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L-R Chair of the Board of Directors Cory Lindo and speaker Colonel Jeff Davis, Chief of Staff, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

L-R Chair of the Board of Directors Cory Lindo and speaker Colonel Jeff Davis, Chief of Staff, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

AFCEA Hawaii was honored to welcome May keynote speaker Colonel Jeff Davis, Chief of Staff, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific. Col Davis addressed the topic of leadership, incorporating his own career experiences. The audience was well-engaged as he discussed the foundations, science, truths, and art of leadership. He concluded that the most important traits of leadership are honesty and selflessness, the most important principle is being an example, and the most important tool is having a positive outlook.

We were pleased to recognize this month’s well-deserving awardees:

AFCEA Students of the Month:

Assets School: Basil Goto

Basil Goto is a senior at Assets School and has always demonstrated a passion for engineering. He loves to create new and original gadgets, and create technical drawings of his creations. He excels in all core subject areas (language arts, history, math, and science), is excellent at playing music, but has a passion for math, science and engineering. He attended an Engineering Summer program at University of California Berkeley during his senior year, in which he was able to experience firsthand the engineering field in a collegiate environment. He is planning to attend California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo next year to study engineering.

Radford High School: Tinarra Butler

Tinarra Butler is a senior at Radford High School and her plans after high school are to attend Hawaii Pacific University and then attend school in Wisconsin to become a veterinarian. She hopes one day to open her own veterinary practice. Ms. Butler is studying Advanced Placement Calculus and French II, yet still finds time to help her siblings with their homework. She is the second daughter of five children and enjoys time at the beach. She is part Native American from her mothers’ side of the family, and she enjoys spending time with her cousins and learning about her heritage. During her childhood she has helped her mother through six back surgeries, while maintaining a positive outlook on life and keeping up with her school work.

Young AFCEAN of the Month:  LCDR Eric Chang, USCG

LCDR Eric Chang is a Rhode Island native that was commissioned in the US Coast Guard after graduating from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Transportation and a 3rd Mate’s Unlimited Tonnage mariner license.

He was stationed at Sector New York as a journeyman marine inspector with a follow on assignment at Sector Key West serving as the Chief of Inspections, where he conducted safety and security inspections on 250+ small passenger vessels.  Pursuing his career goals to enter the Information Technology field, LCDR Chang attended graduate school at the University of Maryland and earned a Master’s of Science degree in Information Management.

LCDR Chang’s follow on tour was at Operations Systems Center Martinsburg, serving as an IT Systems Project Officer and the Command Logistics Branch Chief, providing administrative, security, facility maintenance, property, and IT support for the 580+ personnel data floor/software development center.  LCDR Chang currently serves as the District 14 Telecommunications/IT Division Chief providing communications, information technology, and security support to the Coast Guard units, personnel, and missions throughout the Pacific AOR including Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Singapore, and Japan.


AFCEAN of the Month
:  Raymond Adames, DISA PAC (USAF Ret), Retired USAF MSgt (Tech Controller)

Mr. Adames has over thirty years of progressive telecommunications experience as an Information System-Communications-Computer Systems Control Technician.  He has wide-reaching knowledge in circuit engineering, installation, implementation, and quality control with an extensive background in circuit/network design, technical consulting, site surveys and network management systems (hands-on and remote platforms). As a Node Site Coordinator, Mr. Adames is responsible for ensuring continuous node operation by making provisions for local site assistance in case of node or circuit degradation or outages. He monitors operations and performed inspections of the DISN equipment.

Mr. Adames is involved in several community organizations including the Hawaii Bicycle League, a special needs prom called Peter’s Prom, Camp Taylor, the USS Missouri, and is a PA for military and civilian events. He is involved in the National Association Catering Entertainers (NACE), the American DJ Association (ADJA), and Oahu Wedding Association (OWA). He is also a lifetime member of AFCEA.

Executive of the Month:  Matthew Darnell, ComTel Hawaii

Matthew J. Darnell is the President and CTO of ComTel.  Mr. Darnell co-founded ComTel in 1994 to bring converged computer and telecom technologies to Hawaii’s military and business organizations. Before the DoD’s adoption of the single line policy, ComTel supported all of the Army’s Western Command’s telecommunications systems extending into Korea.  Always the leader and innovator, he developed and now manufacturers a highly valued, open source Internet Protocol communications and collaboration system.

