Networking, Clubs & Associations
Dayton is renowned for it’s incredible legacy in the history of American dance. In 1927, The Schwarz School of Dance (now Dayton Ballet School) was opened in Dayton, by the gifted Schwarz sisters, who returned home after performing professionally around the world. Ten years later, the sisters created “The Experimental Group for Young Dancers,” and staged a performance at the Dayton Art Institute. This was the first performance of what is now the Dayton Ballet, the second oldest regional ballet company in the US.
The Schwarz sisters instructed another pioneer of dance, Jeraldyne Blunden. In 1968, Jeraldyen went on to create her own school, Jeraldyne’s School of Dance. A few years later, she established the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, the first modern dance company in Ohio. The company regularly performs in Dayton, and around the world, including an upcoming trip to Russia and Kazakhstan next May as part of Dance Motion USA, a cultural diplomacy program organized by the U.S. Department of State and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
These incredible achievements and milestones are being celebrated with style over the next year or two. The Dayton Ballet celebrates it’s 80th Season, and next year DCDC hits their 50th Birthday! Volunteers from the Dayton Ballet Barre and DCDC Ambassadors are joining forces Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 at Brixx Ice Company to kickoff these spectacular seasons! They’ll be slinging drinks as dueling bartenders, and might even have a dance off or two!
Enjoy commradere, drink specials, and a fun way to support these historic arts organizations. Best of all – there will be random ticket giveaways for the exciting up-coming seasons! There will also be ticket discounts available to anyone interested. Tickets to these outstanding artistic events are perfect for date nights, girls nights, and gifts!
How to Go?
Dayton Ballet Barre & DCDC Ambassadors
Dueling Bartenders / 2017-2018 Season Kickoff!
Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 from 6pm-8pm
Brixx Ice Company – 500 E 1st Dayton, OH
Tired of your average bazaar? This one promises to be fun and fulfilling!
This Saturday, Dec. 3rd in Moraine, The Greater Dayton Apartment Association office is hosting a Holiday Bazaar!
All proceeds benefit their related charity, called The Rent Foundation, which helps keep families from being homeless, by paying their rent in times of unexpected hardship. Over the year, the Rent Foundation has helped hundreds of local families, and your support, will help them continue to help hundreds more.
HERE IS THE SKINNY ON THE SATURDAY, DEC. 3rd HOLIDAY BAZAAR:
—WHEN: This charitable event takes place Saturday December 3rd, 2016 from 10am – 3pm
—WHERE: The event center located at 3155 Elbee Rd, suite 300, Moraine, OH 45439
****Please note the event center is on the 3rd floor, so use the elevator in the lobby!
—WHAT: They are offering a festive day of shopping. Some traditional booths mixed with some fun and funky local craft-vendors that you’re sure to LOVE! We are also offering a Mimosa Tasting for our shoppers 21 and up sponsored by a local business, called “My Catering Gal.” There will also be raffle prizes.
—WHAT ELSE: Baked Goods, Bourbon Balls, Snacks & Refreshments Available During the Show for Additional Purchase.
—COST: Admission at the door is $3.00. No charge for children under 12. All proceeds benefit GDAA Rent Foundation. Snacks and raffle tickets will also be for sale at the event. There will be a Coloring/Craft Table for Children.
—LIST OF SOME OF THE VENDORS and LOCAL BUSINESS ON HAND
****Traveling Vineyard ****Usborne Books & More
****Plunder Design ****Lularoe
****Mary Kay ****She Blingz by Shonda
****Pure Romance ****Origami Owl
****Lillarose ****Pampered Chef
****Poetic Xchange ****Lipsense
****Wildtree ****Mama Aswan Butters & Oils
****Custom Burlap Wreaths by Babes & Burlap
****Stained Glass Home Accents ****LIVELOVEBEAD
****Hand Crafted Quilted Purses by Blue Line Design
****Custom Jewelry ****31
****Scent Hound Candles ****Home Accessories,
****Photography by Alison ****Hand-crafted Baby Items
****Unique & Delicious Vendors ****Desserts
****Butter Rum, Apricot Brandy & Harvey Wallbanger Cakes by Langford’s Gourmet Cookies!
A great opportunity to put a dent in your holiday shopping list !
