Distinguished Young AFCEAN (DYA)

The Distinguished Young AFCEAN Award recognizes and rewards exceptional performance in four areas: leadership and guidance for the Young AFCEAN program; superior technical achievement in the professional arena; a record of going "above and beyond" at the local AFCEA chapter or region level; and mentoring provided for other Young AFCEANs.  Nominees for this award are evaluated through September of the current year.

The AFCEA Regional Vice Presidents have the honor to personally select an individual from their Region to receive the Regional Distinguished Young AFCEAN Award. These honorees represent an elite group of individuals, and one of them is voted Distinguished Young AFCEAN of the Year.

The Distinguished Young AFCEAN nomination will be graded on the following:

  •     Specific ways the nominee provided leadership and guidance for the Young AFCEAN program at the chapter or regional level
  •     Superior technical achievement in the professional arena
  •     The impact the nominee's other contributions have had on their chapter and the AFCEA community
  •     Mentoring that the nominee provided for others during the award year


  •     Must be a current AFCEA member
  •     Must be forty (40) years of age or under as of December 31 of the current year
  •     Must have been an active Young AFCEAN at the chapter and/or HQ International level for at least two years
  •     Cannot have previously won a Distinguished Young AFCEAN award
  •     Individual cannot nominate themselves
  •     Nomination must be endorsed by the nominee's AFCEA Regional Vice President (RVP)


Nominate a candidate


2016 Distinguished Young AFCEAN (DYA) Award Winners


2016 Young AFCEAN of the Year Honoree

From left: Lt Gen Robert M. Shea, President and CEO of AFCEA International; Ed Ryglewicz, Regional Vice President, Pacific Region; Captain Kimber Nettis, USAF, Young AFCEAN of the Year; Emily Rausch and Luke Howe, Co-Presidents, Young AFCEAN Advisory Council; Joe Sifer, Chair of the AFCEA International Board; and Captain Michael Nettis, USAF, Chapter Young AFCEAN President

Captain Kimber Nettis, USAF

515th Air Mobility Operations Wing
AFCEA Hawaii, Pacific Region


2016 Distinguished Young AFCEAN Regional Honorees

Capt Juliana Bean, USAF, AFGSC/A6XP, Texas Region

2Lt Michelle Boivin, USAF, AFLCMC, New England-Upstate New York Region

Steven Dalton, System Integration Branch, Mid-West Region

Amanda Davi, General Atomics, Southern California Region

Dr. Rebecca Decker, Rocky Mountain Chapter, Great Plains-Rocky Mountain Region

Dr. Lucia Di Giambattista, Rome Chapter, Mediterranean Region

Christy Fanelli, Navy Cyber Defense Operations, Virginia Region

Jason Frye, AFLCMC, Mid-South Region

1Lt Arielle Garcia, USAF, 461st Air Control Networks Squadron, Georgia Region

Eron Jordan, ArcSource Group, Inc., National Capital Region

Jeremy Martin, Shield Consulting Solutions, Maryland Region

Capt Kimber Nettis, USAF, 515th Air Mobility Ops Wing, Pacific Region

Chris Pereschuk, NOVA Corporation, New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania Region

SrA Matthew K. Smith, USAF, 52nd Communications Squadron, Central Europe Region

Jeremy Spund, ICF International, South Florida Region

  TSgt Nathan Swab, USAF (Ret), Sentar Inc., Carolinas Region


2016 Distinguished Young AFCEAN Honorees

Ashley Cigolotti, Brooksource and Technical Youth LLC, Dayton-Wright Chapter

Jennifer Couch, Providge Consulting, Northern Virginia Chapter

Tim Cregan, Dell EMC, Tampa-St. Petersburg Chapter

2Lt Benjamin Davis, USAF, AFLCMC, Lexington-Concord Chapter

Adam Eng, Blue Star Software, Central Maryland Chapter                                                   

SrA Ashley Gentry, USAF, 1 ACOS, Kaiserslautern Chapter

Robert Harrison, Inovex Information Systems, Inc., Central Maryland Chapter

Capt Martin Heusler, IT Bataillon 381, German Cyber Command, Bonn e.V. Chapter

Alisha Kelly, Trace Systems, Northern Virginia Chapter

Cody Mruk, NIC, Bethesda Chapter

Capt Gilberto Perez, USAF, United States Air Force, Washington DC Chapter

Scott Poag, Augusta Economic Development Authority, Augusta-Fort Gordon Chapter

Kathy Wagner, Booz Allen Hamilton, Aberdeen Chapter


2015 Distinguished Young AFCEAN (DYA) Award Winners

2015 Young AFCEAN of the Year Honoree

Left to right: Lt Gen Robert M. Shea, President and CEO of AFCEA International; Ed Ryglewicz, Regional Vice President, Pacific Region; Captain Michael Nettis, USAF, Young AFCEAN of the Year; Kimber Nettis; Emily Rausch; Co-President, Young AFCEAN Advisory Council; Corey Lindo, Immediate Past President, Hawaii Chapter; and Linda Gooden, Chair of the AFCEA International Board

Captain Michael Nettis, USAF

Pacific Air Forces 613th Air Operations Center
AFCEA Hawaii, Pacific Region

2015 Distinguished Young AFCEANs

2015 DYA Regional Honorees

Brent Ahlers, Gartner, Mid-West Region

1Lt Monica Ciobanu, Special Telecommunications System, Central Eastern Europe Region

