Trustee’s Report

BOGO 2

Background

 

The Quantico Area Chapter (QAC) was chartered in December 2012. At the May 2013 International Chapter Officer’s Forum in Annapolis, a presentation was made concerning what is called the “Other Chapter’ trustee seats coming up for replacement during 2014/15. The Board of Trustees (BoT) of the alumni association includes seats to be filled by alumni chapters. The nine largest chapters, measured by the number of dues-paying members, are each provided one seat. There are three ‘Other Chapter’ seats that are filled every three years through a competitive selection process. For more information on the composition of the BoT and reports on meetings, please visit the Alumni Association website.

During the 2013-2014 chapter calendar year (June-May), the governing council agreed to submit a package and compete for an ‘Other Chapter’ seat. QAC was ranked 15th in size of over 100 chapters at the time, and the council felt we had a good chance of winning a seat. In June 2014, a package was submitted to the alumni association ‘Other Chapter Selection Committee’ for consideration. In December 2014, QAC was awarded one of the three BoT seats for Other Chapters. The San Francisco Chapter and the Miami Chapter were the other two awardees. Six chapters had competed for the three slots.

New Trustee Orientation was conducted at the Alumni House in Annapolis in May 2015, just prior to the BoT Spring Meeting. Bob Sonnenberg ‘70, who had been elected to represent the QAC on the BoT, attended this session. At the end of the formal BoT meeting, the new Trustees were officially seated on the Board. When ADM Natter introduced the new Trustees, he introduced Bob and mentioned that the Quantico Chapter, the strong Quantico Chapter, was doing very well and that ADM Natter’s USNA roommate was a member (Dennis Lister ’67).

QAC Trustee Report: May 10-11, 2018

The semi-annual Board of Trustees (BoT) meeting took place on May 10th and 11th, 2018, my sixth and final meeting.  My time as a trustee has been very personally rewarding. It is always enjoyable to be around fellow Shipmates from the many classes represented who care about USNA and the Alumni Association.

As usual, the first day was comprised of the various committee meetings, while the second day was the full and formal BoT meeting, convened in the Admiral Lawrence Room of the Navy- Corps Memorial Stadium.  I attended the House and Other Chapter Selection Committee meetings as a seated member, and also sat in on the Communications Committee meeting as that committee continues to offer a lot of useful information and news of USNA which is very interesting and worthwhile.

For the House committee, we discussed ongoing expenses and plans for the alumni association buildings, primarily Ogle Hall and some buildings right behind it. The topic of upgrading the 49 House infrastructure was raised as that building may be turned over to the Class of ’49 pending the completion of the new Alumni Center.  The security of the Ogle Hall complex has been improved with the addition of a card-pass system.  The front door to Ogle Hall will remain open for visitors during normal working hours.  The next upgrade will be the addition of security cameras. Nadine Smith updated us on the utilization of Ogle Hall for ‘smaller’ wedding receptions, other receptions, business meetings of various groups. Anyone interested in scheduling these events should contact Casey Perkins, Event Planner, at 410-295-4019, or email casey.perkins@usna.com. QAC’s Mike Novak, ‘70s Decade Trustee, also sits on this committee.

The House Committee was also briefed on the new Alumni Center progress.  The National Defense Authorization Act became law on 12 Dec 17, and the Navy Department will lease the land on which the new facility will be built for fifty years, with one renewal period of fifty years.  Work will now begin on relocation of the mail center and HAZMIN facility, currently on the property.  The design of the building will be completed and approved by Q3 of CY2019.  Construction will then begin with an estimated completion date of Q4 CY2021.  The cost from construction is estimated at $20M, and a donor of $10M has already signed up.  The new building will be named after this donor (Fluegel Hall).  Frederick K. Fluegel is USNA ’61.

We were informed that the Foundation offices have moved from Beach Hall to the other end of the old hospital building in what was once the Pharmacy.  Once the new Alumni Center is completed, the Foundation will relocate to the Center.

