A taste of opportunities in professional organizations at breakfast

A chilly morning breeze drifted through the patio as several people stood in line waiting for their Starbucks coffee and breakfast burritos at the annual Kick-Off Breakfast to promote awareness of Hill's many professional organizations held Aug. 26 at Centennial Park.

As attendees huddled under their jackets, Mark Johnson, executive director of the Ogden Air Logistics Center, stepped forward and welcomed the professional organization members and guests, and stressed the importance and positive influence of Hill's professional organizations.

"Being a part of a professional organization allows you to start building your personal network," he said. "You might even be able to gain mentors in your career field," he continued.

Johnson also pointed out that each organization comes with many leadership opportunities as well as opportunities to take part in events on base.

"I want to accentuate," Johnson said, using the Toastmasters' word of the day, "that this is a great opportunity."

The organizations represented at the Kick-Off Breakfast included the Toastmasters Hill Climbers, whose mission is to foster communication and leadership.

"In this day and age," explained Helga Davies, a member of Toastmasters, "the best thing you can do is invest in yourself."

The Toastmasters organization does this by encorporating leadership and public speaking into each of their meetings. They meet every Wednesday in Building 1225's conference room, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. To learn more visit www.toastmasters.org.

For all of the comptrollers on base, the American Society of Military Comptrollers, or ASMC, Utah Chapter, offers great educational and training opportunities, said Scott Johnson, ASMC Utah Chapter president.

The organization also sponsors members for professional certification and offers many opportunities to "network with financial managers across the Department of Defense," Johnson added.

The yearly membership fee is $26. To find out more go to www.asmcutah.org or www.asmconline.org.

Capt. Claudio Covacci, a member of the 416th Supply Chain Management Squadron and president of the Wasatch Warrior Chapter of the Logistics Officer Association, or LOA, took the stand. Capt. Covacci, along with Capt. Will Thomas of the 649th Munitions Squadron and military vice president of LOA, encouraged all logistics officers and civilians to join.

LOA's goal is to "develop logistics professionals and foster logistics innovation to enhance the join fight," the LOA Web site stated.

For those interested in meeting once a month with LOA, visit www.loanational.org, contact Capt. Covacci at (801) 586-6657, e-mail claudio.covacci@hill.af.mil, call Capt. Thomas at (801) 777-6680, or e-mail him at will.thomas@hill.af.mil. Membership is $25 for one year or $300 for a lifetime membership.

Aug. 26 is the anniversary of the 19th Amendment's passage which give women the right to vote, and so it was fitting that Kristina Larson, vice president of the Federally Employed Women's Wasatch Chapter, introduced her organization on this day.

FEW offers a chance to lobby for changes on topics that affect women, said Kristina Larson, vice president of FEW's Wasatch Chapter. Members also have access to leadership and mentoring opportunities.

The Wasatch Chapter meets the second Tuesday of every month, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., at various locations. FEW's membership fee is $40 a year. For more visit www.few.org or www.rmfew.org/wasatch.asp, or contact Kristina Larson at kristina.larson@hill.af.mil.

Next up was 1st Lt. Evan McCauley, a member of the 503rd Aircraft Sustainment Squadron, representing the Company Grade Officer's Council.

Though exclusive, the Company Grade Officer's Council, or CGOC, promotes professional development, community service, and takes part in social events.

"We are always looking for collaboration opportunities with other professional organizations on and off base," McCauley said. The organization also sponsors a Professional Officer's Development Course on base.

To learn more, contact Lt. Luke Marron, president of CGOC and a member of the 84th Radar Evaluation Squadron, by calling either (801) 777-5121 or (973) 219-6407, or by e-mailing luke.marron@hill.af.mil.

Blacks in Government, the Beehive Chapter, eagerly promotes its goals of equity, excellence and opportunity.

BIG, the only such chapter in Utah, offers a chance to get involved in public service and opportunities for professional development training, said Tammara Kirkman, a BIG member. In fact, BIG hosts a national conference every year in August, she added. The conference features speakers, workshops, and presenters.

To learn more, visit www.bignet.org. Anyone may join and the membership fee is $35 a year.

For those in the contract management profession who are seeking great opportunities, the National Contract Management Association offers just that.

NCMA focuses on providing its members with luncheons and speakers, opportunities to pursue professional certifications, leadership roles, and community service opportunities, said Corey Davis, president elect of the Salt Lake City Chapter.

For more visit www.ncmahq.org. Membership prices vary.

As an organization, the Federal Manager's Association "advocates excellence in public service through effective management and professionalism," the FMA Web site states.

"We are actively more involved than probably any organization on this base," said Richard Duarte, president of FMA Chapter 79, located at Hill.

FMA strongly supports the interests of managers, supervisors and executives who work for the federal government by being actively involved in committees on Capitol Hill, including being a part of the future National Council on Federal Labor Regulations, Duarte added.

If you'd like more information, visit www.fedmanagers.org or contact Richard Duarte at rnhusky@msn.com. The membership fee is $5 a pay period.

Last but not least was Bill Garcia, president of the Hill Employees Association and a member of the 508th Aircraft Sustainment Group.

HEA's mission is to provide Hill employees with opportunities for professional education, recognition and communication, the professional organization's fact sheet states. HEA also gives back to the community by providing scholarships for local high school students.

Those interested in finding out more about HEA should visit https://afkm.wpafb.af.mil/HEA.

For a full list of Hill's professional organizations, please visit www.hill.af.mil and click the "HAFB Prof Organizations" link on the right-hand side under the "Quick Links" heading.

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