Chase Clayton, TEKsystems, Texas Region

MSgt Matt Collingridge, USAF, 55th Strategic Communications Squadron, Great Plains-Rocky Mountain Region

Mary Ellen Cook, TASC, Maryland Region

Captain Jamila Evans, USAF, HQ AF Reserve Command, Georgia Region

Nicholas Farinacci, TEKsystems, Western Region

Megan Ham, Apex Systems, Inc., Carolinas Region

Patrick Hamilton, Booz Allen Hamilton, NE-Upstate NY Region

SMSgt William Hebb, USAF, United States Air Force, Central Europe Region

Nhelly Hughes, AT&T Government Solutions, Virginia Region

Kristina Kelly, Blackstone Technology Group, National Capital Region

Captain Mark Lebedzinski, USAF, U.S. Air Force Space Command, Heartland Region

Captain Michael Nettis, USAF, PACAF 613 AOC, Pacific Region

Pam Plesz, DDC IT Services, LLC, New York-New Jersey-Pennsylvania Region

Senton Pojani, Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, Inc., South Florida Region

1Lt Jesse Wayne, USAF, United States Air Force, Mid-South Region

2015 Distinguished Young AFCEANs

Phaedra Buddrius, HP Enterprise Services, Tampa-St. Petersburg Chapter

SSgt Ryan Even, USAF, 721st Communications Squadron, Rocky Mountain Chapter

1Lt Adam D. Kelly, USAF, United States Air Force, Lexington-Concord Chapter

SSgt Amy Kern, USAF, United States Air Force, Kaiserslautern Chapter

1Lt Tristian Mahler, USAF, 461 Air Control Network Squadron, Middle Georgia Chapter  

Linh Nguyen, PLEX Solutions, LLC, Central Maryland Chapter

Senior Airman Ryan René Rosado, USAF, 75 Intelligence Squadron, Alamo Chapter

Jenifer Spencer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Fort Knox Gold Vault Chapter

  1Lt Arturo Urquieta, USAF, 30th Space Communications Squadron, Central Coast Chapter



2014 Distinguished Young AFCEAN (DYA) of the Year Honoree

MSgt Martha Burkhead, USAF
Air Force ISR Agency
Alamo Chapter

2014 Distinguished Young AFCEAN (DYA) Regional Honorees

Bc. Lubomir Almer
University of Defence
Uno Brno Student Chapter

Preston Armfield
Tampa-St. Petersburg Chapter

1st Lt Brandon Bendigo, USAF
55th Electronic Combat Group
Tucson Chapter

Kimberly Cranson
Engineering Services Network, Inc.
Lexington-Concord Chapter

Christa Dahlem
URS Corporation
Aberdeen Chapter

MSgt James Desgrange, USAF
14th Air Force
Central Coast Chapter

Yaşar M. Ercan
VIA Ltd.
Turkiye Chapter

2d Lt Paul Jordan, USAF
AFSPC Cyberspace Support Squadron
Scott-St. Louis Area Chapter

Sara Lindsey
San Diego Chapter

Lt Latiria S. Mayo, USAF
100th Air Refueling Wing
UK East Chapter

Lt Col Brenda Oppel, USAF
88th Communications Squadron
Dayton-Wright Chapter

Chi-Lai Poon
Array Information Technology
Northern Virginia Chapter

Reema Prasad
Cisco Systems Inc.
Silicon Valley Chapter

1st Lt Kyle Rimando, USAF
United States Air Force
Hawaii Chapter

Captain Scott A. (Sonny) Roberts II, USAF
Rocky Mountain Chapter

Captain Marianna Schwarz
German Air Force
Bonn E.V. Chapter

Kristin Smith
Crowne Plaza Charleston
South Carolina Low Country Chapter

A1C Kylie Subjinske, USAF
Tidewater Chapter

Adam Vencill
Montgomery Chapter

Distinguished Young AFCEANs

Demetrios Chirgott
Eliassen Group
Aberdeen Chapter

Al Kavianpour
Bethesda Chapter

Erica Knab
Tampa-St. Petersburg Chapter

Mike Kuhn
CA Technologies
Rocky Mountain Chapter

TSgt Ronald LeBeau, USAF
Kaiserslautern Chapter

Jill Macchiaverna
Dragonfly Productions
ArkLaTex Chapter

Kasie Moriarty
USAF Landing Systems Branch, HBAB
Lexington-Concord Chapter    

Tomas Muller
Czech Chapter

Jenifer Peguero
MDA Information Systems LLC
Central Virginia Chapter

Mandi Septer
Hewlett-Packard, Enterprise Services
Fort Knox Gold Vault Chapter

Daniel Shaer
Booz Allen Hamilton
Belvoir Chapter

Harrison Simmons
Kforce Inc.

Alexa Tsui
Technik Inc
Northern Virginia Chapter

2013 Distinguished Young AFCEANs

2012 Distinguished Young AFCEANs

2011 Distinguished Young AFCEANs

2010 Distinguished Young AFCEANs

2009 Distinguished Young AFCEANs

2008 Distinguished Young AFCEANs

2007 Distinguished Young AFCEANs

Click here for a complete list of AFCEA Awards and nomination forms.

Contact us for more information about AFCEA Awards