For the Other Chapter Selection Committee, we met with our replacements (trustees from Jacksonville, North Carolina Triangle, and Oregon and Southwest Washington) and discussed possible actions by the new committee, particularly in the area of ‘marketing’ the Other Chapter Trustee positions in time for other Chapters to take advantage of the opportunity.

I also sat in on the Communications Committee session as an observer. We received a briefing from the Supe’s PAO on several items of interest currently facing the USNA leadership.  Some items of interest:

  • A review of the coming Campaign to raise funds was provided. August 2018 is the official kickoff of the Campaign, and success up to March 2018 is impressive.

 

  • The Supe, VADM Carter, will stay on until the graduation of the Class of ’19.

 

  • The parking garage across from Alumni Hall has been completed.

 

  • Improvements of IT capabilities continue. It is now possible for life members to download their ‘gold’ card to their phone.  Log in to USNA.COM, then click on the shadow portrait.  An option will appear to download the card.  It might have to be downloaded as a ‘photo’ when clicking on the card.

 

  • Alumni Lookup improvements are in the Pilot Phase. Log into USNA.COM and go to Alumni Lookup to get a glimpse.

 

  • The ‘Dark Web Drug Investigation’ was completed. One 1/C and a few 3/C and 4/C were involved and have been separated.

 

  • A revised website may be coming. Younger classes tend not to use the website or email much, and rely more on Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, etc.

This committee continues to have robust conversations and briefings of relevance to all in attendance.  QAC’s Mike Novak, ’70 Decades Trustee, also sits on this committee.

During the Board of Trustees meeting, the usual procedural resolutions were passed approving minutes of the last meeting, authorization to conduct business, approval of the treasury reports, etc..

A resolution was passed approving the election of USNA AA Officers.  All current officers remain in place, with Hank Sanford being replaced as Treasurer/VP Finance and Administration by Bryan J. Roach, USNA ’97.

A resolution was passed to make the Shared Interest Group (SIG) pilot program a fully approved and sponsored program of the Alumni Association.  The USNA Women and Run-To-Honor SIGs have been very successful in engaging alumni during the pilot program phase and have grown in membership.  One other SIG have been approved:  The USNA Minority Association (USNAMA) is now the third SIG.

Another Chapter has been approved:  The Republic of Korea Chapter adds one more to the list.

Elections for two Regional Trustees were completed and the new trustees were seated at the end of this BoT meeting.    For the Mid-Atlantic Region the trustee is Mr. Andrew Kirkpatrick ’86.  For the Western Region, CDR Steve Hall ’75 USN (Ret.) has won his re-election bid, starting his second tour.

The Commandant of Midshipmen briefed us about successes USNA continues to have.  He did mention that this summer, a number of NROTC mids will be attending USNA for YP training.  his is action taken to provide more ship-handling skills in a realistic environment and to provide hands-on training to help avoid further surface ship collisions as have recently occurred. Also, the USNA Graduation Rate continues in the high 80% to low 90% range, leading Army and Air Force.

There were quite a few changes for the BoT at this meeting.  Leaving after their terms have expired are:

ADM Bob Natter ’67 USN (Ret.), Chairman

James N. Atkins ’58, Puget Sound Chapter Trustee

David J. Kern ’81, Hampton Roads Chapter Trustee

Barbette H. Lowndes ‘80, San Diego Chapter Trustee

Liam Lane ’02, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter Trustee

Mel J. Meinhardt, ’80, Miami Chapter Trustee

Veronica Rogers ’87, Mid-Atlantic Region Trustee

Robert E. Sonnenberg ’70, Quantico Area Trustee

 

Seated at the end of the meeting:

ADM Samuel J. Locklear ’77 USN (Ret,), Chairman

Douglas D. Ballard ’74, OR & SW Washington Chapter Trustee

Scott Bethmann ’89, Jacksonville Chapter Trustee

Andrew J. Kirkpatrick ’86, Mid-Atlantic Region Trustee

Steve Clark Hall ’75, Western Region Trustee (re-elect)

Alan Lerchbacker ’74, San Diego Chapter Trustee

Todd C. Nichols ’72, Puget Sound Chapter Trustee

Christopher Perrien ’74, NC Triangle Chapter Trustee

Mark S. Rupprecht ’76, Hampton Roads Chapter Trustee

Tom Wolf ’87, Upper Mid-West Chapter Trustee

 

For interested readers, please visit the USNA.COM website for the President’s Report slides.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/pdfs.usna.com/BOT/2018/BOT_PresidentsReportFINAL.pdf

 

Other News:

The treasury remains ‘full’ and an independent audit rates the association as ‘sound’.