From hand lotions to handcrafted items, this promises to be a blast. Please join us at the bazaar and know you are supporting a good cause as well. This is a “MUST SEE” event, don’t miss your opportunity to support local vendors and charities.
If you’re curious about Snapchat and how you can use it to help tell your brand’s story, join New Media Dayton on Friday, November 11 @ 12:00pm. Attend this meeting to learn how businesses and entrepreneurs use Snapchat to engage with their audience to tell their brand’s story, one Snap at a time.
Vicki O’Neill (@vickioneill) with Wilson Rebranding will be our speaker. This meeting will be at the Wilson Rebranding office, located at 3060 South Tech Boulevard, just across from the Dayton Wright Brothers Airport. The Wilson team has Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality stations setup and said attendees are welcome to try out the office technology (also a drone). If you are on Snapchat already, follow Wilson under their username: wilsonrebrand. Snacks and drinks will also be available.
Sign up today, it’s free!
If strength is in numbers, then bocce ball is alive and well in Dayton, Ohio. You may remember we did a story on the Sons of Italy, Bella Villa Hall’s men’s bocce league.
Well move over fellas, it is the ladies’ turn! Thursday’s in the summer, the bocce courts are ruled by the women.
Now, let’s get rollin’….
HERE’S THE SKINNY ON THE WOMEN OF DAYTON BOCCE BALL:
— You have to be a member of the Italian club, John Pirelli Lodge (click here to join) to be in the leagues. That means you or your spouse must have some type of Italian lineage in your genealogy. Sometimes the courses are open to the public like the July 15th Bocce Bash and Bocce Classic Weekend
— The Women’s bocce League plays Thursday nights, during the summer.
— The league started in 1979, with 2 dirt courts. Now they are turf and much easier to maintain.
— TRIVIA: The turf on the bocce courts was donated from University of Dayton’s, Welcome Stadium
— Currently, they have about 12 womens bocce teams with 4 players on each team. There are about 50 – 60 lady players in the Dayton area.
— Players range from 17 years old to 80 years young
— A year end banquet, each year is planned to pass out awards. Food Adventures is sure some incredible Italian food is served.
As we watched the matches and talked with the ladies, there were lots of cheers and jeers going on at different courses. One thing was for sure, these people were having fun. Some wore fun hats, while others had family members cheering them on. Sometimes there are snacks and at special events there are food and beer booths. We met some great Daytonians and we want to share them with you. So here are some of the Dayton Women of Bocce Ball !
THE WOMEN OF DAYTON BOCCE BALL:
— ELDORA PERFILIO: She says she is out here to compete, but doesn’t take it as serious as some. Eldora says she comes for the fun times and friendly people in the league.
— MELODY SORICE-KNOSTMAN: Melody has been playing bocce ball in the back yard, since she was a kid. Her favorite part of the bocce legue is getting to spend time with the ladies. There were definitely a lot of laughs on Melody’s court as they were having a great time.
— MARY D’AMICO: She is a tiny little spitfire and has been playing bocce ball for decades. After hearing some of the women talk, she chimed in “They like to win you know, don’t let them fool you!” Mary was quick to point out some rules on her court, and seemed to be incredibly
knowledgable about the bocce sport.
— HELEN LONGO: For 36 years Helen has been playing ball in the bocce leagues. She was one of the first founding members. She shared the long history of women’s bocce at the club with us. It has been going on so long innher opinion because it is “just a lot of fun.”
— MARIA NAPIER: Maria agrees that it is all about having fun. She has been playing for 2 years, and says it is a great time. She also enjoyed a cold adult beverage on the hot summer evening.
— JULIA HALL: For the past 10 years Julia has been a part of the leagues and again points to the good times. She enjoys meeting new friends of all ages. “There are a lot of nice people here.”
That seems to be the theme. Fun times, good friends and anyone can play bocce ball. Any age, man or woman can adapt fairly easily. Whether you are a beginner or playing for years, you can still compete with anyone and have fun.
