In August, the Hawaii Chapter welcomed Rear Admiral Cari B. Thomas, Commander, Fourteenth Coast Guard District. Rear Admiral Thomas assumed duties as Commander, Fourteenth Coast Guard District in May 2013. The area of responsibility spans over 12.2 million square miles and includes the Hawaiian Islands, Guam, American Samoa and activities in Saipan, Singapore and Japan. This encompasses a region nearly three times the size of the continental United States. Prior to reporting District Fourteen, Rear Admiral Thomas was the Assistant Commandant of Response Policy, where she oversaw the development of Coast Guard response doctrine and policy guidance. As part of these duties, she led or participated in U.S. delegations negotiating treaties for Arctic search and rescue and oil spill responses as well as overseeing a number of other international agreements that encompassed fisheries enforcement in the Western and Southern Pacific, oil spill responses in the Caribbean and Arctic and counter-drug operations in the Caribbean and Eastern Pacific.
The Chapter was honored to host several AFCEA Hawaii Educational Foundation (AHEF) scholarship awardees that were present to receive their awards. In attendance were Andy Truong, Drew Ollice, William Blaser III, Herman Li, Keane Hamamura, Kira Fox, Precious Binas, Christianne Izumigawa, Monica Ho, and Sierra Jackson. Awards were presented by AHEF Chairperson Cathy Burtless and AHEF Director and Secretary Farrah Burke. AHEF Executive Director for Education Initiatives Jane Ferreira highlighted the importance of the scholarship program, which reinforces education as an AFCEA core value. Out of the 60 scholarship applications received this year, the AHEF awarded 32 student scholarships and 2 STEM teacher scholarships. Awards ranged from $2000 to $5000 and totaled $71,000. AHEF Director Admiral Dick Macke, USN (Ret.), urged donations from chapter members to continue this worthy endeavor.
Young AFCEAN of the Month: Michelle Sagan Senior Consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, Information Assurance
Mrs. Michelle Sagan (USAF Retired) is Booz Allen Hamilton’s Senior Certification and Accreditation Consultant, United States Pacific Command (USPACOM), Camp Smith, HI. She is responsible for ensuring the confidentiality, integrity and availability of all systems within the USPACOM area of responsibility (AOR) as well as assisting all customers with both Authorization to Test and Authorization to Operate packages.
Mrs. Sagan has 15 years of exemplary service in the IT career field. She started out by earning her CCNA in high school and honed her skills as a network engineer for Businet’s Incorporated in Fredericksburg, VA. She then enlisted in the USAF as a 3C0X1 (Communications Computer Systems Engineer). During her service, Mrs. Sagan won multiple awards for her contributions as an Infrastructure Technician, Executive Communications Engineer, Communications Focal Point Supervisor, and Information Assurance Manager. Those awards include multiple Airmen of the Quarter, Airman of the Year, Communications and Information Management Communications-Computer Systems Airman of the Year, and CyberSurety Outstanding Noncommissioned Officer of the Year designations.
While serving her country Mrs. Sagan earned an Associate’s Degree in Information Systems from the Community College of the Air Force and a Bachelor of Science degree in Management with a concentration in Healthcare from Bellevue University while simultaneously obtaining a Master Six Sigma Black Belt from Villanova University. Now a DoD Contractor, Mrs. Sagan is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Medical Informatics from Northwestern University, a Master’s in Education from Ashford University, and an additional undergraduate degree in Accounting at Hawaii Pacific University.
AFCEAN of the Month: LCDR Alan Dunston USN (Ret.)
Alan graduated from San Jose State University, spent a career in the US Navy, last serving on active duty at NCTAMS PAC Wahiawa and currently serves as the Chief, Joint Operations Center (JOC) C2 Systems, at USPACOM. At PACOM Alan has been recognized and awarded for his involvement in several key leading edge technology efforts leading to increasing capability for the PACOM JOC and Commander’s decision making processes. His professional development efforts with support of AFCEA Hawaii extends over 10 years having served 3 years as AFCEA TechNet Master of Ceremonies and 3 years as TechNet Protocol Officer.
Executive of the Month: Ms Shelley RowleyProgram Manager, Hawaii Medical Services Association (HMSA)
Shelley is currently a Program Manager at HMSA. She came to Hawaii in 1996 working for BAE Systems. With years of program and project management experience, she has led successful project implementations in very diverse assignments in her career. She spends her free time volunteering for robotics programs in Hawaii and is a board member and Treasurer of the Board for the Friends of Hawaii Robotics (FoHR) and served until 2013 as the Assistant Regional Director and Chair of the Regional Planning Committee for FIRST (For Inspiration of Science and Technology) Robotics in Hawaii.
Senior Government Leader: LTC Gina Thomas USA Deputy G6 94th Army Air Missile Defense Command
LTC Thomas is the Deputy G6 for the 94th AAMDC at Fort Shafter, HI. She was commissioned in 1996 and has spent her 18 years as a Signal Officer serving at Battalion, Brigade and now General Officer Command “S6/G6” positions. She was also Communications LNO for The Presidential Support Team (2002) to President Bush and the White House Communications Agency at Fort Hood Texas. She has served in Iraq and was most recently the Chief, Theater Network Operations Control Center, J633 Cyber, Command Control Systems Directorate, North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, and Lead C4 Planner J635, Future C4 Operations Branch, Command Control Systems Directorate, NORAD and U.S. Northern Command. She holds Bachelor of Arts degree in Biochemistry from Benedictine College. Her certifications include A+, Security+, and Network Management. She is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Information Technology and Program Management.
Congratulations to all our awardees!