The President will be the guest speaker at the Class of ’18 graduation ceremony.

The next BoT meeting will be convened on 5-6 December 2018.

Hopper Hall pilings are complete and steel framing has started.

QAC Trustee Report: Dec 6-7, 2017

The semi-annual Board of Trustees (BoT) meeting took place on December 6th and 6th, 2017, my fifth meeting.  As usual, the first day was comprised of the various committee meetings, while the second day was the full and formal BoT meeting, convened in the Admiral Lawrence Room of the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  I attended the House and Other Chapter Selection Committee meetings as a seated member, and also sat in on the Communications Committee meeting as that event continues to offer a lot of useful information and news of USNA which is very interesting and worthwhile.

For the House committee, we discussed ongoing expenses and plans for the alumni association buildings, primarily Ogle Hall and some buildings right behind it. The immediate concern for all of the alumni association buildings is security, and a contract has been signed to install a card-pass system, and eventually security cameras.  MJ Pallotta, ’94, formerly a member of QAC, has resigned her position and taken a job in the Leadership Division of USNA handling experiential training.  Her replacement, Nadine Smith, updated us on the successful implementation of using Ogle Hall for ‘smaller’ wedding receptions, other receptions, business meetings of various groups. QAC’s Mike Novak, ‘70s Decade Trustee, sits on this committee.

Work on the new Alumni Center is awaiting a signature from the President on the National Defense Authorization Act which has language allowing the Navy Department to lease the land on which the new facility will be built for fifty years, with one renewal period of fifty years.  (Note: The bill became law on 12 Dec 17).  Full speed ahead!

For the Other Chapter Selection Committee, we discussed our recent evaluation process and how to better measure Chapter Engagement.  The committee evaluated the applications of those chapters vying for the three slots that will begin serving as Trustee members after the May 2018 BoT meeting.  The selected chapters are:  Jacksonville, North Carolina Triangle, and Oregon and Southwest Washington.

I also sat in on the Communications Committee session as an observer. We received a briefing from the Supe’s PAO on several items of interest currently facing the USNA leadership.  Some items of interest:

  • The Supe, VADM Carter, will stay on until the graduation of the Class of ’19.
  • The parking garage across from Alumni Hall will be completed in Feb 18.
  • Improvements of IT capabilities continue. It is now possible for life members to download their ‘gold’ card to their phone.  Log in to USNA.COM, then click on the shadow portrait.  An option will appear to download the card.  It might have to be downloaded as a ‘photo’ when clicking on the card.
  • Alumni Lookup will be improved over the next months.
  • Army spirit videos seem to be long and serious, whereas Navy videos are short and amusing. A different approach by both academies.

This committee continues to have robust conversations and briefings of relevance to all in attendance.  QAC’s Mike Novak, ’70 Decades Trustee, also sits on this committee.

During the Board of Trustees meeting (also attended by Bob Taylor of QAC), the usual procedural resolutions were passed approving minutes of the last meeting, authorization to conduct business, approval of the treasury reports, etc. The Board was briefed on the findings of the Governance Committee looking into the DGA award from Senator Webb.  The Chair has requested the committee, along with the Class of ’68 President, to determine if Senator Webb had declined the award, or had he declined to participate in the award ceremony. It was determined that he declined the award, and that the Alumni Association acting appropriately in the matter.  The issue is now settled and closed.

Dr. Jim Cheevers, former Senior Curator and Director of the USNA Museum, who retired recently after 50 years with the museum, was made an Honorary Member of the Alumni Association upon a unanimous vote of the BoT.

Elections are being held for two Regional Trustees to be seated at the conclusion of the May ’18 BoT meeting.

