane, nuclear age and social media. The colonel suggested there is a need to examine how to change the character of war in order to overmatc ... READ MORE

The AFCEA Women in Nova (WIN) held a panel in October titled "Business System Reform - What's different this time?" It provided attendees insight from engaging government executives on DOD's recent business reform efforts. The speakers were Greg Little, Business Integration Office, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), and Nikki Cabezas, project lead, IT and Business Reform Team, Department of Defense Chief Information Officer. The moderator, Ray Miles, strategic account executive, ImmixGroup Inc., provided an introduction describing the complexity of the DOD environment and asked the panelists how their organizations are meeting the challenge of business reform. Little described how his office is using data collection and associated analytics to provide an enterprise capability for the department to help agencies reduce cost and produce customer satisfaction. They are working to provide four financial data capabilities: 1) analytics as a service, 2) data as a serv ... READ MORE

Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton, USAF (c), meets with Tina Jordan, vice president of region and chapter outreach, AFCEA International (r), and Kathryn Thompson, chapter vice president for Women in AFCEA, after Lt. Gov. Hampton's speech to the chapter in October. In October, the chapter's Women in AFCEA (WIA) welcomed Kentucky's Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton, USAF, to speak to the audience about her passion to encourage and challenge the state to get more girls involved in STEM careers. Kathryn Thompson, chapter vice president for WIA, set the stage by describing the purpose of WIA. It is to promote the growth of AFCEA membership by creating and sustaining a space for women in technology for dialogue and communication, and using these conversations to reignite and inspire women in IT. WIA's goals are to increase AFCEA female membership and to increase participation of women in all areas of AFCEA, including speakers at events, committee membership and award winner recipients at conferences. Lt. Gov. Hampton told the audience of her upbringing in Detroit and several manufacturing jobs that she held as well as her time in the Air Force. She went on to say that 71 percent of all jobs in 2018 require STEM skills, yet only 24 percent of females in the U ... READ MORE

Men's winner Mike Dimauro, wearing bib No. 170 (c), and women's winner Lindsay Willard, wearing bib No.7 (far right), start their race toward victory at September's Young AFCEAN 5K Run for STEM. The chapter's Young AFCEANs, led by race directors William Keller and Manuel Hernandez, sponsored their annual 5K Run for STEM in September at the Minute Man National Historical Park in Lexington, Massachusetts. A large field of runners and walkers, from toddlers to seniors, participated in this event to benefit the chapter's Education Foundation, with proceeds backing scholarships in STEM disciplines. Top finishers in the family fun run/walk received awards, and several raffle prizes went to participants at the post-race celebration.

Area students learn about diversity in STEM in August during the chapter's High School Education Day. The chapter's Education Foundation hosted a High School Education Day in August, providing students a wealth of opportunities to learn about information technology careers in the military and industry. As part of the day, 600 high school students were escorted around the vendor floor of the Air Force Information Technology and Cyberpower Conference. Students also watched a video about successful women in STEM professions who are working in the local community. The video highlighted diversity in STEM fields and the many opportunities in the region. The Education Foundation thanks Isobar, 1Sync, MGMWERX, Datum Software and Booz Allen Hamilton for their sponsorship. Without their donations, this event would not be possible.

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