Mr. Darnell’s current focus is on the continued development of ComTel’s cloud initiative launched in a World War II bunker on the windward side.  This initiative has taken ComTel beyond telecommunications and brought together technical experts in the fields of networking, data security and storage, disaster recovery planning, and data restoration.  Mr. Darnell has found his latest project to be both challenging and rewarding.

Mr. Darnell’s reputation for being actively involved in the community is reflected in his selection as one of Hawaii’s “Forty under 40”; President of the Hawaii Information and Communications Technology Association and Commodore of the Kaneohe Yacht Club. Matthew is currently serving as Vice Chairman of the Kailua Neighborhood Board and was a voting delegate at the 2015 Hawaii Republican Convention.

Matthew and his wife, Cindy, live with their two boys, JR and Hunter in Kailua.

Senior Government Leader: Colonel Bruce Caulkins, USPACOM J65

A native of South Carolina, Colonel Caulkins graduated from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina in 1986, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army Signal Corps. He was a distinguished military graduate in the Army’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). He currently serves as the Chief of the Cyber Strategy, Plans, Policy, and Exercises Division (J65) within the Command, Control, Communications, and Cyber Directorate (J6), United States Pacific Command.

As a Functional Area 53 (Information Systems Management) – Signal Branch officer, he previously served as the Commandant of the Leader College for Information Technology as well as the Director of the School of Information Technology (SIT) at Fort Gordon, Georgia, transforming the schools into premier education facilities for the Signal officer, warrant, and enlisted students in the area of Signal operations and cyber defense.

Early assignments include platoon leader/company executive officer, later Information Management Officer, 56th Field Artillery Command (PERSHING), Schwaebisch-Gmuend, Germany. Other assignments include command of an Area Signal Company as well as being a Brigade S6 in the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) at Fort Stewart, Georgia.

Colonel Caulkins has written and presented several cyber-related articles and papers to various organizations, including the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). He won an Association of the United States Army (AUSA) writing contest in 2009 for his paper on proactive self-defense in cyberspace.

Colonel Caulkins holds a Ph.D. in Modeling and Simulation from the University of Central Florida, an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Central Florida, and a B.S. in Computer Science from Furman University.

Personal awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, and the Army Achievement Medal. Additionally, he was the recipient of the Army’s Information Assurance Professional of the Year (Military) in 2007.

Outstanding April Awardees:

Campbell High School:  Student Rodney Rodis

Cadet Seaman Rodney Rodis is a senior at James Campbell High School and a first year cadet at JCHS, Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC).  Mr. Rodis was impressive from the beginning of the school year; attentive, observant, and involved. He maintains a 4.0 GPA while involved in community service and school service.  His involvement includes:

Math Club Member
Vice President of his freshman class
Representative of his sophomore class
Class leader for NJROTC 1st term
Fil-Am Club member
Volunteer as an assistant tutor for non-English speaking students
Volunteer on USS MISSOURI

Rodney Rodis’s goal has always been to become an Electrical Engineer. Although there are financial obstacles at this time, he has seen a way to achieve his goal and be independent while doing so.  He is pursuing a career in the U.S. Air Force where he plans on attending college and earning his degree in Electrical Engineering.


Senior Government Leader
: Mr. Rich DesJardin, Branch Head, Cyber Defense Branch, MARFORPAC

After completion of Basic Training at Great Lakes, IL, and Basic Enlisted Submarine School and Electronic Technician training at Groton, CT, Mr. DesJardin was stationed on the USS Pasadena at Pearl Harbor, HI.  After receiving an honorable discharge in 1998, he and his wife Christina moved to Washington State where Mr. Desjardin worked for Honeywell International as an Industrial Process Control Engineer.  In the winter of 2001, Mr. Desjardin returned to Hawaii and currently resides in Ewa Beach with his wife and two children.

Since moving back to Hawaii, Mr. DesJardin has worked in the Information Technology and Cyber Security fields for Titan Inc., Raytheon, and Electronic Data Systems.  He is currently the G-6 Cyber Defense Branch Head, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific and oversees network and cyber defense operations for USMC networks within the Pacific region.

Mr. DesJardin earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Hawaii Pacific University and a Master of Science in Government Information Leadership (concentration in Chief Information Officer).  He also holds several Information Assurance and technology related certifications.  In his spare time, Mr. DesJardin enjoys outdoor activities with his family, volunteer coaching at a local elementary school and community soccer league, and watching the Green Bay Packers.