For the Mid-Atlantic Region (which includes VA), the nominees approved by the BoT are:

  • Andrew Kirkpatrick ‘86
  • CDR Maurice Tose ’78, USN (Ret.)
  • RADM Charles Carodine ’82, USN (Ret.)

For the Western Region:

  • CDR Steve Hall ’75, USN (Ret.) (Incumbent)
  • CDR Mark O’Hare ’76, USN (Ret.)
  • Richard Carlquist ‘80

The BoT also resolved that ADM Samuel Locklear ’77, USN (Ret.) be seated as the new Chair of the BoT at the end of the May ’18 meeting, replacing ADM Natter ’67, USN (Ret.) who has completed allowable terms of service.

In another change of personnel at the Alumni Association staff, Hank Sanford is retiring as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer on 8 Dec 17.  His interim replacement is Geraldine S. Farmer who became Treasurer on 9 Dec 17.

The Supe briefed us about successes USNA continues to have.  He did mention, when asked about the recent ship collisions, what was being done to address the matter.  He explained that USNA continues to educate and train SWOs who are able to stand watch as JOODs Under Training immediately after reporting aboard.  He noted that none of the COs, XOs, or qualified OODs on the involved ships were USNA grads.  He was not bragging about that, but stating the facts.

Also, the USNA Graduation Rate continues in the high 80% to low 90% range, leading Army and Air Force.  Army is in the how 80s and Air Force in the 70s.

Other business of the BoT addressed the Shared Interest Group Pilot Project which was initiated in Dec 2106.  There are two SIGs that were approved to be part of the Pilot Program.  They are, USNA Women and Run-To-Honor.  Both entities reported on the success of their efforts to date.  The USNA Women has over 1000 members at this point.  This effort to improve engagement is going well.

Other News:

The treasury remains ‘full’ and an independent audit rates the association as ‘sound’.

Army/Navy game in Baltimore this year on 9 December 17 in Philadelphia.

The next BoT meeting will be convened on 10-11 May 2018.

All alumni are encouraged to update their usna.com profiles.

QAC Trustee Report: May 11-12, 2017

 

The semi-annual Board of Trustees (BoT) meeting took place on May 11th and 12th, 2017.  As usual, the first day was comprised of the various committee meetings, while the second day was the full and formal BoT meeting, convened in the Admiral Lawrence Room of the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.  I attended the House and Other Chapter Selection Committee meetings as a seated member, and also sat in on the Communications Committee meeting as that event continues to offer a lot of useful information and news of USNA which is very interesting and worthwhile.

For the House committee, we discussed ongoing expenses and plans for the alumni association buildings, primarily Ogle Hall and some buildings right behind it. We also approved the proposed staff budget for maintenance and improvements to the buildings.  Our role is primarily oversight. We did spend some time discussing what else we could contribute in our roles as Trustees other than oversight, and that discussion will continue. Of immediate concern for all of the alumni association buildings is security.  Recent security exercises have shown that Ogle Hall, especially, is very open to anyone who might have the intent to do harm.  As the building is very old, options for tightening security while keeping the historical look of the buildings is underway.  It was suggested that a set of requirements be developed which could be used to evaluate various contractors.  A survey of contractors has been done, and most have proposed the ‘gold plated’ solution with expected high costs.  The committee urged the staff to develop what was really needed, based on their experiences and those of others who have knowledge in such matters.  MJ Pallotta, ’94, Director of Enterprise Marketing for the Association, also addressed the committee, discussing the use of Ogle Hall as a revenue generation activity.  Such things as ‘smaller’ wedding receptions, other receptions, business meetings of various groups, etc. were presented.

Work on the new Alumni Center continues apace and remains in the planning stages for development.  This proposed building, which we hope to be built on land across King George Street from the USNA baseball field, will consolidate the Alumni Association and the Foundation (currently housed on Hospital Point), along with the Athletic and Scholarship Program offices, currently housed on Maryland Avenue. Environmental impact studies and coordination with local, state and federal agencies involved also continues, elongating the process.  An article in the Nov-Dec 2016 Shipmate provided on the effort.  As of the BoT meeting date, the association is still waiting on a vote in Congress, and subsequent signing into law by the President, to allow the Navy Department to lease the land on which the new facility will be built.  All further efforts are on hold until this occurs.

