First, on behalf of the entire AAAA National Executive Board, and Bill Harris and Janis Arena’s team at the Monroe, Connecticut AAAA global headquarters, I would like to wish you and your families all the peace that is the promise of this holiday season. We hope you have had some time to enjoy each other’s company and appreciate all we must be thankful for. As we start the new year, we are blessed for all that AAAA does, and will do, for you and your families in the future.
We have just concluded our Cribbins Readiness Conference in Huntsville, Alabama as I write this. By metrics, it was our most supported Cribbins Conference to date, with almost 2,100 registered and over 120 exhibitors. A very special thanks to our host, the AAAA Tennessee Valley Chapter led by Mr. Gary Nenninger, and especially to MG Tom O’Connor, Commanding General, Aviation and Missile Command; Acting PEO, Aviation, Mr. Rodney Davis; the Fort Novosel leadership representing MG Mac McCurry (Branch Chief Warrant Officer and Command Sergeant Major) and their leaders; they were omni-present for the two and a half day meeting with our users from the field and our incredible Industry Partners, and attending and participating in the numerous focused working groups. See page 80 for details and photos of our outstanding awardees.
The AAAA Scholarship Foundation held their second annual fund-raising dinner dance during the Cribbins Conference as well. It was a 1960s/70s theme to celebrate the 60 years since the Foundation was established in 1963. As you can see in the photo, your AAAA National Executive Group was hard at work enjoying the event that raised over $90,000 for future scholarships. The band was terrific, and everyone had a great time; it truly put the “fun” back into your dysfunctional/functional AAAA Family! A special thank you to SFI President COL (Ret.) Karen Lloyd and her team of volunteers who created and brought this event to fruition. See her article and more photos on page 96. Also, thank you to all the sponsors but most especially to Diamond Sponsor, Jan Smith and her company S3 Incorporated, and the entertainment sponsor, Amentum. These great industry partners’ measure of underwriting ensured that the event was supremely successful, and supported the most significant AAAA membership benefit, the AAAA Scholarship Foundation, that every year gives out over $650,000 to over 400 students.
And lastly, during the Cribbins Symposium we also held our semi-annual AAAA National Executive Board meeting. I am very grateful to all of our National Executive Board members commitment and am especially impressed with our new AAAA National Members at Large and our new committee chairs, for all the work they are doing from Strategic Planning to the Awards Program. We are currently at a membership of over 19,600 members (only a few hundred away from our all- time high) while our AAAA Chapter activity and financial status are also at all-time high levels; your association continues to be in great shape!
Looking ahead to 2024, the April Annual Summit is literally six exhibit booths away from being completely sold out. The Gaylord Rockies sold out in minutes for hotel rooms, but numerous surrounding hotels are still available. Check out the web site and register today. Note that we are opening the show a day earlier so please plan accordingly.
Again, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you all. We look forward to a prosperous and productive 2024!!
MG Walt Davis, U.S. Army Retired
36th President, AAAA