Bocce is a simple game to learn, it is a cross between shufflebord and bowling. The rules are simple. you first roll a little yellow ball called a “pallino” to the far end of the court. You then try to get your bocce balls closest to the small yellow ball as possible, while your opponents do the same. Whoever is closest to the “pallino” earns points and thats how you win the game. Typically you play until someone has 21 points. It is easy to get the hang of it and you will be addicted in no time.
If you would like to play bocce ball, there are 2 fun events coming up that are open to the public.
- THE BOCCE BASH is for Beginners. It will be played Friday, July 15th during the Sons of Italy Food Truck Rally. Teams of 4 can sign up to comepeter for a $200 grand prize. The Signup sheet is HERE. You do not have to be a member of the club to play in this event.
- THE BOCCE CLASSIC: Want to play in one of Dayton’s biggest bocce tournaments? CLICK HERE
For the 2 events above, there will be food vendors and beer trucks, and even some live music! Just want to observe? Admission is free to come and watch. Eats and drinks are available for purchase by anyone. Take the weekend of July 15th-17th to play some bocce, have a few beverages, and taste some of Dayton’s best food.
You may even see the Food Adventures Crew at the Food Truck Rally and Garlic Fest the same weekend.
For more Dayton food info, follow Food Adventures on Facebook by clicking HERE.
It’s natural to be curious about the universe. Whether we casually peer through our living room window to observe the moon, or camp out in a remote area to view the stars, we have a strong impetus to connect with the world above us.
While it can be easy to find a few stars, the study of astronomy and the practice of stargazing can be ever-so complex. Words like azimuth and occultation seem rather strange, yet they are routinely used in describing stars or solar events. In addition, the coordinates used to pinpoint celestial objects seem as though they have been written in ancient Greek instead of Modern-day English.
Thankfully, star hunting newbies do have the chance to learn from astronomy buffs, so they can interpret the sky like the pros. Since 1918, the Miami Valley Astronomical Society, or MVAS for short, has been providing stargazers with the opportunity to learn more about the heavens, along with the requisite tools to view it. The first organization of its kind in the Dayton area, the founders included many notable public figures, such as former NCR president, Colonel Edward Deeds.
The MVAS currently has 130 members and is considered one of the largest astronomy clubs in the Ohio region. Aside from hosting monthly meetings, the MVAS also facilitates star gazes, lectures, and several educational outreach programs for local schools and Scout organizations.
According to Linda Weiss, the events and outreach coordinator for the MVAS, this year in particular they have skyrocketed in membership across all demographics. This has been due to the outpouring of recent astronomical events, such as the meteor that clipped Russia’s sky in February of this year, and the various meteor showers and comets that will traverse our sky soon.
Weiss recommends a pair of Oberwerk binoculars for the budding astronomer, since Oberwerk is a local company that will happily work with their customers to find the best tools for their experience level. “You don’t always need equipment, either,” explains Weiss. “You can see iridium flares, satellites, the International Space Station or a meteor show with the naked eye.”
To view satellites, Weiss says to look up at a pitch black sky and watch “for what appears to be a moving star.” To see the International Space Station, which is surprisingly the third brightest object in the sky (next to the sun and the moon), you can visit NASA’s website to find out when it will cross your area via email and text alerts.
Weiss noted, “The key for stargazing is getting the right equipment for your skill level and not something too advanced. Then, it’s all about having a dark sky, getting to know your objects (Smartphone apps help with that), and learning to stay up late, since many of the objects don’t rise until late at night or early in the morning.”
To garner interest in astronomy throughout the Miami Valley, the MVAS will host their annual Apollo Rendezvous from June 7th – 8th, which will be open to the public (although registration is required). The Rendezvous will take place at both the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery and the John Bryan State Park Observatory. A long list of lectures from industry professionals, vendors, observings, door prizes, and raffles will be among the activities.
When questioned about common astronomy misconceptions, Weiss was quick with her answer: you can actually look at the sun. “You just need a solar telescope or filters to do so,” she added. “There have been a lot of prominences (bright, gaseous extensions) on the sun’s surface lately, so it’s been really cool to look at them.”
