posted on June 03, 2011 16:10
Conference registration is picking up but we have a ways to go before we will be comfortable that we will have good attendance. Remember the guaranteed rate room block closes on the 6th, next Monday!
Master Chief Featherstone and CAPT McAtee are busy with their turnover as Jerry came aboard full time on the first of June. Jerry comes to us with enthusiasm for the job, excitement on beginning a new phase of his life, and a Master Chief’s “I’ll get it done” attitude. Jerry will be a good addition to the staff and a nice balance to us older officers. CAPT McAtee will continue working for us in a much reduced part time role which will enable us to continue to tap his wealth of knowledge on personnel issues. One of the issues that I watch carefully for a small staff like ours is balancing the right mix of military knowledge and experience with the right skill sets to run a not for profit association and balance all of that against a small budget.
Yesterday I met with Claudia Sutton a Certified Association Executive with years of experience in association work in marketing, communications, Executive Director, President, and CEO positions. She has agreed to do some pro-bono work for us to evaluate our internal organization, strengths and weaknesses. With Kenya Houston relatively new to the organization, Tom and Jerry turning over I think this is the right time to evaluate the entire staff, including me, and see where we are.
As I am writing this the new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has been announced, General Martin Dempsey. General Dempsey just took over as the Army Chief of Staff in April so there will be some shuffling in the Department of the Army. Some say this is good for the Army because they will hold the Chairman position through these difficult budget years. Others say the Churn within the Army Staff will be a problem. Because he went through confirmation hearings in April it is assumed that he will sail through confirmation as Chairman. With this announcement now passed it is expected that the new CNO will be announced any day now. One thing that seems very likely is that we are about to have our fourth CNO in a row who is not an aviator and the aviators aren’t happy. That is not an editorial comment on how things should be, just a statement of fact.
This week our Atlantic Region President, CAPT Mary Jo Majors (from Boston) stopped by the office for a visit. I was delighted to meet her and we had a good discussion about her role and what President Moon has asked the Regional Presidents to do. We are here to support any of you and I very much appreciate the work by those of you who are actively promoting our Association out in the field. Speaking of that, CAPT John Farr will be at a Pre-deployment Family Readiness Conference in Great Lakes this weekend with a table representing AUSN. Thanks John.
Next week I will be at the Naval War College in Newport for the annual Current Strategy Forum. On Monday afternoon AUSN will host a social at the Officers Club for members and prospective members. Thanks to CAPT Bill Joransen and his helpers for making that possible again this year.
As the June issue arrives I hope that you will be pleased with the changes that we have made as Linda has worked very hard to incorporate the ideas brought to us by our member mentor, CAPT Phillip Ritzenberg a retired journalist who has been helping us for two years now as we work on style and content. We did a good job with theme in April and May but the June issue is the most theme oriented to date as we focused on women in the Navy. I want to thank CDR Aaron Bresnahan and Senior Chief Jon Altman for always paying attention to the theme as they create their columns.
Toward the end of last month I attended a special luncheon at the Army-Navy Club for retiring Secretary McCarthy. There were only two of us from association management who were invited by the Secretary and I took some pride in that fact as we had worked hard to make AUSN an organization that was on his mind.
Last night I attended the annual Battle of Midway dinner at the Army-Navy Country Club. The CNO was the speaker this year but the highlight was getting to visit with some survivors of that epic naval battle. I was unaware until recently that during his tour as CNO Admiral Jay Johnson decreed that the Navy would celebrate both the Navy Birthday and the Battle of Midway around the globe every year. Next year our Association will become one of the sponsors of the Washington dinner.
Also on the horizon later this month, the retirement ceremony for FORCE Ronney Wright, Senate testimony which I will deliver this year, and another VSO Round Table meeting with Madam Leader Pelosi.
As always more to follow,