For the Other Chapter Selection Committee, we discussed the upcoming cycle (summer of 2017) for applications, evaluations, and selections of the next three Other Chapter Trustee positions.  Those chapter trustees selected will be seated at the end of the May 2018 BoT meeting.  The committee also briefed the ICOF members about why they should consider pursuing one of the three trustee slots that will occur this summer, and the value of having a voice on the Board of Trustees.

I also sat in on the Communications Committee session as an observer. We received a briefing from the Supe’s PAO on several items of interest currently facing the USNA leadership.  Most of the meeting concerned how the committee would be involved in communicating the revamped Distinguished Graduate Award (DGA) selection process (the resolution was passed unanimously the next day).  This committee continues to have robust conversations and briefings of relevance to all in attendance.

During the Board of Trustees meeting, the usual procedural resolutions were passed approving minutes of the last meeting, authorization to conduct business, approval of the Treasury reports, etc. The Board initially convened in Executive Session to address the recent DGA situation subsequent to Senator Webb declining to accept the award.

Many alumni, and certainly all the members of the Board of Trustees and the staff of the Alumni Association, were and are aware of the situation.  A summary of what occurred follows, and is my interpretation of the matter.

The DGA program started in 1998.  Since inception, the method and process of how distinguished graduates have been selected has been steady, and the process has worked.  It also worked for this last session, at least up until the time Sen. Webb decided that he would decline to accept the award.  As most will recall, the announcement of the five individuals who were to receive the award on 31 March came out in late Jan/early Feb. After the announcement was made, there were many calls and emails to the alumni association from members who took issue with Sen. Webb being a recipient.  Many of contacts were concerned about Sen. Webb’s article from 1979 about women at the academy.  On 28 or 29 March, an announcement was made that Sen. Webb had officially declined the award.  His decision had/has to be accepted and honored. At that point, the press got onto the story, and hundreds of phone calls and emails were sent to the alumni association staff and the leadership of the Board of Trustees by very passionate alumni questioning what had happened.

After Sen. Webb’s decision became public, the USNA Alumni Association found itself needing to address what had happened.  Everyone who is a trustee, and all of the staff, knew that we would have to address this expeditiously. The heartfelt concerns of alumni, stated by those who disagreed with the selection of Sen. Webb for the DGA, as well as those who strongly disagreed with Senator Webb’s decision to decline to accept the award, are fully understood by the leadership.

In response to the situation, and after communicating with many individuals and groups, ADM Natter convened a working group to address how the process could be improved.  The result of that group’s work was a new DGA Program Guidance document, unanimously approved by a resolution at the May Board of Trustees meeting. The document is meant to “improve transparency, consolidate guidance and ensure the program is representative of the of USNA Alumni Association.”  The resultant consolidated guidelines may be found at www.usna.com/dga.

To me, the two most important aspects that were changed were to expand the membership of the selection panel and to have precepts provided to the panel, much like a promotion board in the Navy and Marine Corps.  Will this new guidance prevent a like thing happening in the future?…..maybe/maybe not. The situation that developed with Senator Webb and the new consolidated guidance were discussed in both closed and open forums at the board meeting.  The BoT responded quickly to what had occurred by reviewing and improving the DGA selection process.

Other business of the BoT addressed the Shared Interest Group Pilot Project which was initiated in Dec 2106.  Since approval of the Pilot, two groups have asked to be part of the Pilot having met the requirements outlined and approved by the BoT.  There are two SIGs that were approved to be part of the Pilot Program.  They are, USNA Women and Run-To-Honor.  Both entities were approved to proceed as pilots SIGs by the BoT.

There was a fairly large turnover of Trustees this session.  Many had terms/repeat terms that had expired.  A couple of new Regional Trustees came on board, and some sitting Trustees were asked to sit in as non-trustee members on some committees.