For people who are curious in astronomy, joining a group, like the MVAS, is helpful for a variety of reasons: you can glean valuable insight from other astronomers, learn how to use your equipment properly, gain access to books and equipment, and attend observings with some of the most robust telescopes in the region.
There are so many ways to discover the universe these days. And thanks in part to significant advances in technology, such as apps and live telescope feeds, the universe is literally at your fingertips. However, one of the prime ways to unite with the world around us is as old-fashioned as can be: simply step outside. “Just look up,” mused Weiss. “There is so much going on in the sky, not just at night, but in the daytime, too. You don’t need expensive equipment to see or experience these things; all you need is the desire to do so.”
In addition to the annual Apollo Rendezvous, the MVAS will host “camper star gaze” events at the John Bryan State Park. These events are open to the public, and the MVAS will provide telescopes and binoculars for guests/non-members. The dates for these star gazes are May 25th, June 1st, June 22nd, July 6th, July 20th, August 17th, and August 31st. All of these events begin at dusk and are weather permitting.
In the 1920’s, radio broadcasters were looking for more. They knew they had a great way to deliver information into the homes of everyone in the country, but how to get sponsors to buy into it? Radio up to that point had been informational; mainly news and politics delivered in factual and dry terms; nothing really compelling to listen to. Advertisers were not seeing much of a return from the money they were investing, and were leery about investing more. Broadcasters needed to create something that would attract a different audience; an audience that was around the house all day, and was going to make the decisions on what household goods to buy. They decided that fresh content should be mainly about families, and how they lived their lives. They wanted this content to appeal to the housewife, as if they were looking into another person’s house without leaving their own. This new content attracted sponsors in the early 1930’s like Proctor and Gamble, who used these shows to help promote their soaps like Oxydol. Thus was born the “soap opera”, turning what once was used to just a platform for delivering information into a money maker. The Golden Age of Radio boomed, and the soap opera, and eventually the sit com and variety show, boomed with it.
Now, being eighty years removed from radio soaps, marketers are all facing the same questions in a new realm that once simply provided information, or a way to connect, and a few small advertisements. How do we get more Facebook “Likes”? What do we need to do to get more Twitter followers? What makes something that is visually compelling on Pinterest, so we can pin it and tweet about it? And how do we get all of these people we are interacting with to go somewhere to buy our product? On top of that, how do we measure all of this so when people in the C-suite start asking questions, we have good answers for them? We are all asking these questions, some of us longer than others. As we all wander, searching for the same answers, we have a few intrepid people that have found some of the edges of this new realm, and brought back new and exciting information to share. The marketing community of Dayton has helped to organize some of these people at Sinclair Community College on October 16th, 2012, for SummitUp, a full day marketing communications, public relations, and digital information conference.
This event is a major undertaking, involving the efforts of not only many of the top talents in the area, but a small army of volunteers. David Bowman, Chief Marketing Strategist for The Ohlmann Group and one of the organizers of SummitUp, states they want it appeal “to early adopters of technology who demand complexity and bleeding edge information while at the same time delivering content that is accessible to newcomers too.” The speaking talent this year is top notch, with major keynote speakers, local brilliant talent, and opportunities to meet all of the top marketing and communication talent in the area. On top of that, the volunteers help to make the event as affordable as possible to the widest number of people, so more people can experience it. “Ultimately, the event has an incredible team of volunteers who work very hard to make sure that those who invest the time and money to attend get value from coming to the event.”, affirms Bowman.
The day begins at 7 AM at breakfast. It is going to be a full day, and you are going to need all the energy you can get. The first keynote speaker of the day will be Todd Henry, creator of the website and podcast The Accidental Creative, as well as the writer of the highly praised book The Accidental Creative, How to be Brilliant on a Moment’s Notice. He is an expert on how to build an environment that encourages the generation of creative ideas. His podcast interviews some of the top creative minds across a wide variety of industries, and offers insights about everything from generating ideas quickly to getting over the dreaded creator’s block.
