We recently completed our first quarter and we are off to a good start both financially and executing AFA’s mission of promoting a dominant United States Air Force. As I look back on the first four months of 2016 I know AFA is on the right track – and we’re thankful for your continued dedication to our organization.
January kicked off the New Year and our 70th year championing the Air Force family. We decided that we would make 2016 a year long birthday celebration. We created a new video for the association that featured our many accomplishments, and I asked chapters to give back to their local communities and thank any veteran who has served our nation.
In February we hosted our Air Warfare Symposium and it was a tremendous success. Registration for the symposium grew by 42% and the number of exhibitors grew by 44% from 2015. The event provided many opportunities for networking and professional development for Airmen, industry partners, and AFA members.
In March AFA supported the Air Force Trials at Nellis Air Force Base. AFA’s Wounded Airman Program partnered with Deloitte to support the two-week event by providing on-site support during the trials and monetary support for the closing ceremonies. More than 100 wounded Airmen competed for the 35 slots on the Air Force’s team at the next DOD Warrior Games coming up in June.
April proved to be the month of STEM education with both the CyberPatriot and StellarXplorers competitions hosting their national finals competitions. I had the privilege of traveling to Baltimore to see the CyberPatriot finals in person. These national finals competitions are world class events hosted by AFA, though I was truly impressed by the talent of the students. They are competitive and laser focused on the competition at hand, yet their collegial demeanor towards one another was truly impressive. I am very proud of the work AFA does in support of STEM education.
The momentum we have created during the first quarter will surely help push us into our busiest season as we prepare for the Air, Space & Cyber Conference in September. We’re looking forward to another record-breaking event season!
Larry O. Spencer