After his speech, every attendee will be able to attend multiple breakout sessions. There are twelve sessions total, given by some of the best business and social media thinkers in southwest Ohio and Indiana. Each of the sessions is offered twice in back-to-back time frames, so everyone will have a chance to see six of the speakers. Eight of the sessions will happen before lunch, and the final four sessions will happen after lunch. These breakout sessions are designed to give every attendee the greatest chance to bring the right information back to help the social media and communication strategies of your company.
Lunch will be served around noon, and then it will be time for the second keynote of the day. Rohit Bhargava is the a founding member of one of the largest social strategy groups at Oglivy as well as a professor of Global Marketing at Georgetown University. He is a proponent of bringing the human touch back into the marketing world, touting the importance of being likeable as a major factor in success. He is the author of several highly rated and incredibly popular books, Likeonomics (his most recent book) and Personality Not Included. His books are not just something to read; Likeonomics also offers a website full of useful exercises and ideas to help make you and your brand more likeable, and attractive, to future clients.
The final keynote of the day is at the end of the last group of four sessions. If you are familiar with the name of the person who is presenting, you have certainly seen his work on multiple websites. His name is Tim Schigel, and he is the chairman and founder of ShareThis, which has their widgets for social media sharing scattered across the Internet. Tim has done innovative work for some of the biggest firms in the country, from Apple to Procter and Gamble. The impetus behind ShareThis was to start measuring how people share the interesting things that they find outside of search engines, and that involves tracking how people use social sites to share. What is getting shared? How is it getting shared? And what is the future of measuring and sharing data?
The transition to social media presents a new set of challenges, much like the first pioneers into radio media faced. Whether you are in traditional media or cultivating pin boards, if you are new to the game or still think fondly of your AOL marketing efforts, SummitUp is a great way to develop your skills in this new realm. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and a bevy of other new platforms are out there for people to use, integrate, and broadcast from. This is a fine opportunity to take advantage of all this brilliance in a local environment, at a great price. Connect with the best talent in Dayton and beyond, and take your marketing efforts to the next level. We all hope to see you on October 16th!
Aileron President Joni Fedders of Dayton and GE Capital Retail Finance President and CEO Margaret Keane of Ridgefield, Conn., will give the keynote addresses at “Growing as a Leader,” the fourth annual professional development conference by Women in Business Networking, Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Schuster Performing Arts Center at Second and Main streets in Dayton. Premier Health Partners is the title sponsor of the conference.
Fedders oversees the strategic direction and operational activities of Aileron, which helps private business owners understand where they want to go and apply sound business practices to help them get there. A former executive at The Iams Company and a two-time entrepreneur herself, Fedders was handpicked in 2003 by Aileron’s founder, successful businessman Clay Mathile, to build The Center for Entrepreneurial Education, which became Aileron.
Fedders will give the morning keynote entitled “Diapers, Deadlines and Dreams – Finding Alignment and Learning to Lead” and share her story on striving to achieve both professional and personal growth.
Keane – who joined GE in 1996 and became a GE officer in 2005 – has held numerous positions within the organization at Vendor Financial Services, GE Capital, GE Commercial Finance, GE Consumer Finance-Americas and GE Capital Retail Consumer Finance. She began her career at Citicorp, where she worked in sales, marketing and operations for 16 years.
Keane will give the luncheon keynote entitled “Leading through Change.” Keane – who has led the financial services company through challenges and change – says her experiences contributed to her growth as a leader. She will share lessons learned.
Besides Fedders and Keane, WDTN TV2 news anchor Michelle Kingsfield will present the plenary session on “Taking Control of your Professional and Personal Healthcare and Life.”
Eight additional business experts will present six breakout sessions on diverse leadership issues. Presenters include:
- Pamela Reichel, executive director, Premier Community Health
- Kendra Ramirez, social media strategist, manager, Open Commerce, Ascendum Solutions
- Diane Helbig, president, Seize This Day Coaching
- Denise Dixon-Davis and Diane Dixon, professional coaches, 3F Coaching
- Kelly McCracken, director of client relations, and Jean Webster, communications manager, Aileron
- Dr. Patricia Larkins Hicks, founder and president, The Outcomes Management Group
Seven panelists will discuss “Knowing, Growing and Glowing: That’s Synchronicity!” moderated by Ro Nita Hawes-Saunders, executive director, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. Panelists include:
- Martine Meredith Collier, president and CEO, Culture Works
- Pat Kanuckel, associate vice president, Victoria’s Secret Direct
- Scott Koorndyk, vice president, Technology Commercialization, Dayton Development Coalition
- Deborah Lieberman, Montgomery County Commissioner
- Erin Paulson, director, Strategic Marketing, TriComB2B
- Jenell Ross, president, Bob Ross Buick-GMC, Mercedes-Benz and Fiat
- Stacy Thompson, vice president, regional compliance and community reinvestment manager, KeyBank Corp.
The conference will feature exhibits from 32 local corporations and small businesses. The Market Place Boutique, a one-stop-shopping mini mall, will feature 16 women-owned retailers.
The conference, which begins at 7:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast, concludes at 5:15 p.m. with a wine and cheese reception and an event benefiting The Noble Circle Project, which helps women thrive beyond cancer. A portion of the proceeds from conference ticket sales will go to Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Miami Valley Region and to Artemis Center, Dayton’s domestic violence resource agency.
Attendees are asked to register in advance at http://womeninbusinessnetworking.com/2011ProfessionalDevelopmentConference.aspx.
About Women in Business Networking (www.womeninbusinessnetworking.com)
Women in Business Networking (WiBN) – the leading organization for women in business – provides forums for building relationships so women will achieve career and personal success through education, resources and recognition. WiBN’s circle of influence and frequent programs have reached more than 1,500 women living and working in the Greater Dayton, Ohio, region. Women from all walks of life participate in WiBN: leaders and employees of corporate, nonprofit and community organizations; entrepreneurs and small-business owners; and women in career transition.
Media contact: Tina Marker, President
Windward Design Group
937.456.2301 / 937.545.9654
Things in Dayton are looking up. Hiring, although slowly, is on the rise (New jobs, tax revenues show region stabilizing, Dayton Daily News, March 25, 2011). Home ownership is up. Nightlife downtown, particularly in areas like the Oregon District, is lively and vibrant. These small yet noticeable changes are the direct result of the individual and collective efforts of many people who, despite the sluggish economy, believe in the potential of Dayton; those people are working to launch business and social initiatives that revitalize neighborhoods, spur economic growth and keep people in Dayton. Updayton is one of those groups.
On Friday, April 15th at the Dayton Convention Center, updayton will host its 2011 Young Creative’s Summit sponsored by SOCHE. From 3 pm to 6 pm, hundreds of young professionals will convene to discuss and problem-solve critical issues like diversity and employment. Immediately following is an attendees-only after party and networking event at the nearby Excelsior Lofts with food and beverage provided Brixx and Bonbright Distributors.
One of the of largest civic engagement events in the area, updayton began hosting this event in 2009, to engage young professionals in generating ideas and implementing solutions for Dayton. In the last two years, these Summits have produced a number of projects led by young professionals that have attributed to some of the changes happening in Dayton.
If you have never been, you still have time to be a part of this year’s summit. Registration is $15 ($5 for students). More details and registration can be found at www.updayton.com. Change happens here!
Additional sponsors of the Summit include: CareSource, Channel 945 FM, City of Dayton, CreativeFuse, Dayton City Paper, Dayton CW, Dayton Business Journal, Dayton Development Coalition, The Dayton Foundation, DaytonMostMetro.com, Dayton Weekly News, KeyBank, Standard Register, Teradata, University of Dayton’s Fitz Center for Leadership and Community and Vectren.
It’s the largest single site employer in the whole state. Its history has been witness to early Wright Brothers test flights and a military installation that dates to World War I. It’s an obvious asset to the region for the Air Force Museum (fingers crossed for the shuttle) as well as cutting-edge technical, aerospace, and research advances.
I have sung the praises of the Base and understood its major importance in both the economic viability of our region and for aerospace technology worldwide (you can thank my engineering husband who just broke a world record for his work on a scram jet engine for that one), but I never really got the differences of the alphabet soup that is WPAFB (be it AFIT, AFRL, NASIC, WISK or LMNOP).
Here I am – trying to be an info liaison for YP groups in the region. Hopefully this blog is a resource for people who want to get involved, YP orgs who are looking for potential collaborations, or anyone who’s just curious. And I’ve advertised Base events like monthly socials for the Young AFCEAns, volunteer opportunities through the Junior Force Council and discussions by the WP Networking Association. But you know what – I still didn’t really get it. Oh – you mysterious base with your numerous gates, haunted hotels, and alien ships in hiding – I am here to learn about the resources for the YPs behind the gates. So – this is for anyone who has asked a new friend, “So – where do you work?” and your eyes glaze over a little bit when they answer “the Base.”
The Young AFCEAns
Why am I talking to them first? Well – I thought they might be a pretty good “gateway” to the Base since members of the Young AFCEAns can work on or off Base in any contracting organization that has a relationship with the Base. Also – they are the YP arm of AFCEA (The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association) – so you can guess that they have a pretty informative Web page. I was able to gather information on the people served and the benefits for the Young AFCEAns. At least I thought I had them figured out, until I talked to Casey Weinstein, the local chapter president and figured out that they are so much more.
The Young AFCEAns (also known as YACs) are AFCEA members under the age of 40. But they are also a distinct unit within AFCEA. Sure, they network with fellow professionals and are active in the chapter, but they also work together as YACs to mentor at schools, host tech events and judge local science fairs. They take advantage of specific mentoring activities available only to YACs – career development, leadership development, and access to senior leaders in the field (the kind of access that otherwise wouldn’t be available).
Anyone CAN be a YAC, and Weinstein encourages all YPs to check them out. So many businesses in the region, even if they don’t deal directly with the government, partner with other organizations that do contract with the government. And maybe you’re not in IT, but Weinstein tells the story of a marketing associate who started coming to YAC events because her company was considering expanding into the IT market. The networking and social opportunities through YAC proved helpful, informative, and even fun.
When I asked what exactly they do and who they serve, Weinstein explained that they’re an advocacy and networking association focused on information technology and the government – most members are government employees, contractors, or people who want to break into the industry. And for anyone who thinks “IT” is a little broad, I asked Weinstein for some specifics: they have members who produce modeling and simulation software, build web applications, create hardware and software sharepoints, and they feature many service providers (like database administrators).
The most popular events for local YACs are the monthly networking events. They feature free food and drinks (always a plus), and they provide a great atmosphere for YPs in the industry to network with one another, local businesses, and senior leadership in the industry. Weinstein also highlights their outreach work with local universities. With the support of Senator Brown’s offices, the YACs have been featured (along with other YP groups) on campus panel discussions. Many college kids may not know about the numerous opportunities in the region for IT and aerospace contracting work, so YAC makes a major effort to get the word out.
Weinstein is especially proud of the relationship YAC has with the AFCEA chapter. Although YAC exists as its own unit to attract new members and offer professional development opportunities, their members are fully integrated into the local chapter. The past YAC chair is now the membership chair for AFCEA and Weinstein chaired the AFCEA Valentine’s Ball – the major fundraiser for AFCEA that provides scholarships for local high school and college students. The chapter taps the YACs to be involved on a larger level, and they show respect for a job well done. They just sent Weinstein to San Diego to accept the Distinguished Young AFCEAns Award (one of only 15 globally!); the chapter flew him out, picked up the tab, and provided him with a great opportunity to meet a lot of new people.
The YACs are there to hook young professionals into the thriving aerospace industry in our region, and Weinstein has a very strong perspective of life in Dayton. He explains, “More money comes through WPAFB than any other military installation in the world (other then the Pentagon). There is a lot of growth and opportunity in the region because of the growth of the industry. Dayton is the place to be for someone in this profession.”
While the Young AFCEAns are reaching out to everyone to highlight the opportunities of the aerospace industry. There’s another group on Base that’s reaching out to serve a pretty specific need.
Wright-Patterson AFB Junior Force Council
The Wright-Patt JFC works to offer programming relevant to all YPs on Base, but it’s only part of a larger YP involvement structure in place. Individual Junior Force Councils exist for many programs or directorates, and those smaller JFCs often host their own events. For example, the Air Force Research Lab’s (AFRL) Propulsion Directorate launched an outreach program to address the lack of new engineers through volunteers who visit local schools to increase student interest in STEM careers. Or there is the Air Force Material Command (AFMC) Junior Force Council that hosted a tour for its members. Many of the directorates across Base offer professional development and networking opportunities through individual Junior Force Councils (JFCs), and each JFC sends a member to sit on the collective Wright-Patt JFC. It’s a nice structure – people at the local level determine what meets the needs of their members, but their voice rises up to the overall JFC to make sure there’s open communication and the WPJFC can meet larger needs.
I spoke to Kristy Roberts – president of the WFJFC. Locally born and raised, Roberts completed her undergrad and MBA at Wright State before joining the Base in a contracting career. In leading the WPJFC, she works to provide networking experiences for civilian and military (enlisted and officer) YPs across the Base who have 10 years of service or less. These events provide participants the opportunity to interact with one another and senior leaders whom they may otherwise not meet.
Since the smaller JFCs focus on the happy hours, industry-specific events, and directorate-specific programming, the WPJFC only hosts approximately two or three large, Base-wide events per year. Launching soon is the popular “Young Guns vs. Old Pistols.” This is a wellness/sporting competition between the JFC members and senior leaders on Base. Over the course of three months, they compete in 6 events. Other major events include a golf tournament fundraiser and open tour of the Base for regional YPs.
Also in the works is a potential speaker series. Although most WPJFC events are limited to Base personnel (mostly due to the fact that the rest of us can’t get through the gates – except a great story I’ll tell you sometime when I accidentally just zoomed right by the guards, but I digress… ), Roberts is hoping to open some of these speaker events to the wider YP community. Roberts also shows her “Dayton Girl” colors as she advocates on Base for YP events regionally. She has started a regular communication with JFC members to inform them of opportunities in Dayton for both social and professional networking.
At a very basic level, the WPJFC provides an opportunity for YPs to figure out how the base works. Roberts tells the story of when she sent an email out to a large group of people. First on the list is the person that the email was most relevant to. Sounds logical, right? Not with Base logic – the strict chain of command is so important to military protocol that it must be followed even in sending an email – you address it to the highest officer first and then go down the list in level of seniority. Things like that aren’t obvious to employees (especially civilian) new to the Base, so the JFC provides a friendly atmosphere to learn the ropes. And it’s not just about the “rules.” The AF culture is a different beast – if civilians better understand it, they can better communicate within it and learn how to succeed.
The Base respects the work of the WPJFC and their goal of “preparing the leaders of tomorrow.” Participants in the JFCs are able to claim “alternate duty location” while at JFC events (meaning they don’t have to take leave or time off from work). Senior leadership at the Base appreciates the work of the WPJFC as they bridge the gap between new recruits and more seasoned AF employees.
Roberts shares what she believes is the most important aspect that the WPJFC offers its members – opportunities to develop their own relationships with senior leaders. Mentoring is such an asset, and Roberts praises the mentor she has met through JFC events. Mentors provide insight into other areas on Base and can even help put the daily battles into perspective as YPs are advancing in their careers.
I asked Roberts what she hopes for as she plans the next year of WPJFC programming. Her goal is to involve more enlisted and military YPs. She explains that the career paths of civilians are defined differently than the career paths of their military colleagues, so the military YPs haven’t always seen the need to take advantage of the professional development and mentoring opportunities that are offered. Roberts hopes to change that and create a WPJFC where everyone is represented and active.
It was a great opportunity to learn a little more about who’s who and the different organizations that serve the many YPs on Base. I was unable to speak to anyone from the WP Networking Association or the Company Grade Officer Program – two groups that serve a fairly specific constituency on Base. Still, I’m appreciative of the time and information Weinstein and Roberts shared with me. The Base may be a different world, but we all have the same needs, and it’s great to hear that these leaders are making it happen for YPs on Base.